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Bell 407 tour helicopter passing over Brooklyn Bridge on East River

Complete New York helicopter tours guide

See NYC from a birds-eye view that would be a helicopter tour to remember, most iconic landmarks will be seen, including more than others.

To make it a complete New York helicopter tour all famous landmarks must be seen from the air, and they will be within reason. Don't expect to see sights buried in between the buildings; well the Statue Of Liberty, World Financial District, One World Trade Center and 9/11 Memorial are guaranteed to be seen.

Guests will begin there unforgettable New York City tour via downtown Manhattan on Pier 6, or a short journey to New Jersey - via Linden or Kearny.

Up and away you go as the short to long haul New York helicopter tour will begin.

What you see will depend on how much you paid for the flight; so expect the more you pay, the more attractions can be reached.

Regardless, every helicopter tour will see the Statue Of Liberty at her finest, Ellis Island and all attractions viewed from the harbor.

Complete New York helicopter tours are not complete, as in all attractions will not be seen.

You must know that famous sights - such as Time Square - would be hard to see as its buried deep in between the buildings.

Reason for that is your helicopter tour is not allowed to fly over the city; so must stay over the water at all times.

So when viewing Manhattan you will do so as you take a flight up/down the Hudson River.

New York helicopter tour availability

Listed is all New York helicopter tours made available through seven operators; see operator name, departure location, tour name, minutes in flight and starting price.

Operator: Departure: Tour Name: Min: Price:
HeliNY Manhattan The New Yorker Tour 12 $189
HeliNY Manhattan The Ultimate Tour 17 $234
HeliNY Manhattan The Deluxe Tour 25 $319
HeliNY Manhattan VIP: Air And Sea Tour 60 $289
Liberty Helicopters Manhattan New York, New York 18 $285
Liberty Helicopters Manhattan The Big Apple 12 $204
Liberty Helicopters Kearny, NJ City Lights Ride (Night) 12 $200
Liberty Helicopters Kearny, NJ Harbor View Tour 10 $149
Manhattan Helicopters Manhattan Classic Manhattan Helicopter Tour 15 $209
Manhattan Helicopters Manhattan Deluxe Manhattan Helicopter Tour 18 $289
Manhattan Helicopters Manhattan VIP Manhattan Helicopter Tour 25 $349
New York Helicopter Kearny, NJ Taste of NYC Tour 17 $169
New York Helicopter Kearny, NJ Ultimate NYC Tour 20 $199
New York Helicopter Kearny, NJ NYC Skyline Tour 12 $99.00
New York Helicopter Manhattan Liberty Tour 15 $199
New York Helicopter Manhattan Central Park Tour 19 $266
New York Helicopter Manhattan Grand Tour 25 $355
FlyNyon Kearny, NJ NYC Experience (OFF) 16 $128
FlyNyon Kearny, NJ NYC Classic (OFF) 30 $220
FlyNyon Kearny, NJ NYC Intro 15 $96
FlyNyon Kearny, NJ NYC VIP 27 $140
FlyNyon Kearny, NJ NYC Grand 37 $220
HeliFlights Linden, NJ Manhattan Deluxe Tour 25 $179
HeliFlights Linden, NJ NYC Classic 20 $165
HeliFlights Linden, NJ Big Apple Premium 30 $210
HeliFlights Linden, NJ Doors Off Helicopter Adventure 20 $549
HeliFlights Linden, NJ NYC Photo Experience for Two 20 $399
Zip Aviation Manhattan Liberty Harbor 15 $209
Zip Aviation Manhattan Grand Island 30 $349
Zip Aviation Manhattan Big City 20 $289

NYC helicopter operators

Anyone who is interested in taking a New York helicopter tour will do so by beginning there journey by a tour operator.

So allow me to introduce a number of those operators who will be taking you up and over the Hudson.

HeliNY would be a first port of call as they're a service that have operated out of theDowntown Manhattan Heliport on Pier 6 for a number of years without incident.

