PORT GUIDES - WHAT'S NEW
Responding to user feedback,
all new or updated guides will include more information
for self-guided touring. The new guides have more detail, walking tour
maps, web-links to download FREE high resolution maps, coordinates to
find “exact” site locations on Google or Bing Maps, and links to the
best websites so your internet research will be more efficient when
planning a vacation.
February 28, 2014
A NEW guide for Ketchikan Alaska
tough choice for Ketchikan is which of the many, excellent, tourist
sites to visit. This guide makes extensive use of GPS coordinates
with tips on how to use your home computer to study the port
and become familiar with it so you will recognize it when you step off
your ship. You can't visit all the sites. This guide is designed to help you plan ahead to
maximize your experience. See the guide under
United States - Alaska, below.
January 30, 2014
A NEW guide for Los Angeles (San Pedro) & Long Beach California
you're flying to Los Angeles a few days before your cruise, you'll need
a hotel, a rental car, and ideas on what to see and do in Southern
California. This guide has tips on finding a rental car
agency at the airport with drop off locations near the cruise port, why
you should book a hotel in Long Beach, how to estimate taxi fares, and
a great place to spend a day = visiting Joshua Tree National Park.
See the guide under United States below.
A NEW Scenic Driving Tour Guide for Joshua Tree National Park in California
you have an extra day in the Los Angeles area, visit Joshua Tree
National Park. This guide provides extensive details combining
descriptive text, photos, maps, and 69 GPS coordinates to pinpoint
key points of interest. See the guide under
United States - California next to the port guide for Los Angeles below.
December 20, 2013
A NEW guide for Dublin Ireland
November 23, 2013
A NEW guide for Le Havre France
August 25, 2013
Major UPDATE of the Livorno Italy Port Guide
August 25, 2013
Three NEW Port Guides
Bar Harbor Maine
Newport Rhode Island
July 24, 2013
A NEW guide for Katakolon (Olympia) Greece
guide describes travel options between the port and Olympia
Historic Site. Olympia was a sacred place for worship of Zeus,
the father of the gods. The first Olympic games were held there.
See the guide under Greece.
An UPDATED guide for Santorini Greece
version obsoletes and replaces the original guide. Highly
detailed information and GPS coordinates pinpoint sites,
walking, and driving routes. Self-guided travel options are
described including sailing tours around the island. See the guide
NOTE: Port Guides are LARGE pdf files requiring a fast internet connection to download
The port guides use high bandwidth to download due to the size of the files.
fast internet connection can slow down when many users are
online. I have Comcast high speed internet. It's very fast
from 5 AM to early afternoon. It slows down dramatically around
5-7 PM when all my neighbors are online. At times during holidays
and on weekends it can slow to a crawl. I cannot download port
guides from my website when my internet slows down.
If you have difficulty
downloading port guides, think of it as a temporary internet traffic
jam. Wait a while and try again or connect to my website early in
when few people are on the internet. That should correct any
problems you have downloading the port guides.
If your Internet connection is slow, look for simple solutions. See US FCC Consumer Guidelines
You can test your speed at broadband.gov to
find out what you’re getting on your computer. Several factors
can slow down your Internet speed: an old or slow router, an old or
slow computer, using the Internet at peak times (7 p.m – 11 p.m.),
using high-bandwidth applications or sites, or having several household
members online at once. Your network configuration, including wireless
networks, can also affect speed.
It's difficult to download port
guides using a cruise ship's sloowww internet. Download all the
guides to a USB flash drive and take
it with you to share with fellow travelers on your cruise.
PUBLICATION DATE is part of the name, e.g. 03-22-2012. It's on every page of the port guide.
LIST OF ALL PORT GUIDES
This was suggested by George Selfridge, Jr. The idea is to have a
file you can read off line, check to see if you have the guides you
want, and send the list of port guides to your friends as an email
attachment. I will update the list whenever I publish a new or
revised port guide. Download the list from this
FORMAT & INFO FOR iPAD USERS
David Shih suggested a cover page for port guides that is legible on
iBooks bookshelf. David helped me create the format. The
first implementation is on guides for Istanbul and Kusadasi Turkey.
