A harbor, harbour or haven is a place where ships may shelter from the weather. Harbours can be man-made or natural. A man-made harbour will have sea walls or breakwaters. A natural harbour will be surrounded on most sides by land.
Harbors and ports are often confused. Most ports have a harbor, but many harbors would not be described as ports.
The port is a man-made coastal or riverine facility where boats and ships can load and unload. It may consist of quays, wharfs, jetties, piers and slips with cranes or ramps. A port may have magazine buildings or warehouses for storage of goods and a transport system, such as railway, road transport or pipeline transport facilities for relaying goods inland.
During the D-Day operations of 1944, two artificial harbors (codenamed Mulberry) were built just off the invasion beaches.
Natural harbours have long been of great strategic and economic importance. Many of the great cities of the world are located where they are because of an excellent natural harbour.