Hidden Harbors Tour of Newark Bay

Bayonne Bridge at sunset

I could spend every weekend walking a new neighborhood of New York and still not know the city inside and out. Knowing that there is always another block or hundred to explore is what I love most about living here.

Recently I’ve taken advantage of some walking tours offered by the Municipal Art Society. Led by knowledgeable guides, many of them architectural historians, the tours have taught me a lot about Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill and Bushwick.

But last week I enjoyed a tour of a different kind—a boat tour of Newark Harbor. Hidden Harbors, working with Circle Line, offers boat tours of unconventional places that highlight the past and current working waterfront. Newtown Creek, Newark Bay, the Brooklyn waterfront, even a circumnavigation of Staten Island are among the tours offered every summer.

And last week’s tour was unconventional. Yes, we did a quick loop under the Brooklyn Bridge at the start of the tour, and on our way back to South Street Seaport, we were given a closeup view of Lady Liberty—but we were also treated to views of Red Hook, a tugboat repair shop on the North Shore of Staten Island, barges in the Kill Van Kull, the container port in Newark Bay and a “teardrop” Sept. 11 memorial hidden off the coast of Bayonne.

The entire tour was narrated by two guides who shared a wealth of information about the past, present and future of New York’s port. And the boat, Circle Line’s Zephyr, offered indoor and outdoor seating, as well as a full snack and drink bar.

Hidden Harbor’s tours wrap up next month for the year. I look forward to taking another tour with them next year.

The port at Elizabeth, New Jersey
The port at Elizabeth, New Jersey
Bayonne Bridge from Newark Bay
Bayonne Bridge from Newark Bay
Statue of Liberty at sunset
Statue of Liberty at sunset
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