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It was freezing cold when we were out on the ferry. But it was one of the most visually breathtaking parts of our trip, next to the view from Top of the Rock. Ellis Island was closed down due to the hurricane, but we still got a really nice view of the Statue of Liberty.
We also had front row views of Manhattan's business district, Brooklyn, and the Brooklyn bridge. I would recommend everyone to take the ferry ride while visiting NYC. I'll probably ride it every time I go. The views of the NYC skyline are out of this world.
East River Ferry
Not a cheap as the Staten Island ferry of course, but the East River Ferry is a great way to get a look at Manhattan without shelling out for a tourist cruise.
The ferry shuttles between East 34th Street and Pier 11 in Lower Manhattan (and goes to Governer's island at weekends). There are free buses from Midtown to the E 34th Street Pier.
A one way trip cost $4 (2013), and an all day ticket is $12.
The $4 fare was well worth it. Great views of the skyline as we sailed downstream, passing under the Williamsburg Bridge and gaining fine vistas of Manhattan on the way. People were flying kites from the piers, and the breeze was pleasantly cooling in the face of the blazing sunshine.
The trip down to the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges took about 45 minutes, including stops.
The ferry serves hotspots on the Brooklyn shore including LIC, Williamsburg, Greenpoint and DUMBO.
- Budget Travel
Ferry to Liberty and Ellis Islands
I’ve written about these two must-see sights in the Things to Do section, so here I want to say just a few words about the ferry that will take you to see them. The ferries leave from Battery Park at the southern tip of Manhattan Island, and tickets for them are sold in Castle Clinton in the middle of the park (well signposted and easy to find). The queues can be quite long, and a little muddling as they snake around the yard in the centre of the fort. Note that on a hot day such as we had for our visit you will be standing in the sun for a while, though Chris and I took it in turns to sit in the shade of the old stone walls surrounding the yard.
For a while after 9/11 Liberty Island was closed, and security is still high. Having bought your tickets in the old fort, you head out of its southern gate and join the queue for the next ferry. This moves slowly, and as you near the front you will see why; airport-style security checks are in place, with X-ray machines and bag searches. Be warned too that no photography is allowed in this area – one young girl was shouted at for trying to take a picture of her friend in the line. For more about these security restrictions see the National Park website.
Once on the boat though it is a relatively short ride across to Liberty Island, and the excitement mounts as you near your destination. Everyone is trying to get a shot of the famous statue. Don’t bother! You will get much better views once you alight, and no one will be jostling your elbow or blocking half the shot with their baseball cap. Wait till you dock, and the crowds spread out, and enjoy your visit to Liberty Island.
Fares: $12.00 for ages 13+, $10.00 for Senior Citizens (62 and over and $5.00 for children 4-12.
The ferry leaves from Battery Park. Nearest subway stations are South Ferry (line 1), Whitehall St (line W) or Bowling Green (lines 4 & 5)
I strongly recommend doing the boat trip around manhatten. From 42nd street walk West until you get to the water front and get the boat there. It is opposite the Chinese embassy, where there are usually protests about the Dalai Lama or some such.
The guy who did the commentary was very knowledgeable and it was a very interested, fully packed tour. They also kept the idiots who stand up so nobody else can see under control. Plenty of opportunities to take photos etc, esp of statue of liberty.
Extremely recommended, one of the best bits of my time in New York.
Circle Line Ferry
Dude, okay - so, the Circle Line Ferry is what most people who don't have helicopter access take to Liberty Island. This little boat trip across the water takes an insane amount of time. First, you get in one line that you think is THE LINE. Not so, Bobby Joe. That's just the line to confirm your reservation / buy your ticket. Then, you have to go stand in another line for about an hour or so to go through security to stand in . . . you guessed it - ANOTHER BLOODY LINE. All this would be awesome if you could see the trouble you were getting into up front, but you can't. Each line is disguised in a clever way to make you think you're almost there every step of the way until - wham! You turn a corner, and you realise it's just begun.
Oh, also, if you want to go into the Statue of Liberty you have to reserve tickets online ahead of time. You'll wait in just as many lines when you get there, but at least you'll get to go inside.
There is no need to rush or stay in a quey as there is enough ferries and crossings are frequent. Just sit on the open deck camera ready in hand and shoot the numerous landmarks around Manhattan while cruising.
Travelling by ferry
When you are travelling by ferry, like if you are visiting Ellis Island or the Statue of Liberty, make sure you keep your food close to you, as there are lots of large gulls and birds that will try to steal your food!
Ferry to Statue of Liberty
The ferry to Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island is operated by Circle Line. Just go to Battery Park, purchase your ticket, and get in line. The ferry runs on frequent basis. From Battery Park, it first stops at Statue of Liberty Island then Ellis Island before returning to Battery Park. You can choose to get off on one or both islands, and stay for as long as you like (until the last ferry of course). The fare is $10.
Miss New York to get to Liberty island
Miss New York is one of the eight boats that will get you to and from Liberty Island and Ellis Island.
This boat was build in 1993 and has a passenger capacity of 799 people.
As one of the circle line boats it's an easy way to get to the islands. Once you bought a ticket you can visit both islands without any other time limit then the closing time of both islands.
children under 3 are $0
ages 4 through 12 are $4
Ages 62 and older are $8
ages 13 through 62 $10
- Historical Travel
- Family Travel
Take a boattrip and see the skyline from the water, it is fantastic.
We did chose the three hour guided tour that goes around Manhattan. An advice is to take the one who is about 1 ½ hour instead. The longer one went to the "backside" of Manhattan, and it was intresting for a while...but even the guide didn´t say anything for a long time, so it was a bit to long.
The ferry system gets you around new york and they even have water taxis..which is cool.
this particular ferry is the Circle Line Ferry out to Ellis Island and Liberty Island
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