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.
Shanghai has a harbor which rivals Hong Kong in ocean-going traffic and is also surrounded by tall buildings.
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
and the harbor of Orangestad, Aruba.
Grenada also has a good harbor.
The Isle of Capri, in Italy, attracts many vessels.
as does Sorrento, a city opposite Capri, on the mainland.
Venice is all about boats of all kinds.
Vancouver, British Columbia, is a well-known port on the upper Pacific Ocean.
and Victoria’s harbor is well protected and popular with boaters.
Many towns in Alaska can only be reached by boat or plane.
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.
San Francisco’s harbor is likewise famous because of the presence of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Perkins Cove is a small harbor in Ogunquit, Maine.
Rockport, Massachusetts, as its name implies, also has a significant harbor..