An Artsy Idea for a Summertime Meeting

By Mark Mavrigian June 3, 2008, 9:30 AM EDT

Groups can take in special tours of "The New York City Waterfalls."

Photo: The New York City Waterfalls (artist rendering), © Olafur Eliasson, 2008, Courtesy Public Art Fund

Olafur Eliasson's exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art and P.S.1 may end on June 30, but more work from the Scandinavian artist comes to town on June 26, when “The New York City Waterfalls” debuts. The work, a joint venture between the city and the Public Art Fund, consists of four towering installations along the Governors Island, Manhattan, and Brooklyn shorelines that recycle river water to create striking man-made waterfalls that range in height from 90 to 120 feet.

As a special meeting perk, the Ritz-Carlton Battery Park partnered with New York Water Taxi to create private waterfall tours. Groups holding conferences at the hotel can skip the usual coffee break, leave the hotel, and board charter boats across the street. The private tour accommodates as many as 150 guests and typically lasts about 30 minutes, includes snacks, and will pass by all four waterfalls, as well as the Statue of Liberty. Pricing starts at $5,000 per group, and additional options include longer cruises with an open bar, as well as a sunset champagne tour.

And even if you aren't hosting an event at the Ritz-Carlton, there are other tour options. The Circle Line Downtown, which is the official tour service for the waterfalls project, offers four different packages that include audio introductions by the artist: 30-minute and one-hour cruises, a 30-minute speedboat ride, or the option of a private charter on its Zephyr yacht.

New York Water Taxi also offers four packages of its own, including an evening cruise (with champagne), as well as a cycling tour (with partner Bike and Roll) of the falls that includes a ride over the Brooklyn Bridge and can be offered separately or in conjunction with a one-hour cruise.

The waterfalls will be on display through mid-October and will be in operation from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day of the week (and after the sun goes down, each work will be illuminated).

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