Staten Island and Staten Island Ferry, New York City

4.5 out of 5 stars 4.5 Stars - 86 Reviews

trains N, R, Q & W to Whitehall St. 718-727-2508

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  • Leaving Manhattan
    Leaving Manhattan
    by MINOSUKE
  • New York from Staten Island Ferry
    New York from Staten Island Ferry
    by antistar
  • New York from Staten Island Ferry
    New York from Staten Island Ferry
    by antistar
  • goodfish's Profile Photo

    Best Free Thing #10 - Salute Lady Liberty

    by goodfish Updated Mar 7, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Zooming on The Lady
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    This ferry service carries 65,000 passengers a day, 24/7, 365 days a year, between Staten Island and lower Manhattan and it's one of the best free things to do in NY. Grab a place along the outside rail and you'll see the Statue of Liberty the way millions of immigrants did when their ships sailed into New York Harbor en route to Ellis Island. You'll also have a terrific panorama of the NYC skyline so don't forget the camera!

    Ferries leave every 20-30 minutes or so (see website for schedule), and the trip from Whitehall Terminal in Manhattan to the St. George Terminal on Staten Island takes about 25 minutes each way. To see Lady Liberty, you'll want to be on the right side of the ferry as it leaves Manhattan, and on the opposite side when it leaves Staten Island. She'll still be some distance away so you'll need a zoom function or lens on your camera to get really good shots. It'll be windy on deck so bring a jacket if it's a chilly day. You'll need to disembark when you reach either terminal, and then re-board the ferry for your return trip but it doesn't take long.

    The ferries and terminals are surprisingly clean and well-maintained, for as many people as they handle every day, and the ride is smooth and steady so no need for Dramamine. All ferries are equipped with restrooms and concession stands that sell sandwiches, snacks and, yes, even beer.

    You can, of course, visit Liberty and Ellis Islands instead but while entrance to both is free, the ferries that get you there are not. It was running $10 a combo ticket for adults (less for kids) and waits were very long so if you're stretched for time and $$, this is definitely the way to go. Great fun for all ages.

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  • bladedragon's Profile Photo

    One of the best free things in NYC

    by bladedragon Written Jul 13, 2008
    Staten Island Ferry
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    This ferry departs every half an hour from Manhattan Island to Staten Island and return.
    The ferry will pass the Statue of Liberty up close.
    So this is a good option for those who don't have time (takes about 5 hours for Liberty and Ellis Island tour) to explore Liberty Island, and the best part of it is, it's FREE.

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  • PierreZA's Profile Photo

    It is FREE!

    by PierreZA Written Jul 1, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Staten Island Ferry
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    IT IS FREE! The ferry to Staten Island leaves every 30min. There were extremely long queues for the harbour cruises and ferries to Statue of Liberty. Although you do not stop at the Statue of Liberty, you get very good views of the Lady and fantastic views of Manhattan. Another advantage is that these ferries can take a lot of passengers, so there is not a very long waiting time.

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  • alyf1961's Profile Photo

    STATEN ISLAND FERRY

    by alyf1961 Written Jun 22, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    STATEN ISLAND FERRY

    The Staten Island Ferry is a must do! in New York, the views of the Manhattan skyline are breath taking and it is the best way of taking photographs of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and Manhattan. The best thing about it is FREE

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  • SailorRoar's Profile Photo

    Staten Island ferry past the Statue of Liberty

    by SailorRoar Written Apr 2, 2008

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If you don't care about lining up for the ferry to Statue of liberty, you could take the free Staten Island Ferry to Staten Island. And enjoy the view of Ellis Island and Statue of Liberty from a distance.

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  • patnoelle's Profile Photo

    Lower Manhattan

    by patnoelle Written Mar 13, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Staten Island Ferry is one of my favorite ways to get into the City. The ride back and forth is about 1/2hr each way. You will get great views of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island if you ride on the right side going to SI, or to the left going into NYC. I would suggest you explore this area of the city, a quick walk through from Seaport to Canal Street, (Chinatown, Little Italy)would take you approximately 1 1/2 hrs (not stopping anywhere); however there are many sights to see on the way. You can easily spend an entire day in this area.

