Our Sightseeing Tour Guides
With narration developed by the New York Historical Society, our tour guides are second to none.
Get to know the guides that make the Circle Line experience remarkable.
With decades of collective experience and insider information provided by the New York Historical Society, Circle Line's top-rated tour guides are the best in the business. Sit back and relax while these entertaining regional experts share their knowledge, insights and good humor.
Chris Mason was born and raised in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn with Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise blood running through his veins. As the son of infamous Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise guide John Mason, Chris had big shoes to fill when he started guiding tours in 1985.
Over the years, Chris has developed a unique perspective on what he feels makes NYC the greatest city on earth. He is proud to share his views with his passengers on his tours, and will often challenge them with trivia and statistic questions.
"Chris Mason, whose profound erudition and deep love for his city and for us - his passengers and pupils - made for an experience we will carry in our hearts for a long time to come." — harveyb381, TripAdvisor
An institution at Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises, John Mason has been leading tours for over fifty years! Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, John started his own trucking business after college, but later found he was more interested in hanging around the Circle Line pier and listening to the guides than making deliveries. In 1962, he gave up the trucking business and became a Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise tour guide.
Over the years, John has had some of the biggest names in entertainment on his tours, including opera singer Beverly Sills and Tony Bennett.
"For us the highlight was the guide John. He was so knowledgeable and shared a lot of history about Manhattan. Really impressive." — powaramit, TripAdvisor
Born and raised in Pennsylvania, near the Pittsburgh Airport, David Parker came to New York in 1985 to earn an M.F.A. in Acting. After graduating and doing Summer Theater and later adjunct college teaching work, he found a summer job with the then concession contractor on our boats. As he was their top salesman, their manager arranged for David's audition to become a tour guide, where he was hired as a substitute guide. A promotion from Circle Line concessions to running the information booth on Liberty Island meant working both full time at the Statue of Liberty and subbing here as needed for three years. In one form or another he's officially been a Circle Line Guide since 1994.
In October 2001, Dave found one more reason to love Circle Line by meeting his true love while narrating one of his tours. Dave and Leslie married in December 2002 and currently live in Jersey City, NJ. David is an aviation and auto enthusiast, and auto racing fan. As a member of the NJ Diecast Car Club (NJDCC), he has a collection of thousands of die cast toy cars.
"David was our guide and this guy was amazing! He was clever, entertaining, with facts about what you were looking at, in any given moment, pouring from this guy like he was a walking encyclopedia!" — Bagpiper549, TripAdvisor
Malachy Murray came to us as a deckmate back in 1996 after working on the tugboats here in New York City, and in a very short period of time he became qualified to work in almost every position within the company. He's a native New Yorker who is also a veteran of the Navy and later on he served in the Army Reserves. Malachy earned the 9/11 Maritime Award with us here at Circle Line for his participation in the evacuation of Manhattan. Relying on his prior military experience to help lead thousands of people to safety.
Malachy returned the following season with his USCG 100 gross ton Captain's license but when the opportunity presented itself, he chose to become one of our guides instead. When asked why he made such a bold move he was quoted as saying; "I think people today, more than ever need to laugh."
Malachy's talents reach beyond his tenure here at Circle Line. He is the author of a number of plays and books including his best selling book: UNIQUE NEW YORK. He's also the co-creator and writer of the comic book series: MILITEDDY BEARS. As a SAG actor he's also landed roles in several New York productions including a recurring principal role as: Officer Maloney on ABC's soap opera; "ALL MY CHILDREN".
"Our tour guide, Malachy, was fantastic. He has a real passion for NYC, and was very informative, interesting, and funny." — csterle1, TripAdvisor
Born in the small town of Clintonville, Wisconsin, Tom Wurl came to NYC after college to pursue acting. Fun fact: Tom has stood in for Jack Nicholson in a handful of his movies.
In 1995, Tom, a former teacher, decided that being a guide for Circle Line Sightseeing would allow him to combine his two great loves: history and New York City. Ever since then, Tom’s passengers have taken his picture in order to tell their friends back home that Jack Nicholson was their tour guide.
