Before we know it, the cruise ships will be returning to the New York area. Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, and Cunard call the New York area home on a year-round basis. Carnival, Celebrity, Disney, and Princess visit the New York area seasonally. Regardless of cruise line, the New York area has plenty to offer on both sides of the Hudson River. Whether in New Jersey, home to Cape Liberty Cruise Port (Royal Caribbean and Celebrity), Manhattan (Norwegian), or in Brooklyn (Cunard), hundreds of cruise passengers can never get enough of the great attractions that await them. Cruise passengers enjoy visiting the New York area prior to sailing or after disembarking from their cruise. What is more interesting is that there are points of interest that don’t require shore excursion tickets, or no shore excursions are offered. The following are the five New York area attractions which cruise passengers are to keep atop their list.

5) Tear of Grief Memorial: The Tear of Grief Memorial is one of the most moving memorials in the New York area. Cruise passengers neither hear about it, nor do they notice it when they’re at the Cape Liberty Cruise Port. The Tear of Grief Memorial is located immediately next door to the Cape Liberty Cruise Port. From the terminal, the Tear of Grief Memorial looks like a smokestack standing alone. Onboard ship, cruise passengers have their cameras out. They should! In the center the ten-story bronze-clad structure is a large tear, cast in nickel. The Tear of Grief Memorial was a gift from the Russian government in 2006, in the wake of the September 11th terror attack. The Tear of Grief Memorial is a quick ten-minute walk from the cruise terminal. Whether on sailing day, or after clearing customs, it is truly a touching site to behold.

4) Liberty State Park: Approximately fifteen minutes away from the Cape Liberty Cruise terminal, nearest to the Statue of Liberty, is Liberty State Park. Liberty State Park was created to preserve the historic grounds where the Jersey Central Railroad once operated. The Jersey Central Railroad terminal sits at the river’s edge. The Jersey Central Terminal is the crowned jewel of Liberty State Park. The station building was fully restored inside and out. Visitors are welcomed to walk through and take in and appreciate the building’s history. There, many well-known passenger routes served the Garden State including the New Jersey Shore. The train sheds are still there, but the tracks are long gone. Only a bare field remains, where the scores of railroad tracks threaded their way in and out of the bustling terminal back in the day. At the Jersey Central Terminal, the ferry dock serves as a loading point for ferries to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Liberty State Park, whether taking in the Hudson River or visiting Ellis Island or the Statue of Liberty, is a sightseeing experience cruise passengers are assured to never forget. Liberty State Park is accessible via New Jersey Transit’s Hudson-Bergen Lightrail at 34th Street.

3) Liberty Science Center: Located just five minutes from Liberty State Park, the Liberty Science Center is a New York area attraction with plenty of exciting exhibitions for all ages to enjoy. Liberty Science Center is a must-see destination. Located in the beautiful Liberty State Park in Jersey City, NJ, it is a cutting-edge, 300,000-square-foot learning center visited by more than 750,000 guests each year. The Liberty Science Center is also home to the Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium, the biggest planetarium in the Western Hemisphere. Among the popular exhibitions housed at the Liberty Science Center are the Touch Tunnel, Infinity Climber, and Eat and Be Eaten. Eat and Be Eaten features 100+ fascinating animal species including naked mole rats, the critically endangered cotton-top tamarin monkeys, and leaf-cutter ants. Liberty Science Center and Liberty State Park are also accessible by via New Jersey Transit’s Hudson-Bergen Lightrail.

2) Erie-Lackawanna Park: Erie-Lackawanna Park is located in Hoboken, NJ, immediately next door to Hoboken Terminal. Erie-Lackawanna Park is a wooded spot with pavilions, benches & sculpture, paved paths & views of the Manhattan skyline. At Erie-Lackawanna Park, visitors can gaze at the majestic Hudson River and the Manhattan skyline. When lucky, visitors should have their cameras out to capture photos of cruise ships leaving the Manhattan Cruise Terminal. Locals and tourists alike stroll through the park, just taking in the sights of the city. Hoboken Terminal is too an city landmark. It was built in 1907. Hoboken Terminal was once the main terminal for the Delaware, Lackawanna, & Western Railroad (aka Lackawanna). In the early 1960s, the Erie Railroad and the Lackawanna merged, forming the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad. Hoboken Terminal is the central hub for New Jersey Transit, PATH (Port Authority Trans Hudson), and New Jersey Transit’s Hudson-Bergen Lightrail. Erie-Lackawanna Park is a quick ten-minute walk from bustling Washington Street, home to scores of well-known local restaurants that are sure to satisfy the appetites of visitors of all ages.

1) One World Observatory: The One World Observatory is located at the top of the World Trade Center (aka 1 World Trade Center). 1 World Trade Center stands at 1,776 feet tall, the tallest skyscraper in North America. It replaces the two iconic mammoth towers that graced the New York skyline for 28 years (1973-2001). To reach the One World Observatory, visitors ride SkyPod. SkyPod elevators climb 102 stories to the top in just forty-seven seconds. This astonishing ride reveals the transformation of New York City from unsettled lands to today’s remarkable forest of skyscrapers. Many great experiences await at the One World Observatory, including Sky Portal. At Sky Portal, visitors dare to step onto a fourteen-foot wide circular glass disc that delivers an unforgettable perspective, using real-time, high-definition footage of the streets 100 stories below. In addition to the One World Observatory, is the restaurant known as One Dine. At One Dine, New York inspired menus will elevate visitors’ dining plans and inspire them to raise their glasses a little higher. Visitors can stop by for a cocktail, a quick bite, or make a reservation for a gourmet meal. Note: Tickets required for reservations. Table reservations should be made at least thirty minutes after scheduled arrival time at the One World Observatory. 1 World Trade Center is easily accessible via PATH, from Hoboken Terminal and Exchange Place. The PATH, along with the New York City subway’s E, 1, 2, and 3 lines serve the World Trade Center, through the transit hub known as the Oculus.

Cruise ships are expected to return to the New York area in 2021. As soon as the industry is well-underway in Florida, the cruise lines that call the New York area home will be sailing in and out of its three cruise terminals. The New York Metropolitan area is a smorgasbord of great attractions for all cruise passengers to experience. From well-known steakhouses, to Broadway musicals, to strolling through Central Park, there is much to do. In addition to New York City, cruise passengers cannot forget to experience what else awaits them beyond the glitz and glitter of Broadway. The Tear of Grief Memorial, Liberty Science Center, Liberty State Park, and Erie-Lackawanna Park are among the points of interests not well-known to the cruising faithful. All are accessible via area mass transit. The One World Observatory is for sure, an experience that will definitely leave cruisers nowhere shy of awe-inspired. As Frank Sinatra once said, “If I could make it there, I could make it anywhere”, cruisers can certainly do likewise.

About Author

David Kriso has been a travel writer since August 2011. He is a contributing writer for both of his hometown's newspapers, The Gazette, and The Observer. His articles focus on cruise and railroad travel. David is also published online at, a cruise magazine based in Vancouver, Canada and at Amtrak's story site, David also writes for the publication On, he writes about cruise and rail travel. David is a long-time train traveler, avid cruiser, and a Disney traveler since age 4.

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