David Shih, Peggy Kugel, and Steve Johnson suggested tips on loading port guides onto iPads:
Loading port guides to iPad using iBooks app
1) Open a new Safari browser window 2) Type in
www.tomsportguides.com/ 3) Click on Port Guides on the top
menu 4) Scroll down to find the Port Guide you would like
to view e.g. Rio_de_Janeiro-11-30-2011 5)
Depending on your Safari browser setting, it will open in a new window
or in the existing window 6) To save the port guide
for off line viewing, tap near the top of the page on the PDF (right
below the address bar and Safari tabs), you should see the file name
and two buttons to the right ("Open in iBooks" and "Open
in..." 7) Click on "Open in iBooks", this will switch
to the iBooks app and open the same PDF file. You now have an off
line version in your iBook for future viewing
8) To come back later to view in iBook, go to the iBooks app and
it will show up in your library. If you have purchased books,
there is a button at the top called "Collections" in the upper left
corner, you'll need to click on it and switch to PDFs
Loading port guides to iPad using Kindle software
If you are using Kindle software, follow steps 1-5 above then: 6)
To save the port guide for off line viewing, tap near the top of the
page (right below the address bar and Safari tabs), you should see the
file name and two buttons to the right ("Open in Kindle" and "Open
in..." 7) Click on "Open in Kindle", this will
switch to the Kindle app and open the same PDF file. You now have
an off line version in your Kindle for future viewing
8) To come back later to view in Kindle, go to the Kindle app and
it will show up in your library. If you have a large library, it
may be easier to find it by clicking on "Docs" at the top right of your
Kindle home page.
Loading port guides to Android Tablets (Bill Thaler's Comments)
instructions work for an Asus Android tablet running Android V4.2.1.
Other Android operating systems should be similar. It is also
assumed the Kindle app is installed on the tablet.
the browser on the tablet. I used Chrome that came installed on my
Android tablet. 2) Type
in the URL field. 3) Select Port Guides from the top line menu
and the guide to download. 4) Choose how to download the file
from the window that pops up (Web, Chrome, etc.). I chose Chrome. When
the download is complete, the file appears in
Settings/Storage/Downloads. You can open the file in the Kindle reader
from this location and read it, but the file will not appear or be
saved to the Kindle library. 5) An easy way to put the file in the
Kindle library is to download a free Android file manager. I used ES
File Explorer. The following instructions, apply to this
particular app; but I suspect any file manager will operate similarly.
6) Open ES File Explorer on the Android tablet. 7) Select
Download from the Fast Access column. 8) Press and hold the
icon for the desired port guide pdf file listed to select the file;
simply tapping the icon will open the file. You can select multiple
files by depressing and holding them in sequence. 9) Select “more”
in the bottom right of the display and select “move to”.
10) Select “Kindle” from the list. The file is moved to the Kindle
library and now appears when you select the Kindle reader app. The file(s) also
appear in ES File Explorer/Library/Books. They must remain there to
be displayed in the Kindle library. Removing them from the ES File
Explorer library also removes them from Kindle
ES File Explorer includes its own download manager. In Step 4, you
could choose ES Downloader from the list that appears when you select
the file. When the download completes, ES File Explorer tells you
where the file is stored. This was the SD card on my tablet. Choose
“open folder” from the option window that appears and continue
with Step 8 to move the file to the Kindle reader.
Click here to view, print or "save" the guide (3.9 MB) Aruba-02-28-2013
- Aruba Travel Guide & Port Guide
- Whether you arrive by cruise ship or plane, this travel guide should be useful in planning your vacation.
The guide covers popular tourist sites with detailed maps, GPS
coordinates, and links to the best websites for more information to plan your self-guided
tour. Cruise ships dock downtown in Oranjestad, a short walk from
“shopper's paradise”. The beaches and hotels are only a few
miles away, easily reached by public buses.
- AZORES (Ponta Delgada) Port Guide - Listed under Portugal
- Brugge (Zeebrugge) Port Guide
- Zeebrugge is a huge commercial port. You can't walk
through the port. Hire a taxi to downtown Brugge or take a bus from the
ship to Blankenberge for a 15 minute train ride. Brugge is a
charming, relaxing, exceptionally clean, pedestrian-friendly city with
striking architecture, beautiful parks, many museums, churches, and
places to shop. Be sure to buy some delicious chocolate. A canal boat
ride is a must.
