In 2003, New York announced the grand opening of a new alternative port for cruise lines. Because ports in Florida were becoming more and more crowded, additional docking facilities in interesting cities on the Eastern Seaboard were needed to provide cruise lines with a new home port. The port has been wildly popular. So much so that another has been added in nearby Brooklyn.
The Red Hook terminal in a neighborhood in Brooklyn opened in April 2006 and welcomed its first permanent resident, Cunard's Queen Mary 2 (formerly docked in Manhattan). Located on the Buttermilk Channel, the Brooklyn terminal gave the first increase in New York cruise ship pier capacity in over 30 years. With the likes of Cunard and Princess cruise lines as eager residents, the terminal has already become a success. Most other major cruise lines have also assigned vessels to sail from Brooklyn.
Princess Cruise lines will launch the Crown Princess from the Brooklyn dock in June 2006 for a Caribbean cruise. From June to October, Princess will offer numerous Caribbean tours, including calls on ports in popular destinations such as the Virgin Islands, Grand Turk and Jamaica. Star Princess will begin cruises from Brooklyn in October 2006 visiting ports up and down the New England and Canadian seacoast.
But Brooklyn? It doesn't seem like the most exciting location for a cruise ship port. On the contrary. While not normally publicized as a vibrant city with plenty to do, Brooklyn offers cruisers an opportunity to spend a few days in New York before or after their tour.
Very similar to Manhattan, Brooklyn offers a trendy nightlife as well as diverse cultures and eclectic cuisine. Bars, clubs and restaurants line the streets, offering a tremendous variety of options for visitors and locals alike.
If culture is your thing, Chinatown is always a wonderful experience. In addition, Flatbush offers the largest Caribbean population in the United States. In either place, you'll delight in the authentic sights, sounds and tastes on every corner.
With spectacular views of many popular attractions, including the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty, the Red Hook terminal also offers exciting options for sightseers. However, New York City is just a short cab ride away and opens a virtual treasure trove of attractions, shows, museums and affairs.
Overall, Brooklyn offers greater value (with lower rates on hotels) and a central location, making it a wonderful choice for both vacationers and the cruise lines. If New York is closer for you than Florida, or if you've been longing to visit the Big Apple, consider booking your next cruise from the Red Hook terminal in Brooklyn. Your travel agent will have a complete listing of which cruise lines sail from Red Hook and the destinations available.