Next up would-be helicopter tour passengers should be considering, is that of Liberty Helicopter, who're located in downtown Manhattan and Kearny in New Jersey.

Big player in the NYC helicopter tourism game is Manhattan Helicopters who operate short to longer haul helicopter rides.

Official tour operator out of Pier 6 is that of New York Helicopters too; the service is exceptional thanks to high standards if operating out of the East River.

Final tour service to operate a complete New York helicopter tour is supported with Zip Aviation - who are again, an official, yet reliable company on Pier 6.

Complete NYC helicopter tours don't just depend on services in Downtown Manhattan, in fact you can fly into New York City via Kearny or Linden in New Jersey.

First up is that of the FlyNyon, who are made famous for their New York open door helicopter rides around Manhattan.

Business to operate near by to FlyNyon, is HeliFlight who share the same postcode.

Heliport locations

Bell 407 landing on Pier 6 heliport
Bell 407 arriving at Pier 6 on the East River with passengers on board; soon they will disembark after taking a New York helicopter tour.

Before you can think about what helicopter service to use; you will need to think about a location that is accessible to you, before anything else.

Downtown Manhatten

When staying in Manhattan, Brooklyn or Queens, then the Downtown Manhattan Heliport on Pier 6, located on the East River would make sense.

Better still if you're staying in a hotel in lower Manhattan. It is a location, or shell I go as far has saying a well known landmark.

Pier 6 is located in an area that can't be missed, just before the curve on the southern point of Manhattan.

Its seen from all helicopter tours well not to be missed if passing over the Brooklyn Bridge by car or on foot.

Official helicopter tour companies who operate out of Pier 6 are: HeliNY, Manhattan Helicopters, Liberty Helicopters, New York Helicopters and Zip Aviation.

Linden or Kearny in New Jersey

Huge advantage to taking a New York helicopter tour via New Jersey is that the operators have a little more wiggle room.

What that means is you can take what will be a scary, yet thrilling helicopter ride with open doors with FlyNyon or HeliFlight.

Well the FlyNyon are located at Kearny, NJ 07032; HeliFlight are located a little south in Linden Airport, address - Hangar 400, 1101 W Edgar Rd. Linden, NJ 07036.

If you don't want the expense of travel, awkwardness of finding the location or don't have enough time in Manhattan to take what will be a short trip - don't risk it by booking a helicopter tour with FlyNyon or HeliFlight.

That being said, don't completely discourage the idea for flying with the companies as you'll receive an all inclusive NYC tour - that departs New Jersey.

Operators common flight route

Of the helicopter companies who operate on the East River to the services who depart via New Jersey - know that they all share a common flight path.

When lifting off via downtown Manhattan, the tour begins instantly as the tour goes past Governor's Island to the Statue Of Liberty, Ellis Island - then up the Hudson River.

No too far up the Hudson mind you as it depends on the helicopter tour you booked.

If booking the cheapest to mid range NYC tour; it will stop half way up the Hudson before heading back to Pier 6.

However, if you book a tour that is on the higher end; then the helicopter tour can reach as far as the Verrazzano Bridge and George Washington Bridge.

If departing New Jersey - not only will you get a bonus sightseeing trip of the State of New Jersey - the flight path will end up joining helicopter operators in the NYC area.

Flight paths have a one way traffic system - with exceptions - so that there's no risk of a head on collision or unexpected surprises.

Manhattan centric helicopter tours

If you're booking what would be a complete New York helicopter tour, know that it is central to downtown Manhattan only.

While touring over the water, sightseeing helicopter passengers will be taken to and from landmarks that are near to Manhattan.

For example, tours will begin with a short jump to Liberty and Ellis Island, before turning around to see what Manhattan has to offer.

Guaranteed sights to see is what is exposed on the Manhattan harbor, including only those attractions that are big and tall - or at least the size that can be seen from the air.

So there's no missing the World Financial District, One World Trade Center and the 9/11 Memorial.

What won't be missing is the cities largest buildings in the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building, respectively.