"Tom Wurl is a fabulous source of information with a wonderful, friendly personality." — cl_hoye, TripAdvisor
William Scott Brown
Hailing from the Pacific Northwest, Willam Scott Brown is thrilled to be back with his Circleline family of over 17 years, after 2 years off. 'Bill', as he is affectionately known, feels right at home on the water bringing a unique perspective to his tours and constantly impressing guests with his knowledge of New York trivia.
It's likely you've seen Bill somewhere before... a successful actor who has starred in numerous commercials, appeared on the "Late Show with David Letterman" and was in an episode of Law and Order.
Bill most recently costarred with Outlander Actor Graham McTavish in the feature film "Somewhere in Montana." He received a Best Actor International Jury Award in Italy from Tribeca Film Festival and Donatello award winning director Paolo Genovese at Cortinametraggio 2017 in Cortina D'ampezzo Italy.
Most notably, Bill was a member of the original Broadway production of Phantom of the Opera, performing eight shows a weeks for 12 years!
Only with Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises can New York enthusiasts learn about the city they love from a genuine Broadway veteran.
Learn more about Bill at www.williamscottbrown.com
"Our Cruise narrator Bill gave a wonderful commentary on all the viewpoints all throughout the journey" — Gopal L, TripAdvisor
Tony Bien was born in Manhattan, brought up in the Bronx and after completing a hitch in the US Navy raised a family of his own in Queens. When asked by visitors what is his favorite spot in the city, he typically answers: "home" on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. On the "Best of New York" tour he often points out the 1929 art deco building he's lived in for decades which overlooks the Hudson.
Some of his other favorite spots around town are Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York Botanical Gardens along with the nearby world class Bronx Zoo, Coney Island, the Staten Island Ferry, Citi-Field for Mets Baseball, and of course, Circle Line which he has been riding since childhood. He never imagined being a tour guide since as a teenager he stuttered; he thankfully sang it away. Among his greatest satisfactions after a tour is when fellow New Yorkers disembarking remark of how much they had just learned.
Year 2020 was to mark Tim Hollon’s fifty years as a licensed guide and tour manager. Tim, an academically trained historian (George Washington University and the University of Wisconsin) lucked into the only job for which nature suited him, story teller, what the Irish call a seanchai.
Middle school in Kansas, followed by high school in Illinois, grounded him firmly in the Heartland. Then came four years in Army Intelligence as a Russian specialist, the bulk of it in Europe on the front lines of the Cold War. Tim managed to travel extensively on the Continent and, along the way, roam centerfield for the U.S. Army’s 1969, All Europe Championship fast pitch softball team. Civilian Interludes included a stint at the Central Intelligence Agency as liaison officer to NSA during the Yom Kippur War.
Already voting age when first he came to Gotham City, Tim is still astonished that forty percent of his subsequent life has been living and working in New York. Who knew?
They say to know history, go there. Tim guided over two hundred tour groups to each of the following: Gettysburg, Philadelphia, Valley Forge, Mount Vernon, Monticello, Yorktown, Jamestown, Williamsburg, Annapolis and Boston. In the several dozen categories would fall New Orleans, Nashville, Memphis, Atlanta, Charleston, West Point, Vicksburg and Savannah. And that’s only stateside. His years in Europe linked with university studies made him a natural choice for adult and student groups headed for the British Isles and the Continent.
As to landmarks, Tim favors the lesser known. That spot on the Hoboken waterfront where a Carolina truck driver fuming over delays in loading his cargo came up with the idea that morphed into containerized shipping. Or the ruined chimney on the East River, the remains of a molasses plant utilized by a Brooklyn lad to produce enough penicillin to make it the “miracle” drug. When possible, he channels the departed in their own words. Everything Tim says about Ellis Island is taken from the actual experiences of those who passed through.
For two consecutive years, Congressman John McCain brought the brightest high school seniors from his district to spend the week in Washington studying government close up. Tim was chosen by McCain’s office to be their host/guide.
"Tim Hollan made a wonderful afternoon around the waters of New York so much more interesting with all the insightful views and historical relevances peppered in." — Jeff D, TripAdvisor