Since the advent of consumer air travel, more people than ever before have been able to visit the world’s most famous cities and share in the wonder of all their iconic sites. This can only be a good thing, but the truth is if you fly in, you’re missing out on the best view of what for many people is the only way to be introduced to a city – its skyline. Arrive by cruise ship and you’re treated to the big reveal as the city comes into view over the horizon. Before the days of air travel this was once the sight which greeted ever traveller when they arrived in a city and though their buildings have changed over time, each skyline’s appeal remains as strong as ever. Here’s a look at some iconic skylines you can experience while on a cruise.
The city that never sleeps is probably home to history’s most famous skyline. Ever since her dedication in 1886, the Statue of Liberty has welcomed scores of immigrants to the United States, and though she’s been dwarfed by the buildings now set behind her, she remains a focal point of the city’s skyline. Other iconic structures include the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building and One World Trade Centre, built to replace the Twin Towers which were destroyed in the 2001 terrorist attacks. Book a transatlantic cruise or a Caribbean cruise from the city to see it for yourself.
In an on-going battle in the polls with New York for the world’s greatest skyline, the view from Hong Kong’s harbour certainly takes some beating. Such a draw that it’s regarded by many as the city’s greatest attraction, it’s as mesmerizing by day as it is by night. By day, a parade of towering structures sit before the city’s oldest titan, Victoria Peak, while at night, it’s a colourful neon wonder. The 484m International Commerce Centre is the skyline’s tallest structure and its observation platform offers an amazing view of the harbour. Many Far East cruises include the city on their itineraries.
The Far East is home to a large number of memorable skylines, but Singapore offers some of the most otherworldly structures you’ll ever see on a waterfront. 245-metre Marina Bay Tower is actually three towers which are the striking focal point of the Marina Bay Sands Skypark, while The Stamford, at 226 metres, is the skyline’s loftiest hotel. One Raffles Place is the tallest structure at 280 metres, though there are plans afoot to build a 290 skyscraper. A number of Far East cruises include a stop at Singapore.
Showcasing China’s contemporary side perfectly, Shanghai’s skyline is a riot of neon colour, dominated by the striking Oriental Pearl TV Tower, which is a staggering 468 metres tall and features 11 spheres. The Shanghai World Financial Centre, which is actually taller but set behind the tower, and the Jin Mao Tower are the skyline’s other tallest features. The Bund is very much the city’s ‘former skyline’ it’s well-preserved historic quarter which compliments the larger buildings beautifully.
Boasting one of the most instantly recognisable skylines in the world, Sydney has two famous landmarks which are not its tallest, though certainly the most the most famous sites which greet you as you enter the harbour. The Sydney Harbour Bridge is a great vantage point to view the iconic, 65-metre Opera House and also the city’s loftiest structures; the 309-metre Sydney Tower, 243-metre Citygroup Centre and 241-metre Chifley Tower. If you’ve a head for heights be sure to visit the Sydney Tower’s glass-floored observation platform.
As the home of the world’s tallest building, Dubai has to feature on a list of famous skylines and though it’s a relative newcomer, it boasts some of the world’s most eye-catching tall structures. Star attraction the Burj Khalifa is a mind-boggling 828 metres tall and as you would imagine, it’s observation deck offers the view of a lifetime. The skyline also boasts the tallest hotel in the world, the 355-metre JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, and the 413-metre Princess Tower. To experience the skyline for yourself, book a Middle East cruise which calls at the city.
By Simon Brotherton