For more photos of QM2
For a photo essay on
QM2's 2010 arrival at
Manhattan's Pier 90
The Return Following a day at sea, QM2
returned to New York in the early hours of the
morning of 6 July 2011. Indeed, the sun was
still below the horizon as she passed beneath
the Veranzano Narrows Bridge at the entrance
to the harbor.
(Right) QM2 approaches lower Manhattan as
a pre-dawn glow silhouettes the city.
The reason that it is so difficult to dock at
the Manhattan Terminal is that ships have to
proceed up the Hudson to the piers and then
make a 90 degree turn to get into the berths.
Meanwhile, the river's strong current is
pushing the ship downstream.
The maneuver becomes more difficult as
it proceeds. Once the bow of the ship is in the
berth, it is sheltered from the river's current by
the adjoining piers which are upriver. Thus,
there is no force against the bow. However,
there is considerable force being applied to the
side of the ship that is not sheltered. The net
result is that the ship wants to turn opposite to
the desired direction.
QM2 approached the slip
staying quite close to the Manhattan
side of the river. She only began
her turn into the slip as the bow
neared Pier 90.
An unusual sight - - tugboats waiting for
QM2. In most instances, QM2 docks
without tugboat assistance. However, the
difficulty of docking at the Manhattan
Terminal is underscored by the presence of
not one but three tugs.
To supplement QM2's powerful bow thrusters, a tug operated near the bow in order to keep the side of the
ship from being pushed onto Pier 88.
Just when it seemed that entering this slip was an impossible
task, the combined efforts of the ship's azipods and two tugboats
brought the stern around and QM2 was facing the Manhattan
QM2 moved forward towards 12th
Avenue while at the same time
crabbing sideways towards Pier 88.
Lines were tossed to the waiting
longshoremen and the voyage was
It was an impressive example of
ship driving by Commodore
Christopher Rynd, who was at the
controls during the berthing, supported
by his very able bridge team.
The ship swung slowly around seemingly just a few feet from the
cars parked on the roof of Pier 90.
Cruise photo essay - Queen Mary 2 - Cunard - QM2 in Manhattan 2011 - page two
Above left: A barge passes the still largely dark towers on the New Jersey side
of the Hudson River.
Above right: The construction lights of the new World Trade Center
distinguish it from the other towers on the Manhattan side.
Left: The Empire State Building and in the distance the Chrysler Building in
the glow of dawn.
Below: Very few passengers were on deck for the spectacular views.
Another complicating factor is that the berth that QM2 was to dock
at is relatively narrow. The Passenger Ship Terminal has three piers.
There is a berth on the north side and on the south side of each pier.
The berth that QM2 was to dock at was on the north side of Pier 88,
which is between Pier 88 and Pier 90. This is where the legendary
Normandie docked during the 1930s. Indeed, it is where that ship burnt
and sank in 1941).
As part of New York's efforts to revitalize the Manhattan piers, an
apron was constructed around Pier 88 to make it easier to load and
unload luggage and supplies. While this made Pier 88 more efficient
and better able to serve passengers, it also narrowed the slip between
Piers 88 and 90.