New York Cruise Lines Announces the Appointment of John Banks as Chairman of the Board

Samuel Cooperman, after 17 Years of Service, Retires from the Company. Jan Engelhardsten Appointed.

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–New York Cruise Lines Inc., operator of the world-famous Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises, transportation company, New York Water Taxi, luxury charter fleet, World Yacht, and innovative maritime restaurant, North River Lobster Company, announces the appointment of John Banks as its new Chairman of the Board of Directors. With more than three decades of senior-executive experience in the public and private sectors in New York City, Mr. Banks will lead New York Cruise Lines’ Board in helping direct the company’s marine-based sightseeing, transportation, dining and entertainment businesses.

Samuel Cooperman, who has been with New York Cruise Lines in various executive roles, including Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, is stepping down after 17 years of dedicated service. Seasoned executive Jan Engelhardsten, former Chief Financial Officer of international maritime leader Stolt-Neilsen Limited, has been appointed to the Board as a new Director.

During Mr. Cooperman’s tenure, Circle Line replaced its entire fleet of boats. In 2006, three new Manhattan class boats were launched and in 2016 the last of three new Bronx class boats was delivered, enabling the company to offer consumers the most modern sightseeing fleet in New York City. In 2016, Mr. Cooperman oversaw the acquisition of New York Water Taxi and Circle Line Downtown, which more than doubled the size of the organization’s fleet, adding a very successful transportation operating unit and re-uniting Circle Line Downtown with Circle Line Midtown under one brand umbrella.

Near the end of his tenure, as tourism to New York came to an absolute stop, Circle Line achieved the significant milestone of being one of the first NYC attractions to open on July 20th, providing New Yorkers with a much-needed source of outdoor entertainment and fun.

Mr. Engelhardsten served in his Chief Financial Officer role at Stolt-Neilsen for 26 years and in various other senior positions including President of Stolt Tank Containers and President of Stolthaven Terminals. He has been associated with the company since 1974.

John has brought a broad range of experience and abundant talent to our company, having served the public and private sectors in very senior positions for many years,” said Mr. Cooperman. “We are honored to have him take over as Chairman of New York Cruise Lines, and we look forward to his continued valuable contributions.”

Mr. Banks has a long history in public service, most notably as Chief of Staff and Deputy Director of Finance for The Council of the City of New York. His 16 years of government service spanned portions of the Koch, Dinkins, Giuliani, and Bloomberg administrations. Subsequently, he entered the private sector and had a distinguished 13-year career as Vice President of Government and Community Relations for Con Ed. In 2015, he was appointed President of the Real Estate Board of New York, serving until 2019. He joined the Board of New York Cruise Lines one year ago.

It is an honor and a privilege to become the Chair of the Board of Directors. I still remember taking my first ride on Circle Line when I was a kid. I was awed by views of New York City as I stood on the deck with a breeze on my face and the sound of the vessel cutting through the waves in my ears,” said Banks. “I continue to be excited to have the opportunity to work with one of the most iconic brands in New York. I want to thank the entire Board of Directors for placing their confidence in me, and I look forward to working with them for many years.”


New York Cruise Lines (NYCL) is the parent company of industry-leading marine-based sightseeing, transportation, dining and entertainment businesses that emphasize the ultimate in hospitality set to the beauty of the NYC skyline. NYCL owns and operates over 20 ships, including the most extensive and modern fleet in the sightseeing industry. NYCL’s most iconic brand, Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises, is a fixture in global tourism, hosting more than 84 million passengers since 1945. Recognized as “America’s Favorite Boat Ride,” Circle Line is world-famous for sightseeing and special events including concerts and entertainment.

Operating from Pier 83 in Hudson River Park at 42nd Street and 12th Avenue, (convenient to Times Square, The High Line and Hudson Yards) and Pier 16 near the South Street Seaport and the World Trade Center, Circle Line is the oldest and largest provider of sightseeing cruises using the most modern vessels. NYCL also operates the iconic New York Water Taxi sightseeing and transportation fleet, New York’s only maritime thrill-ride, The Beast, and innovative maritime restaurant, North River Lobster Company.

Circle Line (

New York Water Taxi (

The BEAST Speedboat (

North River Lobster Company (


Philip Whitney

New York Cruise Lines

(212) 630-8158

[email protected]

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