Helicopter tours that venture a little further than Manhattan will take you south to the Verrazzano Bridge.

While a longer NYC helicopter tour will reach the northernmost point of Manhattan.

Hit or miss landmarks

Bell 407 passing by Liberty Island in mid flight
Bell 407 is seen flying pass Liberty Island with the Statue Of Liberty in sight. Helicopter appears close but is in fact at least half a mile away.

Booking a complete New York helicopter tour will have its downsides of course, as landmarks will be seen, and will be missed... unfortunately.

That is due to landmarks and attractions to see on either side of the helicopter flight route - so if concentrating on one side, there's more you're missing on the other.

Know what landmarks you wish to see and photograph before departing so you can be prepared.

Having said all that though the passengers sitting on the right side - same side as the pilot - will have Manhattan in there sights more often.

When sitting on the left, guests will expect to see more of the water, including New Jersey instead of Manhattan when flying up the Hudson River.

While you will not see the attractions that were missed early on in the tour; once the helicopter is turned around to head back, passengers who missed it heading north, can now see NYC heading south - as you head back to Pier 6 or New Jersey.

Complete NYC tours can be missed simply because of the type of helicopter in use, so do one better by booking a private or doors off helicopter ride.

Partial, NOT complete tours

What are labeled as complete New York helicopter tours may not be what you expected, if you want to see Manhattan directly below you.

New York City tours are only complete in that NYC is only seen from the water, not flying above the city at any point.

That is due to New York City having a strict no-fly zone over the densely populated area for safety reasons.

Therefore, landmarks and attractions buried deep within Manhattan's street's and alley ways, will not be seen from above.

Large, open landmarks can still be seen from the Hudson or East River - such as Central Park - but that is about it.

So having so all that, the NYC helicopter tours are not complete, only partial.

Landmarks you would expect to see won't be, nor will attractions that are limited to the East River - as off-the-shelf tours don't fly up the East River.

Rather than booking a tour online you should instead charter a helicopter that will allow two important things...

To be able to fly over NYC directly as to get those afternoon photographs, or the city light tours with NYC night time helicopters tours departing in the late evening.

NYC tour narration

If you're serious about your tours then you might be interested in a NYC helicopter tour that has a narration system included.

What that means for passengers is the landmarks, attractions and sights will be talked about in more detail - through the headset you'll be wearing already.

So if an educational yet exciting helicopter tour with narration is required; you need to book with Zip Aviation or New York Helicopters, respectively.

Its a pre-recorded narration that should in theory, sync up with the landmarks you're seeing or passing by out of the window.

Delays or diversions in flight could mess up the narration to landmarks, so do expect that to happen.

English is the default language of narration but up to 9 languages can be selected.

When narration is not available, you can guarantee the helicopter tour operator have pilot's who will do there best to point out important landmarks for you.

Narration or not, the pilot's are trained to answer questions you may have in regards to sights on the ground - when they're not busy talking over the radio.

Summary

If you want to see NYC see from a birds-eye view in what will be a complete helicopter tour, you can do so with up to thirty tours made available.

New York City helicopter flights will depart mostly out of downtown Manhattan, with departures lifting off from Linden and Kearny in New Jersey.

NYC tour companies offering this service are: HeliNY, Liberty Helicopters, Manhattan Helicopters and New York Helicopters.

Services that depart from New Jersey including a doors OFF or ON service are FlyNyon or HeliFlight.

Helicopter tour flight path is focused primarily on downtown Manhattan, including a pass by Liberty Island and Ellis Island.

When paying for a flight that has a longer duration, expect to come into reach of the Verrazzano Bridge when heading south.

When paying to go further you will also cross over the George Washington Bridge far up the Hudson River.

Saying all that, I must admit there is no helicopter service that offers an extended flight that will allow you to see more of New York.

So with that in mind you will need to forget about the widely available tours, to instead customise a helicopter tour with the operator that includes all sights.

No flying over Manhattan directly in the day, though a private charter can do so.

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