- Rio de Janeiro Port Guide
- Rio de Janeiro is synonymous with world famous
beaches, iconic images of Christ the Redeemer statue and Sugarloaf
mountain, breathtaking mountain views, Samba dancers, Maracana Stadium
(one of the largest soccer stadiums in the world), jewelery stores with
an incredible selection of gemstones, etc. Unfortunately, the crime
rate is high. When planning a visit to Rio, it is advisable to read and
heed the travel advisories, some of which are included in this port
- Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (2.0 MB) Rio_de_Janeiro-11-30-2011
- Charlottetown Port Guide
- Charlottetown is a pedestrian friendly, picturesque
city with well maintained, historic buildings. It's a great place
to walk around, shop, visit breweries, and enjoy fantastic
seafood. Two popular excursions are 1) Anne of Green Gables and
the North seacoast or 2) a leisurely ride through scenic farm country
to Confederation Bridge and a fishing village.
- Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (5.0 MB) Charlottetown-06-15-2011
- Corner Brook, Newfoundland Port Guide
for beautiful scenery of mountains, lakes, waterways, and parks. Corner
Brook is strategically located in a valley of gently rolling
hills providing access to scenic rides along the shore and to the
Captain Cook Monument for panoramic views of the area. It's only a ten minute walk
from the ship to city centre. The area is ideally suited for walking and there's a
network of well groomed trails with park benches to relax and
enjoy the views. The port also provides a free shuttle bus with five stops in the city.
- Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (5.2 MB) CornerBrook-NL-01-31-2013
- Halifax Port Guide
- There is a brewery, a farmers market, and museum next
to the ship. And the Historic Citadel, Victorian Gardens, and
Maritime Museum are within walking distance of the ship. You'll
need transportation to visit the stunning seacoast of Peggy's Cove, the
Titanic Cemetery, and Fisherman's Cove.
- Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (4.2 MB) Halifax-06-15-2011
- Quebec City Port Guide
- The most beautiful port city I have ever seen!!!
WOW! This guide includes a walking tour of Old Quebec and
excursions to Sainte Anne de Beaupre Basilica, Montmorency falls, and
- Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (2.7 MB) Quebec-06-10-2011
- Saguenay Port Guide
impressions = the warmest welcome in any port, a modern, full-featured
cruise terminal, a wide range of hand made products by master
craftsman/artisans, etc. And that's just at the dock; it gets
better! Saguenay River Fjord is the fourth largest fjord in the
world. It's surrounded by forests, mountains, and parks making it
ideal for siteseeing and outdoor activities. There are Hop-On
buses, a car rental, and helicopter rides at the port.
Summer entertainment includes concerts, theatre, and festivals. It is a
must visit port city! We are returning to vacation there next summer.
- Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (4.6 MB) Saguenay-QC-12-02-2012
- Saint John, New Brunswick Port Guide
- Cruise ships dock in the uptown
area. It's a short walk to the indoor pedestrian walkway system
to explore shops, restaurants, and many tourist sites. For the
few tourist sites too far to walk, share a cab for an economical tour
or share a rental car to visit St Martin's Caves. The Bay of
Fundy has the highest tides in the world, over 55 feet. Your ship
will move about 8 feet an hour due to the tides. Dock workers are
constantly changing the gangway to compensate for movement of the ship.
- Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (4.6 MB) SaintJohn-NB-12-01-2012
- Sydney, Nova Scotia
- There are two guides = a Port Guide and a Scenic Driving Tours Guide
- Sydney, Nova Scotia Port Guide - 2013 Revision
- Sydney is port city for Cape Breton Island, one of the
most beautiful islands in the world. Take a 7.5 to 9 hour
excursion to the rugged Atlantic coastline along the Cabot Trail,
or Bras d'Or lakes area, Highland Village, and Alexander Graham Bell
museum. Plan excursions to Fortress Louisbourg or Miner's Museum.
Excursions take time; pick a cruise ship that's in port ~ 9 daylight
- Click here to view, print or "save" the PORT GUIDE to your computer (4.4 MB) Sydney-NS-02-05-2013
- Cape Breton Island Scenic Driving Tours is
a companion document for the Sydney Port Guide. It's packed with
detailed maps, GPS coordinates, and turn-by-turn driving directions for
three routes; namely, 1) Fortress Louisbourg, 2) Around Bras d'Or Lakes
to Baddeck and Highland Village, and 3) Cabot Trail North to
Ingonish. Whether or not you plan to rent a car, be sure to
review this guide. The maps and photographs will familiarize you with
the area and help you select an excursion whether you travel by the
ship's bus, a private tour in a van, or drive a rental car. If you're a photo buff, this guide is for you.
