Worldwide Webcams: Virtual Cruising for Family, Friends | Cruising World

Worldwide Webcams: Virtual Cruising for Family, Friends

Thousands of sites on the World Wide Web have live web cameras continuously showing all manners of things: some exciting, some boring—and some that monitor waterways in which cruisers are likely to appear. With the following website directory, it’s easy to check out possible wintering-over destinations, places to change crews, or the next port over the horizon. Or you can take your friends and family on a virtual cruise by telling them the time zone in which you’re sailing and when your boat might be passing a camera. Most web cameras aren’t set up to pan close enough to recognize faces, but almost all will show the cut of the vessel’s jib.

All of the following cameras view bodies of water in which cruising yachts may sail or moor. Some are live, streaming cameras, showing what’s happening in real time. Others are renewed every few seconds, lending a Charlie-Chaplin motion to the view. Others renew less frequently. All are active during the daylight hours, and many are on the job 24/7.

All of the cameras listed require software that’s available in cybercafes. General requirements are Netscape Version 4.6 or Internet Explorer Version 4.0, Java enabled. If a complete address won’t load, try the plain address (for example, simply, then follow the prompts to reach the web camera desired. Don’t link any of the sites to another web page without the operator’s permission; most web-camera sites are copyrighted.

The table is arranged by time zones. Time zones listed don’t account for Daylight Saving Time or local anomalies. Some cameras—the one at Miraflores Lock on the Panama Canal, for example—can be trained by the operator on request. (See sidebar, "Going with the Flow") In the near future, many cameras will be aimed by the viewer.

For hundreds of more cameras with views of interest to cruisers, log on to (, EarthCam (, Maine Harbors (, Maritime Matters (, (, and Surfline (, all of which, at this writing, have no objectionable material. The web-camera business is in a fluid state, and some cameras will go out of service and new ones will be born after this table has gone to press. Please send changes or additions to me via e-mail (

Knick Pyles

Going with the Flow

Friends Horst and Karen Wolf, on Flow, told us how to tune in on their big day transiting the Panama Canal, and we saw little Flow among the leviathans and two waving Wolfs experiencing one of the thrills of their cruising lives. If you’re planning to transit with your own boat, and you know the approximate time you’ll be passing Miraflores Lock, alert friends to tune in. Tell them to log on to the Panama Canal’s website ( and click on Live Camera. They’ll see a real-time view of vessels going through Miraflores that’s updated every five seconds. Inform the live-cam operator at the canal via e-mail that you’ll be having viewers watching the transit, and he’ll do his best to train the camera on your boat as you transit the lock.

Bernadette Bernon, s/v Ithaka

Location Lat, Long Camera Code* Time Zone Address Contact
Amsterdam, Netherlands (Ijmuiden Locks) 52 N, 5 E A, I, V, W 0
Funchal, Madiera 33 N, 17 W A, C, M, W 0
Loch Ness, Scotland 57 N, 4 W A, T, V, W 0
London, England (Tower Bridge) 51 N, 0 A, C, T, W 0
Tenerife, Canary Islands 17 N, 28 W A, I, M, V, W +1
Florianapolis, Brazil 27 S, 48 W A, I, V, W +3
St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada 47 N, 52 W A, I, V, W +3.5
Halifax, NS, Canada 45 N, 64 W A, I, V +4
Hamilton, Bermuda 32 N, 64 W A, I, U, V, W +4
Barbados,W. I. 13 N, 59 W B, I, W +4
Aruba, N.A. 13 N,71 W A, I, W +5
Block Island, RI 42 N,72 W B, I, M, V, W +5
Boca Raton, FL (ICW) 26 N, 80 W A, C +5
Boothbay Harbor, ME 44 N, 69 W A, C, V, W +5
Brooklyn Bridge, East River, NY 42 N, 74 W A, I, V, W +5
Cancun, Yucatan, Mexico 20 N, 86 W B, I, M, V +5
Cape Cod Canal, MA (west end) 42 N, 71 W A, C, M +5
Jupiter Inlet, FL 27 N, 80 W B, I, U +5
Key West, FL 24 N, 82 W B, I, M, W +5
Lewes, DE (ferry terminal) 39 N, 76 W B, U, V, W +5
Panama Canal (Gatun Locks) 8 N, 80 W U +5
Panama Canal (Miraflores Locks) 8 N, 80 W A, C, T, V, W +5
San Juan, Puerto Rico 18 N, 66 W A, I, M, W +5
Savannah, GA 32 N, 81 W A, I, M, T, V +5
St. George’s, Grenada, W.I. 12 N, 62 W A, I, V +5
Virginia Beach, VA 37 N, 77 W A, C, I, M, V, W +5
Destin, FL 31 N, 87 W A, C, V, W +6,
Grand Cayman, W.I. 19 N, 81 W B, I, V, W +6
New Orleans, LA 30 N, 9 W A, I, V, W +6
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico 20 N, 106 W B, I, V, W +6
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico 23 N, 109 W B, I, M, V, W +7
Oceanside, CA 33 N, 117 W B, I, V, W +8
Point Roberts, WA 49 N, 123 W B, I, W +8
San Diego, CA 32 N, 117 W A, C, I, M, V, T, W +8
San Francisco, CA 38 N, 124 W A, C, I, M, V, W +8
Seattle, WA N 48, 122 W A, C, W +8
Vancouver, BC, Canada 49 N, 122 W A, C, I, M, V, T, V, W +8
Juneau, AK 57 N, 132 W A, C, I, M, V, W +9
Ketchikan, AK 55 N, 132 W A, C, V, W +9
Honolulu, Oahu, HI (harbor) 20 N, 160 W A, I, W +10
Lahaina, Maui, HI 22 N, 157 W +10
Auckland, New Zealand 37 S, 172 E A, I, W -11
Noumea, New Caledonia 20 S, 165 E A, I, V, W -11
Melbourne, Australia (Port Phillip) 38 S, 142 E A, V, W -10,
Sydney, Australia (harbor) 32 S, 151 E A, V, W -10
Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia 18 S, 151 A, M, V, W -10
Bali, Indonesia 7 S, 116 E B, I, T, V, W -8
Hong Kong, China 22 N, 114 E A, I, V, W -8
Hayama, Japan (Hayama Marina) 35 N, 139 E A, I, T, W -9
Cape Town, South Africa 34 S, 18 E B, I, M, T -2
Tel Aviv, Israel (Tel Aviv Marina) 33 N, 38 E B, I, M -2
Genoa, Italy 44 N, 9 E A, C, W -1
Hamburg, Germany (River Elbe) 52 N, 7 E A, C, W -1
Kiel, Germany (Kiel Canal) 54 N, 10 E A, C, M, V -1
Marseille, France 43 N, 6 E A, C, W -1
Palermo, Sicily, Italy 38 N, 13 E A, C, V -1
Punta Ala, Italy 44 N, 12 E A -1
  • Camera code: A = 24/7, B = daylight/7, C = continuous, I = intermittent, M = multiple cameras, T = trainable on request, U = unavailable temporarily (should be operational in 2002), V = varying views, W = local weather forecasts on same website.