[At the moment, it is “temporarily closed.”]

Vessel is located at the heart of Hudson Yards, squarely in the midst of one of New York City’s hottest new real estate developments. The handiwork of British designer Thomas Heatherwick, Vessel is an elaborate piece of interactive public sculpture. Its 16-story, 150-foot-tall structure is made up of an intricate arrangement of spiral staircases that offer visitors unique views of this bustling corner of New York City.

History of Vessel

Throughout the first two decades of the twenty-first century, the developers behind the massive Hudson Yards redevelopment project sought to incorporate various public green spaces into their designs. As part of these efforts, British designer Thomas Heatherwick was commissioned in 2013 to create a significant work that would anchor a monumental plaza in the midst of the newly made over Hudson Yards area.

Heatherwick came up with what would eventually be known as Vessel. Installation of the structure began in early 2017, and would not be complete until two years later, in March of 2019. Vessel was built out of approximately 75 different interlocking pieces, and it’s been reported that the final cost of the undertaking was somewhere in the neighborhood of $200 million.

What’s at Vessel

Vessel is made up of over 150 distinct yet interconnected flights of stairs. If you’re doing the math at home, that adds up to about 2,500 steps broken up by some 80 landings. Vessel is intended to be a welcoming place set amongst New York City’s vibrant streets, the sort of spot where you can take a deep breath, go for a climb, and soak in the setting.

What you make of Vessel is entirely up to you: you can stride all the way to its summit, linger in the middle, or only take in a couple of flights of stairs. It doesn’t matter in the least. The whole point is simply to enjoy the special views available from this quirky attraction. And there are intriguing views on display here, no doubt: there’s always something happening in the vicinity of Hudson Yards, and you’re not far from Hudson River, too.

Food and drink are not allowed at Vessel, but if you visit and find yourself in need of a good meal or quick snack, there are plenty of options to choose from right around the attraction. Likewise, you’ll have your pick of shopping here, most notably at The Shops & Restaurants at Hudson Yards. Vessel also has its own gift shop, and popular viewing platform Edge at Hudson Yards can be found nearby.

Tips for Visiting Vessel

  • Vessel is included on following money saving tourist passes: New York City Sightseeing Pass
  • Tickets to Vessel are tikmed-entry, and feature an interesting wrinkle you’ll want to be aware of: if you’re visiting Vessel during the first hour of the day it is open, entry is free. At any other time, you’ll need to pay out of pocket for your admission. This is something to keep in mind as you plan your trip. Check Vessel’s website before you visit, in order to see the most up-to-date hours of operation.
  • Most visitors report spending an average of 30 to 45 minutes at Vessel, but there are no time limits to how you long you can visit it. Given its size and design, you can spend as little or as much time as you want here, depending on how high you climb or how many pictures you take.
  • Unfortunately, Vessel is not the most accessible attraction. At present, there’s an elevator that will take those in need of assistance to the only three floors of the attraction that are currently ADA-accessible.

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