Essential Travel Experience #71 – Find a Safe Harbor

     Many of the world’s greatest cities are located on the ocean’s edge, because trade via ships has been important since the earliest days of civilization. To facilitate this sea-going commerce, a city requires a suitable harbor, somewhat protected from the violence of the open sea. As a matter of fact, an excellent harbor may have the major precursor for a commercial city to arise (that is, people may have found a good harbor and then settled in the area). 

      Cities like Venice, Istanbul, Sydney, Stockholm, New York, San Francisco, Rio de Janeiro, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Barcelona, and Vancouver exemplify this concept. The idea of a “safe harbor” is more than a platitude.

    We have traveled to many of these cities, and others, over the years, and would like to share some of our favorites.

    Let’s begin in the Far East, in Hong Kong, one of the world’s greatest centers for international trade. The harbor here is classic (protected from the Pacific Ocean), extremely busy, and also beautiful, surrounded by skyscrapers and mountains.

Hong Kong Harbor

Shanghai has a harbor which rivals Hong Kong in ocean-going traffic and is also surrounded by tall buildings.

Shanghai Harbor

   Most islands in the Caribbean have wonderful harbors, at least the one which attract large cruise ships. Look at St John’s Harbor on Antigua

St John's, Antigua

and the harbor of Orangestad, Aruba.

Orangestad, Aruba

Grenada also has a good harbor.


The Isle of Capri, in Italy, attracts many vessels.

Marina Grande, Capri

as does Sorrento, a city opposite Capri, on the mainland.


Venice is all about boats of all kinds.

Venice's Lagoon

Vancouver, British Columbia, is a well-known port on the upper Pacific Ocean.

Cruise Ship Terminal, Vancouver

and Victoria’s harbor is well protected and popular with boaters.

Victoria's Inner Harbor

Many towns in Alaska can only be reached by boat or plane.

Juneau Harbor

New York City’s harbor is famous for the presence of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, where immigrant Europeans arrived looking for a better life around the turn of the century.

Ellis Island

 San Francisco’s harbor is likewise famous because of the presence of the Golden Gate Bridge.

San Francisco Harbor

Perkins Cove is a small harbor in Ogunquit, Maine.

Perkins Cove

Rockport, Massachusetts, as its name implies, also has a significant harbor.



This entry was posted in Essential Travel Experiences. Bookmark the permalink.