Top 12 Most Beautiful Shipping Ports in the World

If good wages, long holidays and structured career progression weren’t enough, the shipping industry offers something that many people only dream about – the opportunity to experience the world. From the ancient to the ultra-modern, we’ve outlined 12 of the most beautiful shipping ports in the world that you could be dropping anchor at on your next voyage!

12. Port of New York and New Jersey, United States

There’s no better way to arrive in New York City than by ship. Trading in natural beauty for a sense of modern-day awe, sailing under the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to catch that first glimpse of the Statue of Liberty and the concrete jungle that is Manhattan never fails to impress.

11. Port of Hong Kong, China

Bordered by neon-lit skyscrapers and innumerable offshore islands, a twilight sail into Victoria Harbour is an experience you’ll never forget. Ever the hive of activity, Hong Kong melds the old with the new and stands as a testament to the economic power of maritime trade.

10. Port of Rotterdam, Netherlands

The Port of Rotterdam is not just a port – it’s an experience equipped with a visitor centre, tours, cruises and a Panorama Deck. But best of all, the seamen’s welfare centre has a welcoming committee that will come onboard to take orders on all your essentials – from computers to wine to bedding and more!

9. Port of Stockholm, Sweden

Beautiful, historic and sophisticated, Stockholm entertains both the swashbucklers and the landlubbers. Jam-packed with medieval castles and winding back alleys, the city was built amongst a 60km network of narrow waterways and over 24,000 islands, islets and skerries, making it one of the most interesting ports to navigate in the world.

8. Port of Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates

Voted “Best Seaport in the Middle East” for over 20 consecutive years, the Port of Jebel Ali is an oasis lying just outside of the desert capital. Offering bars, restaurants, gyms, swimming pools and duty-free shopping, there is even a shooting club and cricket pitch to try your luck!

7. Port Gruz (Dubrovnik), Croatia

Historically known as Ragusa, this beautiful shipping port was a key trade centre in medieval times. Fast forward to today and it’s now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Game of Thrones filming location. Boasting renaissance era architecture, it features iconic monuments like the Sponza Palace, Franciscan Monastery and St. Blaise’s church.

6. Port of Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is one of Europe’s most beautiful cities – and its port doesn’t disappoint. Upgraded with the Port Vell precinct prior to the 1992 Olympics, it offers stunning sunset views amongst the Maremàgnum (a shopping mall and nightlife complex), multiplex cinemas and L’Aquarium Barcelona (Europe’s largest aquarium).

5. Nagasaki Port, Japan

Reflecting the serenity of a Japanese woodblock print, Nagasaki Port is set in a deep and narrow harbour surrounded by mountains on three sides. While it may be tempting to stay in the harbour, the nightscape captured from Mount Inasa’s observation deck was recognised as one of the top 3 night views in both Japan and the world in 2012.

4. Port of Nassau, Bahamas

Exuding charm from the moment you step onto dry land, the capital of Bahamas has it all. Colonial architecture, shopping, nightlife and festivals-galore, it’s no wonder that Nassau has long been one of the Caribbean’s top cruise destinations.

3. Port of Tianjin, China

Tracing back to the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD), Tianjin is home to the largest man-made port in China. Only a half hour bullet train ride away from Beijing, it is the maritime gateway to the capital and offers easy access to a smorgasbord of palaces, temples, stone walls and gates, including the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Temple of Heaven (Tiantan).

2. Port of Istanbul, Turkey

Located at the crux of Europe and Asia, Istanbul has been a centre of trade for thousands of years. A float down the Golden Horn will whisk you back in time as you pass by the 6th-century Hagia Sophia and the 17th-century Blue Mosque.

1. Port of Singapore

From Marina Bay Sands to Gardens by the Bay, there’s no doubt that one of the most beautiful ports in the world is right here on our doorstep. While the sea offers once-in-a-lifetime access to the beauties and bounties of the world, there really is no place like home!

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