Going ashore in New York, USA

If the port container vessel you are travelling with (or just working on) is calling New York, most probably you will arrive in one of the ports belonging to the state of New Jersey, which is located opposite from Manhattan, on the other side of Hudson River. The most important ports from this area are Port Elizabeth, Newark and Raritan. Under these circumstances, visiting Manhattan is always very difficult to accomplish, even for those well trained travelers. 

If your vessel spends many days inside the port, this task can be easier, as you will not be very stressed about the timings and you can afford to lose more than one hour on transportation getting into the city (and one hour coming back) and you will still get a few hours to walk around and enjoy the sightseeing.

Nowadays, you can consider yourself very lucky if your vessel stays alongside more than 24 hours. Even under strict schedule, you can launch yourself in this adventurous trip and reach Manhattan for a 7-8 hour trip. Getting there can be a little difficult and require a good plan, perfect timings and proper determination from your side, but the trip will surely worth your while.

To get out of Port Elizabeth, the most common and cheapest way is to have a ride in one of the mini-vans belonging to the Seamen’s’ Mission. Most of the time, the volunteers from the Mission will step on board as soon as the ship is alongside. If not, they can be called upon, using the provided telephone number.

Because the limited period of time available, many seamen who are coming to Port Elizabeth or Newark choose to go only to New Jersey Mall (Jersey Garden) – which is located only 15 minutes away from the port-  or to the Seamen’s Club.


The volunteers from Seamen’s Mission can take you to these locations in very short time and all you have to pay is just a small amount of money – more like a donation.

If you intend to go to Manhattan, you can travel in style and arrive there in 45 minutes with a taxi, for which you’ll have to pay around 100$ per way, or you can choose a cheaper way of transportation which includes the train.

Manhattan Skyline

If you arrive at New Jersey Mall (Jersey Garden), you can take a taxi up to the nearest Metro /Train Station – Penn Station New Jersey. The ride can last ~ 30 minutes (depending on traffic) and the fee can rise up to 25-30$. Be sure to ask the taxi driver in advance how much he will charge you – not to be shocked with surprise at the end. You can also take a bus which will take you to the Station, but this journey is due to last at least 45 minutes (if the traffic is not congested) and the ticket costs only few dollars.

From Penn Station, you will have to take the Path Train, direct Red Line to World Trade Center and you will arrive in front of the Freedom Tower  in 22-24 minutes. The trains are coming every 10 minutes, but even more frequently on rush hours and one ticket costs 2.25$.

Freedom Tower Manhattan


If you want to arrive in Manhattan, but a little more to the North, you can take the same train but change the line to pick the yellow one which will take you as far as the 33 Street, close to the Empire State Building. From there you can walk your way more North to Times Square, Rockefeller Center or even up to Central Park.

Times Square Manhattan

Rockefeller Centre Manhattan

You can also use the subway to take you to the desired location in shorter time. One metro ticket costs 2.75$. Although there are few entrances available for the same subway station, only some of them can provide tickets, the others being accessible only to those who already have tickets in hand.

To go back to Penn Station Newark, you can always follow the same route as you did when arriving in Manhattan, but you have to know that the Path Train – which can cross you back under the Hudson River – is available in different location in Manhattan.

If your time allows it, or your ship calls Port Elizabeth many times during your time onboard, you can try and see more aspects of New York, devoting different amounts of time to different destinations within the same area.

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