- Click here to view or "save" the DRIVING TOUR GUIDE (5.7 MB) CapeBretonTours-02-05-2013
- Cartagena, Colombia
- Cartagena is rich in
history; it's a UNESCO world heritage site. The walled city is
impressive. The narrow streets are lined with well-maintained,
and very colorful Spanish Colonial buildings. There are beautiful
churches, attractive plazas, and upscale boutique hotels. The old
defensive system includes massive walls, a network of small forts and
batteries, and San Felipe Fortress, one of the best forts ever
constructed. The newer section of the city features high-rise
buildings, restaurants, hotels, and shopping. There is a lot to
like about Cartagena, but be aware there are some travel safety
concerns included in the guide.
- Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (4.5 MB) Cartagena-03-26-2013
- COSTA RICA
- Puerto Caldara and Puntarenas Ports on the Pacific Coast
- Costa Rica is an incredibly beautiful, “natural”
setting with more things to see and do than possible in the short
time a ship is in port. There is nothing in the port area; take the
ship's excursion or a private tour with a guide. With eight
different life zones along the Continental Divide, Costa Rica has
many varieties of plant and animal life. There are 100 species of
mammals, which include all six species of the cat family. The 400
species of birds include the resplendent quetzal, one of the most
beautiful birds in the world. Costa Rica preserves habitat for the
birds providing opportunities for bird watchers from around the
- Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (4.8 MB) CostaRica-02-24-2013
- Dubrovnik Old Town is one of the world's finest and
best preserved medieval cities. Defensive walls, up to 18 feet thick
and 75 feet high, protected the city for a thousand years with 5 forts,
16 towers, and bastions. It's old, but it's a lived-in city with homes,
shops, cafes, restaurants, and hotels. Bazaars and markets are open in
the summer. Red roofed buildings are attractive and there are Baroque
churches, museums, palaces, monasteries, etc. It is a MUST VISIT,
pedestrian friendly town.
- Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (3.8 MB) Dubrovnik-01-31-2012
is packed with things to see and do. It's ideally suited for
self-guided touring. Your challenge is to plan how to spend your
time. The guide covers 22 tourist sites. Four of the must
see sites are Amalienborg Palace, Nyhavn waterfront, Trivoli Gardens,
and Stroget - the world famous shopping district. A canal boat
ride is also highly recommended. Copenhagen has been called, "The
World's Best Designed City" and "The City of Spires". The airport is recognized as "Europe's Most Efficient Airport"
- Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (6.6 MB) Copenhagen-09-30-2012
- Le Havre Port Guide
Havre was the birthplace for Impressionist Art. The Malraux
Museum is excellent. The city was leveled by bombings in WW II.
It was rebuilt in a modernist style using concrete. St.
Joseph's Church is an architectural masterpiece in concrete.
Ships dock ~ 2.3 km from center city, take a
shuttle bus or cab. Popular tourist sites from Le
Havre include Honfleur = a beautiful village and harbor, Rouen = the city of museums with many historic buildings and types of architecture, Paris = a long, long bus ride for a short visit, Bayeux = a world famous tapestry and magnificent cathedral, and Normancy D-Day Beaches and War Memorials.
- Click here to
view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (5.1 MB) LeHavre-11-20=2013
- Marseille Port Guide
you're interested in history, culture, art, gourmet food, beautiful
beaches, scenic villages, hilltop historic towns, vineyards, etc., you'll find it all near Marseille. Ships
dock five miles from the city. I recommend the ship's shuttle bus to
Vieux Port. Many tourist sites are easy to reach by walking.
Use public transit or the HopOn bus to visit other sites.
Aix-en-Provence is ideal for self-guided touring; buses depart every
five minutes and drop you near center city. Cassis can be reached by
train, but you'll need a cab to the beach. We took a private tour to
Carrieres de Lumieres; it's amazing! This guide covers 38 tourist sites.
- Click here to
view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (6.1 MB) Marseille-06-28-2013
- THE FRENCH RIVIERA
- Cannes-Nice France Port Guide - an Introduction to the French Riviera
- This port guide describes the French train and bus
system with tips for self-guided touring. Includes descriptions
of Cannes, Nice, St Paul de Vence, Eze Village, Grasse, and St.
