Lisa Kidd, a native of Tunbridge Wells, England, said that her experience on New York Media Boat’s “Adventure Sightseeing Tour” was exhilarating. “New York has so many highlights, but this [tour] may top it,” Kidd said.
Michael DeVoll said that his husband freaked out when he realized how close the U.S. Navy-style boat would put him to the Hudson River. But the Houston, Texas resident said that the tour was a “mystical experience” due to the warm and bleak weather. DeVoll said he appreciated the tour guide’s vast knowledge, improvisation and personalization.
Barri Arnold Thompson enjoyed her family adventure tour so much that she traveled from her home in Columbia, S.C. to do the tour a second time with her employees. She said, “we did it again because it was so awesome.”
Due to business from serial clients like Thompson and word-of-mouth referrals, like those DeVoll and Kidd received, New York Media Boat was able to purchase a 30-foot boat in early October that will nearly triple the number of people they may have on board.
The vessel, which seats 15 passengers, is the newest addition to the five-boat fleet. The boat can reach 600 horsepower. CEO Bjoern Kils said the boat’s dual engines increase its dependability and power. Kils said the purchase will allow the company to take tourists out on the Hudson and East Rivers in larger groups. They were only allowed six passengers previously.
Kils launched New York Media Boat in 2010 to take film and television crews around New York Harbor. Kils said he noticed that the city was being covered both on land and from the air, but that no one was reporting from the water. The Emmy-Award-nominated photojournalist purchased a single boat and first chartered it to media connections he made during his journalism career.
New York Media Boat launched its tourism arm in 2012. Kils said that since then, the company’s growth has been exponential. He attributes the increase in business to word-of-mouth and a visible online presence. “Last year there was a whale in the harbor that got 100,000 hits on our website,” Kils said.
The addition of the new vessel resulted in an uptick in charters for large groups and company outings, Kils said.
Kils said the company has done television shoots for CNN, “The Bachelorette,” and “America’s Got Talent.” Vogue Magazine chartered a New York Media Boat vessel to shoot the September issue; Jennifer Lawrence was the cover model.