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Has anyone done the New York New Year tour?

8 Jan 2012 Fishbowl asked


Hi All,

We're going to be in NYC for New Year's Eve 2012/2013 and my girlfriend and I are wondering if anyone has done the above mentioned tour.

We'll either do the tour or organize something on our own, but would really like to be in Times Square or in view of the ball dropping.

Advice and comments are welcome.


Brad & Ash

  • Read the responses 67 responses so far
  • 13 Jan 2012 PinaI said


    Hey guys

    My personal opinion is that you don’t need to do the tour to see NY and be there for NYE. New York is one of the greatest cities in the world and one of the easiest to get around.

    If you’re not too keen on walking everywhere you can always grab something like the hop-on-hop-off bus tour to see the main sites, it’s about $70 for a three day ticket – well worth it to start with and get your bearings.

    When it gets to NYE itself, just take yourself down to Times Square anytime from lunch onwards and grab a spot. We went down at about 3pm and it was already starting to fill up. What they do is “lock you” into sections so, once the area where ever you stand is what the cops deem “full” they block it off and no one else can go in. At the same time though, you can’t go out and then get back in! So, if you get a good spot, don’t drink too much because you can’t leave to go to the toilet and then just come back. Take some food – it’s a long wait from 3pm ’til midnight! Also, make sure your feet are covered and warm. The year we were there it was raining then slushing, then half-snowing and our feet were frozen by the end of it!

    Alternatively, go all out and pay for a room at the Mercure or one of the other hotels right on Times Square and then you can watch it all from the warmth of you room until about 10pm and then just wander down to enjoy the atmosphere closer to ball drop time!

    We recently stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn Times Square, on 8th Avenue and it was fantastic. Cost us about $2500 for 10 days but was worth every penny. Staff were fabulous, location is second to none at just a block from Times Square, lots of food around and about a 5-minute walk to the hop-on-hop-off bus stop.

    If you have any other questions feel free to ask!

  • 15 Jan 2012 Miss Amanda Hope said

    Miss Amanda Hope

    Hey I was wondering the same thing.
    Wanting to grab some advice from people that have done the tour though
    What was the accommodation like? Central enough?
    Did you have enough freedom to do what you wanted and how were the tour managers?
    THANKS :)

  • 15 Jan 2012 Alanna said


    Me and a friend are also looking at going to NY for new year. I have done a contiki before and understand why this would be better then trying to do it yourself.. Any reviews would be great tho

  • 16 Jan 2012 tracysyd said


    could not recommend it more guys. was absolutely amazing. have to disagree with the first guy, doing it by yourself would be a mess i think. you would have to get to times square at about 2pm and then you can’t leave – not even for the bathroom. with contiki, we went to planet hollywood, open bar, dinner, awesome atmosphere, don’t see the ball drop but there are huge screen in there so you feel like you are there and im led to believe that standing out in times square isn’t that great because the ball is actually pretty small.
    I plan to write a review in the next few days but seriously i totally recommend it. its a great way to see all of ny in a few days.
    hilton garden inn times square is a great hotel though if you are looking for pre or post tour accommodation

  • 17 Jan 2012 Miss Amanda Hope said

    Miss Amanda Hope

    Awesome Thanks Tracy!
    How was the accommodation?

  • 17 Jan 2012 tracysyd said


    I posted a review about the tour but I can’t seem to find it, maybe you will have more luck or maybe it doesn’t appear straight away? Anyway I saved it so if it doesn’t appear I can email it to anyone who is interested.
    The accommodation was at the Skyline Hotel for 1 group and in Brooklyn for the other 2. I was at the Skyline which was so much more geographically convenient. The rooms were big and comfortable and the location was like 4 blocks from Times Square – couldn’t have asked for more. It’s expensive though so I don’t recommend trying to book pre or post tour accommodation there. Try the Hilton Garden Inn or the Pod Hotel – a lot of contiki people stayed at the Pod. Also, you don’t get confirmation of your hotel for quite some time so don’t assume it will be there same as last year.
    Let me know if you want to know anything else!

  • 25 Jan 2012 Katieh83 said


    I was also looking at doing the Contiki NYC NYE tour 2012/2013. I thought, considering I am planning on travelling by myself, that contiki was a great way to enjoy new years eve in the company of others rather than by myself! Would be happy to hear as much as possible about this tour :-)

  • 25 Jan 2012 tracysyd said


    I finally figured out how to view my review (I promise I am normally a little bit smart!) if you click on my profile and my trips you’ll see it. hopefully it will help! I want to do it again, so amazing! And definitely great if you’re travelling by yourself. I was by myself for a bit before and after and it was so good to have a group to spend NYE with. It would have been a bit lame by myself I think!!

