New York Harbor's shipbuilding heyday has long since passed, but relics of this industry remain, and shipbuilding and ship repair are still done in some of the waterfront's lesser-known corners.
On this two-hour cruise departing from Manhattan's West Side, Atlas Obscura joins Turnstile Tours to examine the history of shipbuilding in New York, from the architects and shipwrights of clipper ships and steam-powered ironclads in the 19th century, to the 50+ shipyards that churned out massive steel warships during the Second World War. Hear names like Eckford, Westervelt, Robbins, and Todd – once titans of the industry – and see where great ships were once built and launched. We will sail past places like the Bayonne Naval Annex, Red Hook's Erie Basin, and the Brooklyn Navy Yard, to get a unique waterside view of the relics of the shipbuilding industry's thriving past and its scarce but vital present. Today, only a handful of shipyards remain in the harbor, most doing repair work for the workhorses of the waterfront – tugboats, ferries, and barges – but they remain a vital resource for the smooth functioning of the nation's third-largest port.
Explore it all aboard a New York-built vessel, Classic Harbor Line's 100-foot motor yacht Manhattan II, launched earlier this year from Albany's Scarano Boat Builders. The vessel offers a panoramic, glass-enclosed cabin, cash bar (one complimentary drink included), as well as plenty of space on the forward deck to take in the scenery of New York's industrial waterfront.
Tour start: Classic Harbor Line, Chelsea Piers, Pier 62 (near the junction on W 22nd St & West Side Highway)
Included: one complimentary drink
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