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Vacation 2004, Day 11
Saturday, November 6th
Queen Mary 2, Day 6
New York City

Today, before dawn, we dock at the Passenger Ship Terminal in New York City. Later in the day there is a visit to the Empire State Building for some views of the New York City area. More about this later. First let us get to the dock at the New York Passenger Ship Terminal.

The arrival process starts with the ships arrival at what I think is called the Ambrose Pilot Station a few nautical miles out in the Atlantic Ocean from the entrance to New York Harbour. After picking up the pilot we headed for the Verezanno Narrows and the well known bridge buy the same name. The pictures below start as we approach the bridge at 5:00 AM. It was cold.

Our first view of North America on the port side of the ship. This is Staten Island with Newark, New Jersey behind. Just to the right of the previous picture showing the Verrazano Narrows Bridge that we will shortly be passing under.
The previous two pictures were still video frames. Here is a still digital version of roughly the same place. After moving forward on the ship here is a still camera version of the whole bridge as we approach it.
Here is a still video frame of where I am (up front with the spare propeller blades) as we get closer. This frame had some help from someone's still camera flash to help light the surroundings.
Here is the other end of the bridge.
This is the bottom as we passed under it.
The New York side as the rear of the ship is still passing under the bridge.
Here is a crowd of passengers lining up on the port side to see the upcoming Statue of Liberty. It is just visible just right of centre. I took many pictures as we passed the Statue but there was just enough motion to blur almost every one. Here is the best of what I got. The ship has passed the statue heading up the Hudson River.
Here is a still video frame.
One last still picture of the statue.
As the sun rises in the background here is the southern tip of Manhattan Island as we move slowly up the Hudson River. Further north along the island. This is were the World Trade Centre towers were.
Looking further up the west side of Manhattan Island Looking north up the Manhattan side of the Hudson River.
Another shot of where the World Trade Centre towers were. They were directly behind the two tallest buildings in the middle. It just does not look the same without them. The single tall building in the centre is the Empire State Building.
These two still video frames are of the Empire State Building as sunrise approaches.
A few minutes later from a slightly different angle.
I had breakfast as the ship actually docked. It was almost impossible to see any of the docking process from this height. This is looking up the Hudson River. These are the last pictures from the balcony of cabin 9060.
The very last picture form the balcony looking towards the city of New York.
While waiting to disembark we were assigned places to wait until called. This was one of the bars at the front of the ship. Out of a fairly dirty window I took this picture if the USS Intrepid Museum a few berths up from us. If you look closely you can see a recently delivered Concorde aircraft beside the aircraft carrier. (Look to the far right side middle to see it.) This is the very last picture taken on the QM2. It shows the height of the ship over the surrounding area. That is deck 7 in the foreground.

Shortly after these last pictures were taken I disembarked from the ship in a rather confusing process that did not seem to go very well. Except for this I have no complaints about the service or people I encountered during this crossing.

One of the odd things that happened was; once off the ship, everyone, myself included, looked like drunks as we first walked on land after six days. The ship had constant motion and people had adjusted to it. Once on the stationary land, peoples brains were still trying to compensate for the constant movement the ship had during the trip. It certainly was a strange feeling that took several hours to overcome. The ship handled the rough seas very well and unless you are prone to motion or sea sickness you will greatly enjoy the experience.

I would highly recommend the ship and its crew to one and all whether it is a cruise or a Transatlantic Crossing.

Once off the ship I headed to the Hilton New York Hotel in a taxi who's driver didn't bother to start his meter and so I probably paid more (probably much more) than I should have to go the reasonably short ride to 6th Avenue or Avenue of the Americas. Once there at the hotel (between 10:00 and 10:30) I checked in and the room was not ready (as I expected). After some thought I went and checked my bags and then took a trip to the Empire State Building. It was such a nice day with a good view that I thought this should not be missed. Many other people thought that too and it took an hour and forty-five minutes in line to get up. As you will see below that except for a slight haze the wait was worth it. See below for some of the views. The images below start looking south towards the tip of Manhattan Island and flow in a clock wise direction around the Empire State Building. This means the directions start in the south, then west, then north, then east and then back to south.

This is the southern tip of Manhattan Island. The Verrazano Narrows and bridge are on the horizon just left of centre. The Statue of Liberty is on the first island to the right of the tall buildings. Here is a close up of the Verrazano Narrows and the bridge. Brooklyn is on the left, Staten Island on the right. This is the entrance to New York Harbour. I passed under that bridge on the QM2 at about 5:15 A.M. this morning. This picture was taken at 2:30 P.M. just over nine hours later.
A still digital picture of the Statue of Liberty from the Empire State Building. The digital video camera had a longer zoom lens so here is a closer view from a still video frame.
This is now looking SSE with the Hudson River and further out New Jersey. The QM2 sailed up this river earlier today toward its dock. Now looking mainly east with the river and New Jersey. In the lower right foreground you can see part of a round building. That is Madison Square Gardens with the Pennsylvania or Penn train station under it.
Farther up the Hudson River. Just right of centre you can see a white ship at the dock. That is the QM2. Here is a close up of the QM2 berthed at the New York Passenger Ship Terminal. The ship is so big that the terminal is hidden behind it.
Looking farther up the Hudson now in a Northwesterly direction. Time Square is roughly in the middle of this picture. Now we are looking mainly North. There is a large green area just to the left of centre in the upper part of the picture. That is Central Park.
Now heading towards the east from north.
This is a tighter view of the right centre section of the previous image. the MetLife (formally Pan AM building) on the left and the Chrysler building on the right.
Now looking mainly northeast the East river is coming into view. Now looking east there is more East River with Queens/Brooklyn on the other side.
Finally a southeasterly view. I think the bridge in the upper right is the Brooklyn Bridge. This is the same picture as the first one just to provide some continuity and to complete the circle view.
This is a video frame showing just a slightly different view of the south end of Manhattan than the previous one. Staten Island is in the distance in the centre. After waiting almost two hours to get up there I thought I should show some of the people that were there. These people are looking north I think.
The old dirigible docking mast now antenna mast for many New York City broadcasters. One of those purchased pictures that they make big bucks selling to tourists like me.
Here is a picture of the top from the bottom. These last 2 pictures were actually taken tomorrow but fit better here. A wider shot from the same angle. I was just south of Macys Department Store when I took these.

See Monday, November 8 for some night time pictures of the Empire State Building lit up with some of its Autumn colours.

It was sometime after 4:00 when I got finished at the Empire State Building so I headed back to the hotel. After all, I had been up at 4:00 A.M. this morning to watch the arrival of the QM2 here in New York and I was tired. One of the reasons I rushed to the Empire State Building was to try to get a picture of the docked QM2 that I had just arrived on. As you saw above, I succeeded. It was a picture that had to be taken quickly. The ship was sailing at either 5:00 or 6:00 P.M. on its first winter season of Caribbean cruses. I was too tired to do much more and I fell asleep once in the room. I didn't wake up early enough in the evening to do anything else this day.

More NYC tomorrow!!!

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Originally Created: May 3/5, 2005
Last Updated: May 8, 2005