Raphael. READ this guide FIRST, before reading the guides for
Monaco and Villefranche-sur-Mer.
- Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (6.2 MB) Cannes-Nice-06-20-2012
- Monte Carlo Monaco Port Guide
- Located at the eastern end of French Riviera, Monaco
is a tiny city-state with an area of 0.79 sq. mi. It has scenic
views, magnificent architecture, and impressive tourist
sites. There is an excellent bus system for self-guided
touring. I've also provided step-by-step directions to walk from
the ship's dock to the top of Old Town without climbing any
stairs. Popular tourist sites include the Oceanographic Museum,
Cathedral, Palace, and Casino. Detailed maps are included.
- Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (5.2 MB) Monaco-06-20-2012
- Villefranche-sur-Mer France Port Guide
- This guide describes the port and provides information on bus and train travel to other sites along the French Riviera.
- Click here to view, print or "save" the guide (1.6 MB) Villefranche-sur-Mer-06-20-2012
- GIBRALTAR, BRITISH CROWN COLONY
- Despite its small size, Gibraltar could be the envy of
many ports. Shopping is duty free, no VAT, featuring familiar
British and international names plus local shops. The guide
includes a list of 113 stores with addresses, maps, and a link to
virtual tours of Main Street. It is less than a mile walk from
Casemates Square to the Cable Car ride to the top of the Rock for
gorgeous views. The guide covers St Michael's Cave, the Ape's
Den, Great Siege Tunnels, the Lighthouse, and airport. I have
also provided web-links to download the "official" tourist map and to
review 21 attractions including whale watching.
- Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (4.4 MB) Gibraltar-02-15-2012
- Athens Port Guide
- Athens offers visitors a “journey” in its 6,000-year
history to see renowned monuments and masterpieces of art. This
guide includes extensive cruise vacation planning resources such as
detailed maps, information on public transit for self-guided travel,
and OUTSTANDING tourist information from the Ministry of Greece.
- Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (6.4 MB) Athens-08-12-2011
- Corfu Port Guide
- Corfu, the Capital City, is one of the most elegant
and beautiful cities in Greece. It is less that 2 miles from the
cruise dock and there are many places to visit on a self-guided walking
tour including fortresses, palaces, museums, churches, shops, cafes,
etc. There are over 40 beautiful beaches, many villages, resorts,
etc. to explore. The guide provides details for a walking tour of
Corfu Old Town and route maps to visit tourist sites outside of the
town. You can take the ship's excursion, hire a cab, or rent a
car. Plan ahead on how you will use your limited time in port on
this beautiful island.
- Click here to
view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (4.3 MB)
- Katakolon (Olympia) Port Guide
is a tiny port with a resident population of 612. The only
significant tourist site in the area is the historic site of Olympia,
25 miles from the port. Olympia was a sacred site for worship of
Zeus and the gods. Around 776 BC, the first Olympic games were
held there. The tourist area consists of the archaeological ruins
at the site of the games and worship of the gods. The musuem
contains well-preserved masterpieces. This guide includes travel
options to Olympia and detailed maps of the site.
- Click here to
view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (3.7 MB) Katakolon-Olympia-07-24-2013
- Mykonos Port Guide
- Mykonos is a “picture perfect” island town; ideal to
explore on your own. It's pedestrian friendly for a leisurely
walk exploring the narrow streets, visiting shops, and taking postcard
photos. Visit the windmills and keep an eye out for Petros the famous
Pelican. Relax and enjoy lunch, one of the special Greek coffees,
or drinks at a restaurant overlooking the beaches and boats in the
- Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (3.5 MB) Mykonos-08-01-2011
- Santorini Port Guide - 2013 Revision
obsoletes and replaces the 2011 Santorini Port Guide. Santorini is a
beautiful Greek Island. Towns are perched on 700 foot high cliffs
with spectacular views of the caldera. The tiny size of the
island, 10 miles by 3 miles, makes it perfect for self-guided
touring. Take a speedboat from the dock and a bus ride to Oia, hire
a taxi, or rent a car to explore the island. Sailboat tours are also
very popular. This guide includes GPS
coordinates to pinpoint locations and detailed travel directions with turn-by-turn walking
- Click here to
view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (4.2 MB) Santorini-07-22-2013
- Dublin Port Guide
the ship's shuttle bus or a cab from the port to centre city.