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  • King_Golo's Profile Photo

    Staten Island and back

    by King_Golo Written Dec 17, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Manhattan and the ferry

    This is probably the one thing that every tourist does in NYC: taking the free ferry to Staten Island to enjoy the view over the river to Downtown Manhattan and New Jersey. Ferries leave at the southernmost point of Manhattan (Whitehall Terminal) next to Battery Park and run every 20 minutes or so. When you are on board make sure to get a good place to look over to the island of Manhattan. The best places are probably on the lowest deck - the view is the same as further up, but there are hardly any people.
    The 30-minute cruise takes you to Staten Island, but as there's not really much to see over there, most tourists turn around immediately and leave the terminal only to enter it again a minute later. This is necessary for security reasons - apparently the ferry company thinks one might illegally stay on the ferry...
    Usually, the ferry is crowded at all times - in the early hours there are commuters, later in the day, tourists fill the decks. If you are tired of looking out, you can still go inside and sit on some benches there - a thing that definitely makes you look like a local! ;)
    Btw, as the ferry passes Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, you can also enjoy a good view on them!

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  • The Beautiful View from the Ferry

    by postcardsfromnewyork Written Aug 20, 2007

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    Skyscrapers as the Ferry leaves Shore
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    On the rare occasions when I take the time to make the trip, I wonder once more, why I don't do this more often. It's only a half hour ride each way; an hour round-trip. Yet time is always the issue. It is the recurring New York "problem," too many things to do and too little time.

    No inside seat for me, I remain on deck the entire voyage, speechless while I suck in the serenity of the almost cloudless azure blue sky and gently rippling waves dappled with sunlight. The view of the skyscrapers that crowd the shore near Battery Park and the Statue of Liberty is truly thrilling. Never quite prepared, but always anxious for the moment when I cross over to the opposite deck and my eyes are caught, arrested might better describe it, by the sublime beauty and graceful line of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. It never fails to take my breath away.

    Yes, the Golden Gate, London Bridge, and Brooklyn Bridge are magnificent engineering achievements, but they cannot compare with the Verrazano's compelling elegance.

    Standing at the mouth of Upper and Lower New York Bay it overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. Its long lilting cables and slender towers painted in "battleship gray,” make it appear to melt into the skyline and become a natural part of the landscape rather than something man-made.

    Experience the Verrazano's majestic beauty and enjoy the waters refreshing cool during this heat spell. The Staten Island ferry departs almost every half hour every day from Whitehall Terminal. And, I'm surprised most people don't know this, it is free!

    Best time to avoid the crowds, early Sunday morning, the ferries almost empty. Once on Staten Island, don't rush back; There's lots to explore, like the Staten Island Botanical Garden, with its Chinese Scholars Garden, the Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Alice Austen House and the Garibaldi Meucci Museum.

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  • machomikemd's Profile Photo

    Free Ferry with Magnificent Views!

    by machomikemd Written Aug 13, 2007

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Staten Island Ferry Entrance
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    The Staten Island Ferry provides 20 million people a year ( 70,000 passengers a day ) with ferry service between St. George on Staten Island and Whitehall street in lower Manhattan.The ferry is the only non-vehicular mode of transportation between Staten Island and Manhattan. NYC DOT operates and maintains the eleven vessel fleet as well as the St. George Ferry Terminal on Staten Island, Whitehall Ferry Terminal in Manhattan, the City Island and Hart Island Facilities, The Battery Maritime Building and, all floating dock building equipment.

    The ferry is now free of charge, though riders must disembark at each terminal and reenter through the terminal building for a round trip. Bicycles may also be taken on the lowest deck of the ferry without charge. In the past, ferries were equipped for vehicle transport, at a charge of $3 per automobile; however, vehicles have not been allowed on the ferry since the September 11, 2001 attacks.

    The Staten Island Ferry is run by the City of New York for one pragmatic reason: To transport Staten Islanders to and from Manhattan. Yet, the 5 mile, 25 minute ride also provides a majestic view of New York Harbor and a no-hassle, even romantic, boat ride, for free! One guide book calls it " One of the worlds greatest ( and shortest ) water voyages."From the ferries deck you will have a perfect view of The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. You'll see the skyscrapers and bridges of Lower Manhattan receding as you pull away and coming into focus again as you return.

    A typical weekday schedule involves the use of five boats to transport approximately 70,000 passengers daily (104 daily trips). During the day, between rush hours, boats are regularly fueled and maintenance work is performed. Terminals are cleaned around the clock and routine terminal maintenance is performed on the day shift. On weekends, three boats are used (64 trips each weekend day).Over 33,000 trips are made annually.

