Circle Line offers several choices for tours of the harbor, including a 3-hour outing; but with a teen, a shorter tour is probably best.
In summer, Circle Line operates "The Beast" speed boat (pictured above): a short, high-speed ride; no guide commentary about the history of the harbor or the Statue of Liberty, but The Beast is sure to be a hit with teens.
The Beast leaves from Pier 83, West 42nd Street. Another fun choice for teens is The Shark, also a thrill speedboat ride through the harbor, which leaves from South Street Seaport. Note: you must be 40" tall to ride The Beast or Shark.
Tip: Buy a CityPass that includes five other attractions-- a great way to save money on admission tickets.
And by the way: if you can't do a harbor tour, an easy way to cruise past the Statue of Liberty is to take the ferry to Staten Island; it's free and runs frequently.
- continue to Top Things in New York with Kids, Museum of Natural History