Once you're in the city, it's easy to walk to many of the places
of interest. This guide covers 65 sites including churches,
museums, monuments, shops, markets, pubs, parks, gardens, historic
buildings, and more. Plan ahead to choose the sites you wish to
visit and the order in which you will visit them. You'll need to
arrive early to buy tickets for Kilmainham Gaol (prison) and in the afternoon to hear music at the pubs. Ireland is a beautiful country with fantastic people, literary
prowess, great pubs, and many things to see and do. Intense
shades of green make the landscape picture-perfect, but require
frequent rain. Bring a light rain jacket or umbrella.
- Click here to view, print or "save" the guide (5.1 MB) Dublin-12-20-2013
- Livorno (Florence/Pisa) Port Guide - 2013 Revision
is a complete rewrite and update of the Livorno guide. I
have added GPS coordinates and extensive travel detail for self-guided
touring from the Livorno Port. Popular tourist sites
are Florence (Firenze), Pisa, Lucca, San
Gimignano, Siena and Cinque Terre. These are some of the most
spectacular tourist sites in Italy.
- Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (5.5 MB) Livorno-09-25-2013
- Naples & Sorrento Port Guide - 2012 Revision
- This guide replaces the April 2011 guide for
Naples. It has been extensively rewritten to include much more
detail, more maps, aerial photos, and street level photos with
turn-by-turn directions and tips for self-guided touring. I've
included web-links to the "best" websites for information and to
download FREE, high resolution maps of Naples, Pompeii, and Sorrento.
- Cruise ships dock downtown close to transportation by
boat, bus, or train to popular tourist sites. The guide covers
Naples, Capri, Herculaneum, Pompeii, Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast
villages of Positano and Amalfi.
- Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (6.8 MB) Naples-01-31-2012
- Rome (Civitavecchia) Port Guide - 2012 Revision
- This guide replaces the April 2011 guide for
Rome. It has been extensively rewritten to include 97
illustrations of maps, aerial photos, and street level photos with
turn-by-turn directions and tips for self-guided touring. I've
included web-links to the "best" websites for information and to
download FREE, high resolution maps. This guide covers ten
popular tourist sites in Rome plus Tarquinia, Villa del Marta,
Tuscania, Villa Lante, Bolsena, and Orvieto.
- Click here
to view, print or "save" the guide (7.5 MB)
- Venice Port Guide
- This is an all new May 2011 revision which obsoletes
previous versions of this guide. Major new additions include the
OFFICIAL tourist map, the 58-page tourist guide, the route map for
vaporetto, 19-pages of timetables for vaporetto, etc, etc. The
guide references many pdf files and has links to my website to view
these valuable sources of information for FREE!
- Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (5.1 MB) Venice-05-06-2011
- MADEIRA (Funchal) Port Guide - Listed under Portugal
- MONACO (Monte Carlo) Port Guide - Listed under French Riviera
- PANAMA CANAL Port Guides - SEE:
- COSTA RICA
- PANAMA CITY - PANAMA CANAL Port Guide
- Panama City has had three locations. The original city was destroyed by pirate Henry Morgan in 1671. The ruins are called Panama Viejo.
The second location of the city was damaged by earthquakes and
fires. Parts of that city have been rebuilt. The area is called Old Town or Casco Viejo.
The third location is the high-rise city. It's an
international banking and commerce center. All three locations
are popular tourist sites, but unfortunately, they are in, or near,
crime areas. I've included excerpts from the US Department of
State Travel Advisories and the Crime Report in the guide. The
locks are not high crime areas.
Plan ahead on how you will tour the Panama City area. We took a
taxi tour, felt safe, and loved it. Taxi tours are very
- Click here to view, print or "save" the guide (5.6 MB) Panama-03-26-2013
- AZORES (Ponta Delgada) Port Guide
- Volcanoes have created uniquely beautiful islands with
black beaches, steep cliffs, rolling hills, geysers and hot springs,
and lakes set into craters as some of the most beautiful calderas in
the world. The temperate climate and rich volcanic soil promote
vigorous plant growth. About 60 species of plants are unique and
can only be found in the Azores. In the summer, the landscape is
filled with flowers. Be sure to check the web-link on page 5 of the
guide for STUNNING PHOTOS.
