Monday, July 11, 2011

Newark Bay, Hidden Harbor Tour

It is with a real sense of déjà vu that I write this today, because it is almost exactly a year ago that I took part in one of the New York Working Harbor Committee’s ‘Hidden Harbor’ tours along the Brooklyn waterfront. I wrote about this trip in a previous post so I won’t repeat myself too much here.

With regard to New York City’s harbor, the Working Harbor Committee (WHC) exists to “…strengthen awareness of the working harbor's history and vitality today, and its opportunities for the future, by:
· Involving people in learning how the harbor works and what it does;
· Educating people in the rich and challenging history of the harbor;
· Making people aware of the need to build and sustain the working harbor.”
(Source: Working Harbor Committee…)

To this end, the WHC arranges a series of tours, dubbed ‘Hidden Harbor Tours’ throughout the warmer months of the year – typically from May to October. Tours always have guest speakers and commentary from knowledgeable experts who have worked extensively on New York harbor, all of whom are able to shed extra insights into the history and hidden secrets of the areas you cruise through.

As I am on the WHC’s mailing list, I get regular monthly updates and reminders about upcoming tours and events. Reminders that only serve to make me miss New York City and its magnificent harbor even more, now that I am ten thousand miles away in Australia. Even more so, as I shiver through a freezing Adelaide winter, and think about the heat and humidity of a New York summer.

Although the next Hidden Harbor Tour is tomorrow (July 12), and therefore almost certainly too late for anyone reading this to take advantage of, there are several more tours scheduled for the remainder of the year, and I thought they were worth bringing to your attention if you were going to be in New York City between now and the end of October.

Tuesday, 12 July - Newark Bay Tour
Special Guest Speaker: Lucy Ambrosino-Marchak, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Lucy Ambrosino is the Manager of Outreach for the Port Commerce Department of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, where she has been since 1990.

Departs from Pier 16 at 6:15pm (at the end of Fulton Street, South Street Seaport).

This tour passes by the Red Hook Container Terminal and visits Erie Basin, home of Hughes Brothers Barges and Reinauer Tugs before crossing the harbor toward Staten Island. It then enters Kill Van Kull, the area's busiest waterway dividing Staten Island and Bayonne, passing tug yards, oil docks and marine repair facilities. It then passes under the Bayonne Bridge and visits the giant container ports of Newark Bay, Port Newark and Port Elizabeth where the world's largest container ships tie up. On the way back, we pass by Military Ocean Terminal, the 9/11 Teardrop Memorial, the Robbin's Reef Lighthouse and another container port, ending up at sunset at the Statue of Liberty for a moment before returning to Pier 16.

Tuesday, 26 July - Brooklyn Tour
Special Guest Speaker: Dan Wiley. Dan is a Community Coordinator to Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez in southwest Brooklyn. Working in the Congressional office since 2000, he has coordinated planning projects and initiatives spanning waterfront communities from the Brooklyn Navy Yard and downtown Brooklyn southwest to Red Hook, Gowanus and Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

Departs from Pier 16 at 6:15pm (at the end of Fulton Street, South Street Seaport).

This tours goes north (actually east) on the East River to the former Brooklyn Navy Yard, passing under the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges. The Navy Yard has three large graving docks and an active shipyard, as well as the home port of FDNY's fireboat division. We then travel south along the Brooklyn waterfront, passing the new Brooklyn Bridge Park and the Red Hook Container Terminal, Atlantic Basin, and Erie Basin, home of Hughes Brothers Barges and Reinauer Tugs. We continue into Gowanus Bay and along the Sunset Park waterfront, home of the former large Bush Terminals. We then cross over to the Statue of Liberty at sunset for a moment before returning to Pier 16.

Click Here to book for both tours… 

Price for both tours:
Adult; $29.00
Child: $15.00
Senior: $22.00
WHC Member: $22.00 (Working Harbor Committee members)
Intrepid Member: $22.00 (Intrepid Sea*Air*Space Museum members)

There are many more tours in August, September and October, so make sure you check the full list at the Working Harbor Committee (WHC) website.



  1. Very Informative post. Statue of Liberty is the pride of nation.

  2. Thanks Leona, the 'pride of the nation' indeed. It's one thing to see New York City and the Statue of Liberty in movies and TV shows, but it's another to see them up close and personal, as the saying has it. I hope to see them both again next year, as well as take another 'hidden harbor' tour.


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