“Naked” Cruise tests participants’ ability to bear it all

New York, NY – Saturday, February 26, 2011 – The third annual Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises “Naked” Polar Bear Cruise took place on Saturday, February 26, to raise funds for the Bronx Zoo and New York Aquarium. The Coney Island Polar Bear Club and Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises teamed up to ensure another successful event.
Launching from pier 83 in Manhattan, the boat headed down the Hudson River toward the Statue of Liberty with eager participants challenging their stamina in the freezing morning temperatures. An extreme test of endurance, every minute spent on deck raised funds that will help WCS achieve its mission of saving wildlife and wild places around the globe.
“Normally, I would call anyone who strips down to their bathing suits in the frigid cold a ‘meshuganah,’ but in this case, they’re doing it for a great cause,” said Marty Markowitz, Brooklyn Borough President. “Kudos to Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises and the Coney Island Polar Bear Club for hosting this event and allowing participants to nearly ‘bare’ it all for the bears—and all of our living creatures—and support the great work of the Wildlife Conservation Society.”
“New York waterways are spectacular all year round, and Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises offers a great opportunity to experience them even in the depths of winter,” said Dennis Thomas, President of Coney Island Polar Bear Club. “WCS supports wildlife, including polar bears, worldwide. The Coney Island Polar Bear Club is proud to help bring attention to and help raise funds for this worthwhile institution.”
“Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises cares deeply about its fellow New York City attractions and institutions,” said Andreas Sappok, Vice President and General Manager, Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises. “With the help of the Coney Island Polar Bears and other New Yorkers, we’re happy that this unique winter cruise can lend a helping paw to the WCS.”
Cruisers were encouraged to seek individual sponsors to pledge a donation for each minute spent on deck. Those passengers who needed a break from the chill could head inside to bundle up and enjoy complimentary hot chocolate before heading back out into the elements. The man and woman who stayed outside the longest were each awarded a fleece courtesy of the Patagonia Soho store.
“Each year more and more people turn out to take the chilly trip on the Hudson,” said Jim Breheny, WCS Senior Vice President of Living Institutions and Bronx Zoo Director. “We are grateful to Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises and The Coney Island Polar Bear Club for their continued support and are already looking forward to next year’s cruise.”

Sophie Bass: (o) 212-439-6527; sbass@wcs.org
Max Pulsinelli: (o) 718-220-5182; mpulsinelli@wcs.org
Steve Fairchild: (o) 718-220-5189; sfairchild@wcs.org


Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises – Sailing since 1945, Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises at 42nd Street has hosted more than 60 million passengers in New York City. Owned and operated by New York Cruise Lines, Inc., Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises is New York’s oldest and largest provider of scheduled and chartered sightseeing and special function cruises. Residents and tourists can choose from five different leisurely tours including a three-hour Full Island Cruise, a two-hour Semi-Circle Cruise, 75-minute Liberty Cruise, two-hour twilight Harbor Lights Cruise or a 30-minute thriller boat ride aboard The Beast, coupled with convenient schedules to accommodate guests needs, state-of-the-art vessels, first class service and attentive crews. Cruises are not only designed to provide the best viewing opportunities, but to also be informative, comfortable and entertaining as well. Today, the company is recognized as one of the most famous boat rides in the entire world and is one of the oldest 42nd Street landmarks.
Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises is not affiliated with Circle Line Downtown.  

The Wildlife Conservation Society
saves wildlife and wild places worldwide.  We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo.  Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony.  WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth.

Special Note to the Media: If you would like to guide your readers or viewers to a web link where they can make donations in support of helping save wildlife and wild places, please direct them to: www.wcs.org/donation