New York has become one of the busiest cruise ports in North America. In the 19th Century and the first half of the 20th Century, it handled a great amount of passenger traffic as the primary western terminus for Atlantic crossings. After the ocean liner era passed, there
was a period when relatively few passenger ships visited the city. However, as the cruise lines expanded out of the Caribbean and developed the strategy of basing ships closer to where passengers live, the number of ships has grown.
Today, there are cruise ships sailing year round from New York as well as ships that are based in New York for several months each year. In addition, New York is a port of call for yet more cruise ships.
New York City is the most populous city in the United States with a population of 8 million people. However, that is only part of the story as the adjoining densely populated areas of New Jersey, Long Island and the New York State mainland are economically and culturally
intertwined with New York City.
Politically, the city consists of five boroughs - -Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx. This guide focuses primarily on Manhattan because that is where most of the attractions that visitors
think of when they think of New York are located. There are attractions in the other four boroughs and in the adjoining suburbs but because they are not as concentrated as in Manhattan, they are not as easy for cruise passengers to visit during a port call or during a short visit before or after a cruise.
Because it has a very diverse population, many languages are spoken in New York. However, the common language is English. The U.S. dollar is the official currency. And other currencies are not accepted.
However, major credit cards are widely accepted.
Visitors sometimes find the pace of life in New York to be intimidating. Every one moves quite quickly, whether a foot or in a vehicle. This is just part of the culture. It is part of the excitement of life in New York.
Above: Sunrise on a summer's day over the still quiet city.
Below: The sky erupts into color during a winter time sailing.
The "Canyons of Manhattan" are created by the tall buildings that line areas of Midtown and Downtown. Above: The towers of Sixth Avenue at Rockefeller Center. Below: The Lever Building, one of the first international style skyscrapers.
New York is not just about corporations and finance. It is a center for art (e.g. Urs Fischer's giant teddy bear, temporarily installed on Park Avenue (above left) and Jean Dubuffet's "Four Trees" a fixture at Chase Plaza, (above right); for sports (e.g. Madison Square Garden below left); education (e.g., Parsons School of Design, below middle); and fashion and retailing (e.g. Versace on Fifth Avenue, below right).
Cruise destination - New York City - Overview