Tour of NYC’s Maritime History


  • Explore the early Dutch era maritime history through the stories of infamous sea captains Adrian Block and William Kidd
  • Get access onto the Wavertree at South Street Seaport, including inside its great hull. “There isn’t a ship in the world that has a space like this,” South Street Seaport Executive Director Jonathan Boulware
  • Walk the less-charted trail along the historic east side slips including Old Slip and Coenties
  • Learn about New York’s old buried ships on both the Hudson and East River shores and New York’s old floating churches
  • Discover other related sites including the International Merchant Marine Building, The Cunard Building, the Alexander Hamilton Custom House and a stop at the stunning Merchant Marine Memorial by the historic Pier A building
  • Visit South Street Seaport for the history of this unique museum, its historic ships and unparalleled views of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan skyline
  • Your ticket includes entry into the South Street Seaport Museum


  • Price: $35
  • What to know: This tour is approximately 2-hours long and is completely outdoors. The tour will end at the South Street Seaport.
  • What to wear: Please dress appropriately for the weather and wear comfortable shoes!

Tour of NYC’s Maritime History


New York is New York because of its situation on one of the world’s best harbors. For the first three and half centuries of its life, this city was defined and sustained by its maritime operations. However, in the past few decades most of the 8 million people who call New York City home or the 60 million people who visit annually barely even give a second thought to the harbor, bays, rivers, or boats that used to define and supply this popular set of islands. New York’s maritime roots are often overlooked and ignored. Take a journey back through lower Manhattan with Untapped Cities guides Justin Rivers and Mandy Edgecombe to experience New York as the world’s greatest ports of call.


“I participated in a walking tour of lower Manhattan with emphasis on New York City’s Maritime History. You may have heard of or seen the Cunard Building, the Custom House or Castle Clinton, but do you know their role in New York City of a hundred years ago? Our guide was personable, knowledgeable and shared many photos and maps that helped all of us have a better understanding of the past. She did not skimp on the reality of the treatment of immigrants and slaves – yes slaves – upon their arrival in New York City. I recommend this tour to anyone with an interest in history.” – U7902EKlisak, Trip Advisor

“The leaders of the tour were excellent, well-versed and very engaging. The topic was intriguing and they brought it to life…. I’ve been downtown a long time and knew or vaguely knew some things, but, boy, I learned a lot more today. And yet with Justin and Mandy I feel we just scratched the surface. So, if there is repeat or Maritime History NYC Walking Tour 201 (or a repeat of 101), sign me up.” -Member of the American Marine Underwriters

Tour of NYC’s Maritime History


Tour of NYC’s Maritime History

See our full list of Untapped Cities Insiders Tours and our upcoming Public Tours.

 feature, Featured Tour, history, manhattan, NYC