Viewing the Hidden Parts of New York Harbor

Port Elizabeth container terminal
Port Elizabeth container terminal


The Working Harbor Committee of New York and New Jersey is presenting a two-hour hidden harbor tour of New York Harbor and Newark Bay, Tuesday, July 9, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. The luxury tour boat Zephyr will depart from South Street Seaport Pier 16 in Lower Manhattan. These “Hidden Harbor Tours” have been a popular summer event for several years, allowing passengers to explore the parts of the harbor not seen in traditional, scenic views featured in travel brochures but so vital to maritime history.

Many people see large container ships coming into the harbor from around the world, but few get to see where those vessels actually go to unload their cargo. Newark Bay is home to the Port Elizabeth and Port Newark container terminals which operate 24 hours a day. Container ships and oil tankers need tugboats to help them thread their way through the channel. Tug enthusiasts will enjoy a visit to “Tugboat Alley” on the Kill Van Kull. This is Staten Island’s northern shore where tug companies have dispatchers on duty around the clock. The tour also includes an up-close look at warehouses built before the Civil War in Brooklyn’s Erie Basin. No tour of New York Harbor would be complete without seeing the Statue of Liberty.

Here is an excerpt from the official press release with additional contact information:

New York, New York, June 28: Tugboats, oil barges, tankers, container ships, car carriers, ocean liners and ferries ply the busy waters of New York Harbor daily, but most of their activity is hidden from land. On this cruise, tour-goers will get an insider’s view of New York’s working port–the largest port on the East Coast and the third busiest port in the nation.

Views of the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline will round out the harbor experience as the boat returns home.

Special guest narrator Ed Kelly, executive director of the Maritime Association of the Port of New York and New Jersey, and Captain John Doswell, executive director of the Working Harbor Committee, will draw on their long maritime experience to describe how the port works.

“The maritime industry delivers the American way of life. It is essential to the nation’s security and economic well being,” Ed Kelly said. “But because we have gotten so good at what we do, people don’t even know we do it any more. It is hidden away. That’s why tours like this are so important.”

Zephyr features two fully enclosed decks, plus an open-air roof deck–all with panoramic views. Snacks and beverages will be available for purchase. Hidden Harbor Tours are presented by the non-profit Working Harbor Committee in partnership with the New York Water Taxi/Circle Line Downtown.

For ticket prices, purchase, or more information, please contact the Working Harbor Committee .

Written by: Cynthia Collins, Museum Correspondent

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