Docking/Anchoring: Ships dock at one of four locations. The main passenger terminal is on Manhattan’s west side between West 48th and West 52nd streets, but depending on which ship you are cruising on, you could also dock at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal south of Brooklyn Heights, the Cape Liberty Cruise Port on the New Jersey side of New York Harbor, and some small ships dock at the Chelsea Recreational Piers on the Hudson River.
Itineraries: Features on Canada and New England Cruises, cruises to Bermuda, transatlantic crossings, occasionally some Caribbean and eastern seaboard cruises.
Getting Around: From the main passenger terminal it’s a 20-minute walk to Midtown, but taxis are also generally available or can be hailed in the streets or outside hotels. Beyond that the subway system is comprehensive and a cheap way to go (avoiding the rush hour), and if you don’t mind walking, exploring on foot is easy.
What can you say about New York that hasn’t already been said? New York is an imposing city, packed with history and culture, energy and vitality, and it’s a city which is always on the move, but for visitors there will also be something new and a bit different to see. Think of an activity and the best of it will be in this city, from museums and shopping, to dining and live music. The only problem most cruise passengers encounter, especially first timers, is deciding how to fill their day, and what attractions won’t make the cut.
Must See & Do
Times Square: There’s not exactly much to do at this landmark spot except for see the lights, drink in the energy and take that must-have photo. Fun by day, its an area which really comes alive at night, with flickering neon and lights. That said there is a huge visitor centre there, so if you are planning to explore independently you can get all the maps and brochures you need here.
Empire State Building: It can take ages to get to the top, so popular is this iconic building, but on a good day the views are well worth the wait in line. Built in 1931, if you don’t fancy going to the 86th floor Observation Deck, you must at least get a photo from down below.
Central Park: If you feel like to some exercise, this huge wide open space encompassing rolling meadows and lakes stretches between Fifth and Eighth Avenues, and from 59th to 110th Streets. It is so big it is home to two zoos, a small castle and the famous John Lennon memorial. Also watch locals do everything here from roller blading to horse riding, and you are in a particularly romantic mood on a nice weather day, take a ride in a horse and carriage.
American Museum of Natural History: Comedy films aside, this is famous for being home to the largest collection of dinosaurs and fossils in the world, and not just for kids. Don’t miss the life size blue whale replica.
Chinatown: Good for a meander as well as a spot of lunch, this part of town is a sprawl of winding, cobblestone streets packed with family owned eateries. Try the Peking duck or stuffed dumplings, and finish off with a spot of souvenir shopping for kitschy Chinese goodies.
Ellis Island: History buffs will love this spot out in the harbour, but like many major landmarks it is usually busy with long queues. You get there by ferry from Battery Park, and once there you’ll learn all about the some 12 million immigrants which were processed there between 1892 and 1954.
Greenwich Village: If you get over sightseeing, head to this funny neighbourhood to explore its boutiques, check out the architecture, and grab a coffee.
Metropolitan Museum of Art: This is home to an impressive collection of more than two million works of art spanning some 5,000 years. It’s so big you could wile away your entire day here alone.
New York is such a vast city with so many things to see and do that not many shore excursions are offered beyond the city limits. If you fancy seeing something different, and your cruise line offers one, however, a day tour to Washington DC is worth the effort, as is a flying visit to the famous Niagara Falls.