We took the Staten Island Ferry to get to Manhatten. We parked on Staten Island, much easier than trying to park in Manhatten, and less expensive. Plus, you have a great view of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, plus a great view of the southern part of Manhatten.
Everyone would like to fern to or by the Statue of Liberty. But the water taxi's and other cruises ask a lot of money and you have to stand in line for a very long time to make a reservation for a cruise. Instead take the FREE ferry from Battery Park to Staten Island. This ferry ferns by the Statue of Liberty, so you have a great, but more important, free view!
The ferries are a nice way to see the city from afar. We took several ferries; one to Ellis Island and the Staten Island Ferry to our hotel. The Staten Island Ferry is free and runs continuously 24/7 every 20 minutes.
Round trip fare on the ferry, which includes admission to both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, is $8 for adults, $6 for senior citizens, $3 for children 3-17 years old, and free to children 3 and under. The ferries, which leave from Battery Park in Manhattan and Liberty State Park in New Jersey, operate 7 days a week, from approximately 9:30am to 5:00pm. For ferry schedule and information, call 212-269-5755 or visit www.statueoflibertyferry.com.
I queried with myself for a while as to whether I should put this tip here or under “Things to Do” as the Staten Island Ferry is certainly as much a sightseeing trip as a means of transport. It also happens to be one of the best freebies, not just in New York, but in any city in the world I suspect! Where else could you take a 25 minute ride affording spectacular cityscape views and not pay a penny?
The reason for this amazing bargain is that the primary purpose of the ferry is to transport Staten Islanders to and from Manhattan rather than provide a tourist attraction, but that’s not to say that tourists aren't made very welcome on board too. When we rode the ferry I think there must have been a fairly even split between tourists and locals (some heading home to the Island after a morning in Manhattan, others visiting friends or maybe business colleagues there). It’s easy to spot the difference – the locals settle down inside with a newspaper or good book and cup of coffee while the visitors head for the decks and hug the rails to get the best views of the city’s skyline and the Statue of Liberty. If you want to do the same, make for the right-hand side of the boat going out to see Liberty and head right to the front coming back to watch the skyscrapers of Manhattan loom ever closer as you approach the dock.
The ferry runs every day of the year, making over 35,000 trips a year and carrying as many as 60,000 people each week day. This can only be achieved by developing a pretty slick operation. In arriving at the terminal you’ll find clear signs indicating when the next boat will depart, and from which gate. When the gate opens everyone moves forwards and boarding is a quick process due to the wide gangway and the amount of space inside (although I appreciate this may be different in the rush hour – we were travelling late morning). When you arrive at the Staten Island Terminal, St George, you’ll be required to disembark even if, like many tourists, you plan to return immediately to Manhattan. On this visit we did just that, but had to wait about 30 minutes during which time we grabbed a quick coffee and admired the tropical fish in the huge fish tanks, a recent gift of Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro. But if you want to see something of Staten Island there are bus tours available, and local buses and taxis available just outside the terminal.
Ferries leave Manhattan from South Ferry Terminal – the nearest subway stations are South Ferry (line 1), Whitehall St / South Ferry (line W) or Bowling Green (lines 4 and 6)
staten Island Ferry is a free service between Manhattan and Staten Island.Departs the Whitehall Terminal at 1 Whitehall Street at South Street in Lower Manhattan .Arrives at the St. George Ferry Terminal at One Ferry Terminal Drive, Richmond Terrace, Staten Island.
It passes by the Statue of Liberty.
There is a very handy and cheap (free!) ferry service that transfers people to and fro, and is one of the nicest, if not THE nicest ferry trips I have ever been on.
It is a huge ferry and carries 60,000 people per day! The ferry we went on went from St. George on Staten Island to Whitehall Street in lower Manhattan, and back.
We nabbed window seats to take photos and had to try a typically huge New York pretzel of course! It was hot and filled the spot very well, and one was more than enough to share between two people.
We took some lovely shots of Brooklyn Bridge and the City of New York from the ferry, as well as of The Statue of Liberty.
The trip was thoroughly enjoyable and lasted 25 minutes, and before we knew it, we were on the other side. On Staten Island we waited and caught the next ferry back. We did not have time to explore Staten Island this time unfortunately.