  • 26 Jan 2012 Katieh83 said


    Thanks Tracy for directing us to your review! Sounds awesome.
    I was on Contiki in Europe for new years eve 10 / 11 and had a great time but from the sound of your review New York was better. I have been to New York twice before (both in the summer) and, as you do, fell in love with the city. I promised myself that I would experience it in Winter and I guess there is no better time to do it than over New Years.
    Seriously considering it but I have always travelled with friends. I guess my biggest fear at the moment is doing it alone even though I have had 100 people tell me that travelling alone is the best.
    Thanks again for all the info you have given me something to think about.

  • 26 Jan 2012 tracysyd said


    Iwas kind of worried about traveling by myself, although I did meet up with people at different points but I actually really enjoyed it! It’s great being able to do whatever you want and not have to figure it out with a group. You’ll probably find that contiki people will be around a bit before and after so you can still hang out with people.

  • 26 Jan 2012 Miss Amanda Hope said

    Miss Amanda Hope

    Great review Tracy! Sounds great! My biggest worry is the accommodation cos it kinda sounds like it would suck to be in one in Brooklyn. Anyone out there stay there?

  • 27 Jan 2012 Fishbowl said


    Hi Tracy,

    Thanks heaps for the review and the photos. Sorry it took me so long to get around to reading it and writing back, we’ve been in the process of moving from Melbourne to Darwin. The tour definitely sounds worthwhile. I’ll talk it over with my girlfriend tonight but I think we will most probably be booking the trip this weekend.


    Brad & Ash

  • 27 Jan 2012 KirrynA said


    My bf and I are looking at doing this too. We’ve already been to NY on the Best of the USA tour, but would love to do NYE there with Contiki so we have a whole bunch of people to party with. Very exciting :)

  • 30 Jan 2012 Kim said


    I did a Contiki Europe tour in 2010-11 and brought in the new year in Italy, it was AWESOME and could only imagine how awesome it would be in NYC. Just booked the trip and 2/3 of the tours were already full!! For those who stayed in Brocoklyn, is it super far from Time Square and central NY?

  • 30 Jan 2012 Kim said


    sorry, Brooklyn…

  • 7 Feb 2012 MissTammi said


    Hi – I’ve booked for the New Year New York tour 2012/2013 as well – I will be travelling by myself so it would be nice to be in contact with some people before we head off on an adventure!! I’ve never been to the US before, let alone New York and I am super excited! My intitial email from Contiki said my hotel was in Brooklyn – I will be arriving in NY a day before the tour and probably staying until about the 7th/8th – maybe not at the tour hotel though – will see how much it costs! If some people are staying after the tour it would be cool to do a few things together – definitely a Broadway show and a New York Knicks game!! :)

  • 11 Feb 2012 hanmontana2011 said


    Hi MissTammi and Katieh – i’m also considering doing this tour. Sounds like it would be awesome… Just gotta sort out my flight plans and what i plan to do after the contiki :)

  • 12 Feb 2012 KirrynA said


    Boyfriend and I have just locked in spots on the tour, just have to pay our deposit this week! Yay! The Sheraton in Brooklyn looks really, really nice and I’m pretty keen to explore Brooklyn in our free time as we didn’t get to go there last time we were in NY.

  • 12 Feb 2012 tracysyd said


    I’m surprised you guys are staying on Brooklyn when you booked this early but from what people on the other tours who stayed their said the hotel was really nice. And when there’s heaps of you it’s easy to get back there late at night! Don’t book the hotel for before an after accommodation though. Contiki seems to get a really good rate and so it will most likely be super expensive. Also, the hotel can change which can be a total pain (happened to a lot of people on my tour). I recommend the pod hotel which has really small rooms but is really cool and in a good downtown location. Cheaper too because you can get different types of rooms and shared bathrooms. I also stayed at the Hilton garden inn in times square which is like 2 blocks from times square, awesome location, really sweet rooms and pretty good price considering the location. But book as soon as you know your plans because the prices go up sooo much even a couple of months before new years.
    So jealous of you guys planning this, wish I was doing it again!

  • 19 Feb 2012 KirrynA said


    Paid the deposit! Just have to wait til March now to look at flights. tracysyd, I’m sure someone has asked you but were your flights expensive? We’re expecting to pay about $2000-2500 for return flights. Is that about right? I am a bit bummed that we’ve booked so early and are still staying in Brooklyn. I don’t see how Contiki couldn’t have found another hotel for everyone to stay at in Manhattan, looking at the positive side though, Brooklyn will be fun to explore!

    We’ll be staying til the 7th-8th and then off to LA. Probably going to find somewhere in Soho to stay for the remainder of our time in NY. The Sheraton in Brooklyn is $200 PER PERSON a night which is crazy expensive so we will be trying to avoid staying there before the tour. Keen to get to know everyone before the tour! 10 months to go! Haha.

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