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The Baltic Sea and similar areas have ports available year-round beginning in the 20th century thanks to icebreakers, but earlier access problems prompted Russia to expand its territory to the Black Sea.

A seaport is further categorized as a "cruise port" or a "cargo port".

Harbor pilots and tugboats may maneuver large ships in tight quarters when near docks.

The terms "port" and "seaport" are used for different types of port facilities that handle ocean-going vessels, and river port is used for river traffic, such as barges and other shallow-draft vessels.

Ports with deeper water are rarer, but can handle larger ships.

Since ports throughout history handled every kind of traffic, support and storage facilities vary widely, may extend for miles, and dominate the local economy. One of the world's oldest known artificial harbors is at Wadi al-Jarf on the Red Sea.

"Cruise home ports" are very busy places during the day the cruise ship is in port, because off-going passengers debark their baggage and on-coming passengers board the ship in addition to all the supplies being loaded.

Currently, the Cruise Capital of the World is the Port of Miami, Florida, closely followed behind by Port Everglades, Florida and the Port of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

A port is a location on a coast or shore containing one or more harbors where ships can dock and transfer people or cargo to or from land.

Port locations are selected to optimize access to land and navigable water, for commercial demand, and for shelter from wind and waves.

Along with the finding of harbor structures, ancient anchors have also been found.

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