Hidden Harbor Tour — Forgotten Harbor

At times you need to step away from your busy life and experience the scenic views of Hidden Harbor for yourself. The Working Harbor Committee offers tours of New York’s working waterfront during the summer, allowing you to see these often-overlooked stunning views. The Hidden Harbor Tour is a great way to enjoy the salty air and the crisp sound of waves crashing on the beach if you enjoy sightseeing.

The Hidden Harbor Tour is a boat tour of New York and New Jersey’s working waterfront that allows you to sail in a beautiful and scenic setting. It’s a great way to get a behind-the-scenes look at places in New York that most people never see. The tour has been on hold for the last two years following the pandemic and fans worldwide can only take a virtual tour prepared by WHC.

This article surveys the Hidden Harbour Tour route, what it entails, and why you should consider it as the effects of the pandemic subside. This way, you can see and understand the vital role of New York’s famous hardworking harbor.

The Hidden Harbor Tour Route

If you are looking for a great way to spend a few hours, enjoying the not commonly seen views of Brooklyn’s Erie Basin, Staten Island’s Kill Van Kull, and Newark Bay is a fantastic choice. You will get an opportunity to know more about the harbor from people who know it intimately, like the tugboat captains and maritime historians.

The Captain and his crew are amiable and informative as they guide you aboard Zephyr, a three-deck luxury passenger boat departing from South Street Seaport. The WHC staff will make the trip fun and leave you craving more.

After leaving South Street Seaport, the Zephyr will head out into the harbor to explore the sights and sounds of one of the world’s busiest ports. The boat then crosses through Kill Van Kull, a narrow waterway that separates Staten Island from Bayonne, New Jersey before it continues to Newark Bay, one of the busiest ports in America. Mind-blowing views of the Statue of Liberty, Liberty Island, and Manhattan’s skyline rounds up this fantastic tour. 

Cruises take a quick stop after traveling through the most active parts of the working harbor, which you rarely get to see. The stop is usually in front of giant gantry cranes loading or unloading some of the largest container ships in the world at Ports Newark and Elizabeth.

More Scenic Views on the Hidden Harbor Tour Route

Along with polluted waters and abandoned shipyards that once employed thousands, you get to see the magnificent Statue of Liberty, the Bayonne Bridge, the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, the world’s largest ferry fleet, and the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Statue of Liberty

boat tour around Statue of Liberty

Liberty Island, a French gift from the United States, is located in New York Harbor. It is 305 feet (93 meters) tall, weighs 450 tons (408,000 kilograms), and has an arm span of 93 feet (28 meters). Today, the Statue of Liberty is regarded as one of the most iconic emblems of American freedom and democracy. The Statue of Liberty is one of New York City’s most well-known landmarks.

The Bayonne Bridge

In 1931, The Bayonne Bridge debuted as the world’s longest steel arch bridge. However, it’s presently the world’s tallest vertical lift bridge. The grand bridge is a stunning steel arch bridge that connects New York, Bayonne, New Jersey, and Staten Island.

With a 1,260-foot main span and a total length of 2,250 feet, the Bayonne Bridge is one of the most used bridges in the country. It transports more than 80 million vehicles per year and is an essential link between New York and New Jersey. While on the Zephyr, you can see this bridge in all its glory. A few snapshots of the spectacular views, especially at sunset might help you revive and share these memorable experiences.

Verrazano-Narrows Bridge

Another mind-blowing grand view you get a chance to feast your eyes on is The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, one of the world’s most recognizable bridges. The suspension bridge connects the boroughs of New York City of Staten Island and Brooklyn across the Verrazano Narrows, which connects New York and New Jersey.

It is one of the longest suspension bridges in the United States, measuring 4,260 feet (1.3 km) in length with a main span of 4,260 feet (1.3 km). More than 120,000 vehicles cross the bridge every day, nearly 400 cars per minute.

Brooklyn Navy Yard 

On July 29, 1776, Congress established the Brooklyn Navy Yard as a naval shipyard to construct naval vessels. Currently, it is one of the largest industrial parks in New York City. It also houses various businesses, including Lafayette 148, Casual Films, and Catbird Jewelry.

manhattan bridge and brooklyn navy yard tour

A Tour Worth the Time and Money

The Hidden Harbor Tour lasts two to three hours, but it is well worth it. It’s a fantastic way to see so much of this remarkable place in such a short amount of time. You also learn the untold history of how the harbor influenced New York’s growth.

Working Harbor Committee guides will take you to locations that most tourists are unaware of, or never thought about. They are all trained in local history, and current events and can answer any questions you have about the area. Also, they are knowledgeable and can provide information on the various sites, docks, and terminals as they give a detailed history of the long-forgotten harbor and information about passing tugs and ships.

Tourists have a good time learning about this attractive historic area. On tour, you can also bring your food and beverages. Alternatively, there is a bar onboard the Zephyr where you can purchase drinks while aboard. Exploring the forgotten harbor is a great way to spend an afternoon learning about the city’s history.

Parting Shot

The Hidden Harbor Tour is a combination of adventure and exploration of the rich history in the otherwise forgotten harbor.

The crew is kind and informed while the boats are clean and well-maintained. This tour should provide anyone who has never visited Hidden Harbor with an idea of what to expect. If you’ve been here before, this tour may bring back memories and entice you to return to the forgotten harbor, but for now, you can take a virtual tour from the comfort of your home.

And don’t forget about NYC’s Annual Tugboat Races which are organized by WHC and is a great three-day event that will inspire you to join a maritime college or academy whatever age you are.

Danny White

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