We got back on the next ferry (one of 109 trips made per day!) for free again – this is a really handy service! – and got back to the City.
It is free and fun to see how tourists and commuters in almost equal numbers (in weekdays, that is) rub shoulders in this boat ride to Staten Island with exhilarating views of the Lower Manhattan Skyline and Liberty Island. A real must in NYC.
This comes in handy for a tourist in two different scenarios:
1- If you've been walking all morning and need to sit down, you can spend an hour or so (roundtrip) resting your 'dogs' and sightseeing at the same time.
2- If for whatever reason you can't take the ferry over to the Statue of Liberty, this is a nice alternative for at least getting a nice picture.
When you get to Staten Island you must get off the boat but you can get right back on and make the trip back.
And the best part is IT IS FREE!
The Borough of Staten Island, which is home to a population of over 380,000 people, was settled in 1661 and became part of New York City in 1898. Fort Wadsworth was the name of the original settlement and it was a military installation for almost 200 years. The massive fortifications which lie near the Verrazano Bridge were built during the Civil War period.
Perhaps the best deal in all of NYC is the FREE ride from Manhattan to Staten Island by ferry. The view if NYC is 2nd to none!
There is ferry service to/from Manhattan from Atlantic Highlands, Highlands, Hoboken, Sandy Hook and South Amboy , NJ and to/from St. Georges on Staten Island.
Most , but not all, NYC ferry serive terminates at or near South St. in Manhattan.
The Staten Island ferry is free and it runs every hour from 6AM to midnight. The NJ ferries cost $5-30 depending on time and location. They run AM, PM and weekend schedules. The NJ ferrries are NY Waterways and Sea Streak.
Want to get a good look at the Statue of Liberty, but don't want to wait in those enormous lines and pay all that money?
Take the Staten Island Ferry! It's a free ferry from the tip of Manhattan to Staten Island. It leaves every hour, and goes right by the Statue. You also get great views of NYC. Not to mention that there's plenty to do on Staten Island as well.
While you're waiting for the ferry, it will seem like you won't get on it, but don't worry, you will. Also, you can't just stay on the ferry for the return. You have to get off and then back on again.
One tip is to go straight to the front-right side of the boat when you get on at either terminus (preferrably on the top). This will afford the best views.
The only direct link between Manhattan and Staten Island is now celebrating its 100th year of service. Once costing a few coins but now free altogether, ferry passengers get one of the cheapest but nicest travel bargains in New York City. The 25-minute 5-mile transit passes nearby to Liberty and Ellis Islands and provides a wonderful scenic approach to lower Manhattan.
The Staten Island Ferry is FREE and will offer you great photo opportunities of the NYC harbour, Ellis Island, Governors Island, Statue of Liberty, and the beautiful New York City Skyline. It's about a 30 minute trip each way, one hour round trip.
The Staten Island Ferry is at Southern most Manhattan (downtown)..
Take the 1 or 9 train to South Ferry station , N, R or W to Whitehall Street station , 4 or 5 to Bowling green station.
The M1, M6 and M15 bus lines connect at the Staten Island Ferry.
Grey Line hop on/hop off bus tour - Battery Park stop.
This ship is a marvel, it travels all day back and forth to and from Staten Island and Manhatten for free! It seems to accomadate hundreds of passengers easily.
Inside it has a lift going to 4 floors, so you can go up a level and sit outside to see the Statue of Liberty and Manhatten from afar.
The easiest and cheapest way to travel between Manhattan and Staten Island is via that historic Staten Island Ferry. This series of small pedestrian ferries runs throughout the day between Staten Island and Manhattan's South Ferry Terminal(s).
The price? A New York bargain, folks. FREE.
The crossing takes about 20 minutes, and if I remember, the boats depart about every hour. (Maybe a New Yorker will correct that comment, as I am not totally sure on frequency)
A bonus....a great FREE look at the Statue of Liberty occurs on each trip.
Another note....there are several different ferries. If you can manage to ride the "John F. Kennedy", there is no plastic barrier on the outside to obstruct an excellent State of Liberty photograph. : )