This globalised world of ours owes much of its commerce, trade and development to ports around the world. While they anchor economies, “beautiful” would not be the first word that comes to mind describing these waterside industrial areas playing host to ships, vast cranes and stacks of containers. However, these six ports from around the world may just be enough to change anyone’s mind.
Port of Singapore
S I N G A P O R E
It’s hard to come across any mention of ports where the Port of Singapore does not get highlighted. Located at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, and second only to the Port of Shanghai in size, capacity and operations, Port of Singapore is often described as a powerhouse in the world of shipping. With a load capacity of 33.7 million TEUs, it enables the transport of goods to over 600 ports in 123 countries
Between its two cruise ship terminals, one located near the iconic Marina Bay Sands and the other at the Singapore Cruise Centre between the main island and Sentosa Island, the Port of Singapore is a gateway to a modern-day haven.
Port of Gruz: Dubrovnik
C R O A T I A
Once a key trade centre in mediaeval Europe, this beautiful port was known as Ragusa, paying homage to the refugees from Ragusa Vecchia who had settled in Dubrovnik in the 7th century.
Fast forward to today, and we find Dubrovnik to be one of the most prominent tourist destinations on the Adriatic Sea Coast, boasting renaissance era architecture and monumental palaces, monasteries and churches. It has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and was the filming location for the acclaimed Game of Thrones series. The port itself located in this beautiful setting is considered one of the busiest cruise ports in Europe.
J A P A N
In the 16th and 19th centuries, Nagasaki, a little harbour village, grew into a diverse port city, becoming the sole trading port of the Dutch and Portuguese. Having hosted the Imperial Japanese Navy, it was no stranger to the casualties of war. However, when the United States of America dropped the second and to date, last, atomic bomb on the city of Nagasaki, towards the end of World War II, the city was all but reduced to rubble.
In the years to follow, the city was rebuilt with the focus of redevelopment being to replace war industries with foreign trade, shipbuilding and fishing. Today, the Port of Nagasaki, surrounded by mountains on 3 sides, stands as a testament to the remarkable resilience of the people of Japan. It is home to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, one of the largest shipbuilding facilities in Japan, supplying wind and thermal generators to the rest of the world. The port also sports a lovely park with a long cable bridge, one of the best ways to take in any view.
Port of Venice
I T A L Y
Porto Di Venezia to the locals, this port serves the city of Venice in northeastern Italy. Considered one of the busiest commercial ports in the country, throughout its history it was a major hub for cruise ships in the Mediterranean. At present, it lays claim as the gateway to trade with Asia, lying along the water from the island of Venice, a tourist spot in its own right. The Venetian lagoons offer a glimpse into the breathtaking Italian city, with its network of canals that wind its way to ornate churches, waterside palaces and charming little bridges.
Port of Istanbul
T U R K E Y
Formerly known as Constantinople, Istanbul is the largest city in Türkiye, serving as an economic, cultural, and historical hotspot. Straddling the continents of Europe and Asia, it is a strategically prominent location, evident from the many hands the city has fallen to over the centuries. From the Romans to the Egyptians, the cultural influences of the many empires that ruled the city are evident in its architecture.
This architecture frames the Port of Istanbul, which sits on the edge of the Golden Horn waterway that flows through the city, just beyond a trio of bridges that connect the historic districts of Beyoglu and Fatih. Landmarks in the area include the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art and the Galata Tower, a former prison that overlooks the lively Karakoy commercial quarter.
Port of Stockholm
S W E D E N
Situated amidst the Baltic Sea and North Atlantic Ocean, Sweden is an export-oriented economy with a well-developed commercial shipping centre, with maritime connections spanning to major economies in Europe, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Of its many ports, the Stockholm Port stands out for both its cargo handling facility and cruise berths. The world’s biggest cruises, yachts and ferries operate from Stockholm, carrying passengers to and from Sweden, Finland, Russia and the Baltic region. Iron, paper and wood pulp are shipped out while coal, oil and chemicals are shipped in.
Located in one of the most beautiful capital cities in the world, the port includes a vast complex of passenger and container terminals which sit above Djurgardsbron National Park, a vast area hosting museums, landmarks and thick greenery, which can be enjoyed from a 155-metre high tower observation deck.