New York’s First AquaBus makes a “Splash”

Pre-visualization of the AquaBus Tour.

McLaren Engineering Group teamed up with the operators of the Coach USA/Gray Line tour buses and the New York Waterway offer New York City’s first and only amphibious tourist attraction. New York Splash Tours’ AquaBus, as it has been named, officially opened on May 22, 2007.

Visitors are driven throughout the west side of Manhattan, including Times Square and Hell’s Kitchen. They are then driven to a garage sized shed for a brief multimedia experience and history lesson simulating an Atlantic Ocean crossing, before making their way into the Hudson River.

While several other cities have had amphibious vehicles for a while, New York Waterway wanted to make this a truly special experience. McLaren initiated the development of overall multimedia concepts, produced the initial storyboards, and developed pre-visualization images and animations. McLaren also integrated the design efforts amongst designers of the shed, scenery, lighting, projection, audio, special effects, mechanized hydraulic effects, controls, and safety systems. Additionally, we designed and oversaw the construction for the pier, the platform ramp, and fender system and our staff divers performed underwater inspections.