- Click here to view, print or "save" the guide (3.6 MB) PontaDelgada-Azores-04-24-2011
- Lisbon Port Guide
- When your cruise ship docks downtown, you've
arrived. The city is rich in culture and history = a great place
to explore. This guide covers 14 important sites in the city and
the 2011 map showing ALL electric tram routes/stops, location of the
funicular trams, plus ALL bus and subway stops. Excursions are
described for Sintra, Cascais, and Obidos.
- Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (4.8 MB) Lisbon-06-29-2011
- MADEIRA (Funchal) Port Guide
- Madeira is a beautiful, mountainous island with high
cliffs overlooking the sea and picturesque villages along the coast.
The year round temperature is 64-75 F with adequate rainfall to support
gardens with over 2500 species of plants and the largest laurel forest
in the world. Cruise ships dock in Funchal, 2.2 Km (1.3 miles) from the
city. The public bus system is excellent, there are HopOn buses, low
cost bus tours of the island, and organized tours. Cable cars are
available to ascend the mountain.
- Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (5.1 MB) Funchal-Madeira-03-22-2012
- Greenock Scotland Port Guide
- Cruise ships dock in downtown Greenock. You'll be
greeted by the non-profit, Inverclyde Tourist Group who provide free,
comprehensive information for self-guided touring and offer a 2-hour
bus tour of the area (contributions are accepted to help defray costs).
Greenock is the friendliest port I've ever visited. It earned the
prestigious award for “Best Shoreside Welcome” in 2011. Explore the
Greenock area, or visit Glasgow (~ 45 minutes away), or tour the lochs,
mountains, villages, meadows, etc. Scotland is a beautiful country!
- Click here to view, print or "save" the guide (5.5 MB) Greenock_Scotland-08-28-2012
- Barcelona Port Guide
- Barcelona is a magnificent city with world famous
architecture, a mix of ancient and modern buildings, beautiful squares,
parks, and great food. This guide includes a walking map for the
Gothic Quarter, details on four famous buildings influenced by Gaudi,
and the Montjuic park which overlooks the city/harbor. There are
also maps for the Hop-on bus and metro.
- Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (4.9 MB) Barcelona-07-22-2011
- Cartagena Spain Port Guide
- Cartagena is on the southern coast of Spain,
one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. The main
dock is in center city; the alternate dock requires a shuttle bus ride.
Tourist sites are densely packed in a small area. You can
visit most of the popular sites by walking 1.36 miles round trip
from the ship. The pathways are wide, flat, and wheelchair
friendly. There are some stairs and climbing is required to
see all of the Roman Ruins and Castillo de la Concepcion, but
there are lifts and ramps. I'm not sure you need to do a lot of
planning for your self-guided tour. Just walk the suggested route
and stop at places that seem interesting.
- Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (4.7 MB) Cartagena-Spain-08-20-2013
- Istanbul Port Guide
is a fascinating city with a rich history, a
mix of culture, phenomenally striking architecture, shopping,
etc. Visit the Blue Mosque which rivals the Great Mosque in
Mecca. Explore Hagia Sophia, a church turned into a Mosque that is
among the greatest houses of worship in Christian and Muslim worlds.
Spend time at Topkapi Palace, the power center of the Ottoman Empire
for 400 years. Be overwhelmed by the Grand Bazaar which originated as
the world trade center for the Ottoman Empire and is very active today.
And enjoy the food! All these sites are close to the cruise ship
- Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (5.2 MB) Istanbul-07-25-2012
- Kusadasi Port Guide
- Kusadasi is a small resort town of 65,000. The port
provides access to seaside resorts and historic sites. This guide
covers ten tourist sites; namely, Ephesus, House of Virgin Mary, Temple
of Artemis, St John Basilica, the Museum, Sirince Village, Priene,
Miletus, Didyma, and Bafa Lake. Because the ancient ruins do not have
street addresses, I've listed coordinates you can plug into Google Maps
to find the exact location of the site. I have also created aerial
photo maps with descriptive text to illustrate the sites. The
guide covers shopping in the huge shopping center complex inside the
port, in the city of Kusadasi, and Sirince Village.
- Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (4.5 MB) Kusadasi-07-25-2012
- UNITED STATES
- ALASKA - Ketchikan Alaska Port Guide
are many excellent tours by land, sea, and air to view the most
scenic natural areas and visit popular tourist sites. For independent travel, Ketchikan
is the ideal port. Most downtown tourist sites are within a 1600 x
1600 foot area next to the ships. It's an easy walk, and there's
a FREE Salmon Run bus that circles between the ships and ALL
downtown tourist sites. For sites outside the city, you can use
the public bus from the cruise ships to ALL tourist sites in the
Ketchikan Area, take a taxi, or rent a car. it couldn't be
- Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (3.5 MB) Ketchikan-02-26-2014
- CALIFORNIA - Los Angeles & Long Beach California Port Guide
are two cruise ports approximately 25 miles from the Los Angeles
Airport; namely, the Los Angeles World Cruise Center in San Pedro
and the Carnival Corporation Cruise Terminal in Long Beach.
Most travelers fly to Los Angeles a day or two before their
cruise. This raises issues of where to book a hotel, how to find
a rental car at the airport that offers drop-off near the cruise port,
how to estimate taxi fares, and what to see and do in Southern California. These issues are covered in the guide.
- Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (4.1 MB) LosAngeles-01-30-2014
- CALIFORNIA - Joshua Tree National Park - Scenic Driving Tour Guide
- It's fun to "discover" scenic views as you drive through a park, but it would be helpful to know what there is to see, and where to drive, before
you visit the park. This Scenic Driving Tour Guide
describes points of interest using photos, descriptive text, maps,
and GPS coordinates to pinpoint 69 locations.
With this guide, you can plot a driving route on Google maps and
"test drive" that route on your computer using Google street level
photos. This will help you plan where to go and spend
your time in this huge park that covers 1,234 sq. mi.
- Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (4.5 MB) JoshuaTreePk-01-30-2014
- FLORIDA - Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades) Florida Port Guide
Everglades, in Fort Lauderdale, is the third
largest port in the world. It has 12 passenger terminals for
cruise ships! The port is only 2 miles from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood
International Airport (FLL). This guide uses excerpts from the
excellent websites by Broward County Florida. One of the most
important maps in the guide shows wine stores within a mile of the
port. Note: there is no place to store luggage at the cruise
port. If you have extra time before or after embarkation or
debarkation, consider a pre- or post- cruise tour of Ft. Lauderdale
with your luggage stored on the
- Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (2.0 MB) FtLauderdale-12-31-2011
- MAINE - Bar Harbor, Maine Port Guide
Harbor is on Mount Desert Island which is judged one of the most
beautiful islands in the world for its pristine forests, mountains,
lakes, coves, and rugged Atlantic coastline. About 43% of the
island is occupied by Acadia National Park. The
cruise ship tender will drop you off next to the tourist office.
It's a short walk around the town to visit tourist sites, shop,
and find a restaurant for great seafood. There
are many options for self-guided touring by land tours, boat tours, and
there are activities for the sports enthusiast including kayaking,
cycling, hiking, and air plane tours. PLAN AHEAD on how to spend
your time in port.
- Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (4.1 MB) BarHarborMaine-08-21-2013
- MASSACHUSETTS - Boston Massachusetts Port Guide
- Boston is ideally suited for self-guided touring by walking, trolley tours, and
public transit. It's easy to find your way around. The Freedom Trail is
marked with brick and painted lines showing the route to sixteen
historic sites. This guide covers 26 popular tourist sites in Boston plus many sites in the Lexington and Concord area.
It's not possible to visit all these sites in the limited time a ship
is in port. Plan ahead to prioritize how you will spend your
time. You'll love Boston.
- Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (6.6 MB) Boston-04-21-2013
- NEW YORK - New York Brooklyn & Manhattan Port Guide
- This guide describes the exact location of the ports
so you can find them on Google Maps or program them into your
GPS. Aerial photos and maps show the dock areas and there is
information on travel issues to Manhattan & Brooklyn docks.
- Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (1.0 MB) NewYork-06-04-2011
- RHODE ISLAND - Newport Rhode Island Port Guide
cruise ship tender dock is in the heart of the "Old Quarter."
It's a short walk to shops, restaurants, historic sites, and the
Bus Station/Visitor Center. You can spend all day in the scenic
area near the harbor, but most people take Bus #67 to walk around
and/or tour the mansions. There is also a Cliff Walk
National Historic Trail. PLAN AHEAD to select the tourist sites you
wish to visit and put on your walking shoes.
- Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (3.1 MB) Newport-Rhode-Island-08-25-2013
- UPDATED Port Guides for Corfu Greece, Madeira Portugal, & St John N.B. Canada
COMING SOON ~ March 25, 2014