Arrive at your chosen departure airport where a member of the Riviera Travel team will help you through check-in. 2019 departures will fly direct to New York, and 2018 departures will fly via Dublin, which has a US Customs pre-clearance facility so you’ll be able to continue your journey to New York as domestic travellers. On arrival in New York we transfer to the four-star Embassy Suites by Hilton, located right in the heart of midtown Manhattan. The Empire State Building, Macy’s and Bryant Park are all a short walk away. After some time to settle in, we invite you to join your tour manager for a welcome reception with drinks and nibbles – a great way to find out about the highlights ahead and get to know your travel companions. We then take a 10-minute stroll to a restaurant, where we enjoy an informal welcome dinner of classic New York dishes.
This morning we have a guided sightseeing tour of the city, during which we’ll take in iconic sights including the Empire Tower, Broadway, Times Square, Central Park and Grand Central Station. Our tour concludes in the genteel neighbourhood of Chelsea, named after a home for veterans in London. Renowned as one of city’s artistic centres, Chelsea is abuzz with culture and many excellent eateries, making this the ideal spot for a meal. After lunch, our expert local guide takes us on a leisurely walk along the High Line, a unique 1.5-mile park set on an old elevated rail line. With seasonal blooms and interesting art installations, it’s a lovely place to relax and take in the unparalleled views of Manhattan’s far-west side – look out for the Statue of Liberty, Freedom Tower and Chrysler Building. We then return to our hotel with time to relax or further explore, before drinks and snacks are served again in the lounge. This evening, why not catch the latest Broadway hit or a stirring performance at the Metropolitan Opera?
Today we visit one of the world’s most famous landmarks, the Empire State Building, featured in countless films such as King Kong and Sleepless in Seattle. At 1,250 feet, it boasts spectacular views – on a clear day visitors can see 80 miles into the surrounding states! To enjoy these marvellous 360-degree vistas, we ascend to the 86th floor viewing deck, the city’s highest open-air observatory. The afternoon is at leisure, so take the opportunity to explore some of the Big Apple’s numerous world-class museums and art galleries. The Metropolitan Museum houses more than 5,000 years of art from around the world, while the innovative Guggenheim, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, is renowned for its outstanding collection. Alternatively, you may wish to join your tour manager on a delightful tour of Greenwich Village with a focus on its gastronomic gems. We’ll take a short subway ride to ‘the Village’ and meet our local guide who’ll show us around. An artists’ haven and the birthplace of the Beat movement on the East Coast, this is where Bob Dylan and Paul Simon began their careers. We’ll stop at popular local eateries that specialise in an array of tasty options, from satisfying falafels to creative cupcakes. You’ll get a glimpse of how locals dine and have the chance to purchase any of the choices that tempt your palate. This evening, you’re invited to gather in the hotel lounge for our final evening of drinks and light bites.
A visit to New York wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Liberty Island; this morning, we come face-to-face with Lady Liberty herself. We travel to Battery Park on the southern tip of Manhattan and take the ferry across to the island. Have your camera at the ready as the magnificent Statue of Liberty comes into view. A gift from the French, the colossal neoclassical masterpiece was originally a dull copper colour but oxidation over time caused a green patina, which actually protects the statue’s ‘skin’. Listen to your personal audio guide, provided during the tour, for intriguing insights into what is arguably the world’s most famous statue. As you amble along, remember to look back towards Manhattan Island for fantastic views of New York harbour and the skyline, dominated by the new, futuristic World Trade Center. If there’s time after, we’ll take a short ferry ride to neighbouring Ellis Island, home to the National Museum of Immigration, which chronicles America’s extensive history of welcoming migrants. After a day of fascinating sightseeing, we bid farewell to New York and transfer to the airport for our return flight.
We arrive back in the UK this morning.
Soaring 39 storeys with an impressive glass façade, the hotel offers superb views of the iconic New York City skyline. Each studio suite has a king-size bed with a cosy living area, en-suite bathroom, complimentary Wi-Fi and amenities you’d expect from accommodation of this rating, plus views of the Empire State Building.