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  • machomikemd's Profile Photo

    Free Ferry with Magnificent Views!

    by machomikemd Written Aug 13, 2007

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Staten Island Ferry Entrance
    4 more images

    The Staten Island Ferry provides 20 million people a year ( 70,000 passengers a day ) with ferry service between St. George on Staten Island and Whitehall street in lower Manhattan.The ferry is the only non-vehicular mode of transportation between Staten Island and Manhattan. NYC DOT operates and maintains the eleven vessel fleet as well as the St. George Ferry Terminal on Staten Island, Whitehall Ferry Terminal in Manhattan, the City Island and Hart Island Facilities, The Battery Maritime Building and, all floating dock building equipment.

    The ferry is now free of charge, though riders must disembark at each terminal and reenter through the terminal building for a round trip. Bicycles may also be taken on the lowest deck of the ferry without charge. In the past, ferries were equipped for vehicle transport, at a charge of $3 per automobile; however, vehicles have not been allowed on the ferry since the September 11, 2001 attacks.

    The Staten Island Ferry is run by the City of New York for one pragmatic reason: To transport Staten Islanders to and from Manhattan. Yet, the 5 mile, 25 minute ride also provides a majestic view of New York Harbor and a no-hassle, even romantic, boat ride, for free! One guide book calls it " One of the worlds greatest ( and shortest ) water voyages."From the ferries deck you will have a perfect view of The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. You'll see the skyscrapers and bridges of Lower Manhattan receding as you pull away and coming into focus again as you return.

    A typical weekday schedule involves the use of five boats to transport approximately 70,000 passengers daily (104 daily trips). During the day, between rush hours, boats are regularly fueled and maintenance work is performed. Terminals are cleaned around the clock and routine terminal maintenance is performed on the day shift. On weekends, three boats are used (64 trips each weekend day).Over 33,000 trips are made annually.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Backpacking
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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  • Dabs's Profile Photo

    Staten Island Ferry

    by Dabs Updated Aug 4, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Staten Island Ferry
    4 more images

    After our expensive lunch at Carnegie Deli, we were glad to find something in NYC that didn't cost ANY money, the ride on the Staten Island Ferry is FREE and gives a really nice view of the Statue of Liberty, downtown Manhattan and the harbor. We got on one of the rush hour ferries which was crowded but we were still able to get a seat on the main floor. If you are not planning on staying on Staten Island, you must still get off the ferry and get on the next return ferry. On the way back we went up to the 2nd level on the side but it looked like the best spot for the view was at the front of the ferry but I think you may have to stand, I didn't check it out with my bum ankle.

    We took line R to the Whitehall St. station to get there and it was about 3-4 blocks away, on the way back we took line 1 which was right next to the Ferry Terminal.

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  • Maggies's Profile Photo

    STATEN ISLAND FERRY

    by Maggies Written Aug 3, 2007
    2 more images

    Staten Island Ferry is the best bergain in the city, its' FREE :) and it gives you great views of Downtown Manhattan, Brooklyn Bridge and Statue of Liberty. Depending on the hour, it usually leaves every 30 mintes and the trip takes 25 minutes.

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  • northeast80's Profile Photo

    Get close to the Statue of Liberty for free

    by northeast80 Updated Mar 22, 2007

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    The Staten Island Ferry is free and there's crossings all the time.
    It passes close by the Statue of Liberty, if only my camera had a zoom.....
    We got off on Staten Island but soon found out the island doesn't really have much to offer.
    70,000 passengers a day use the service!! It is five miles to either side and takes around 25 mins to do the crossing.
    It goes from Whitehall Terminal Manhattan and arrives at St. George Terminal Staten Island.
    I have since found out there is a fare bit to see on Staten Island, we just couldn't find much!

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  • albert34's Profile Photo

    Apart from Liberty Statue

    by albert34 Written Nov 22, 2006

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    The great majority of the people come back to Manhattan in the following ferry without seeing anything more,but is worth to walk a while by S.George,a very quiet little town.It's unbelievable.Just 20 minutes from the busy,noisy Manhattan.And there is museum (2$) at 5 minutes walking from the port.

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  • kirsty_lamb's Profile Photo

    Staten Island Ferry

    by kirsty_lamb Written Oct 6, 2006

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    This is FREE!

    These are big and nice ferris and there is a lovely terminal for them. It goes right past the statue of Liberty, and if you go outside of the terminal at Staten Island you can look back across the water at the famous New York skyline. It take 20 minutes / half an hour and is well worth a look!

    Ferries run regularly (timetable on their web site) but aviod at clocking in and out work rush hours.

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