Staten Island Ferry is free and imho one of the best "cheap dates" in the city.
Board on the right side or the front of the boat for departure from Manhattan so you get a good look when you pass the Statue of Liberty, then get in the front or front-left side on the return to Manhattan to see Liberty again and the bridges & South Manhattan.
Ferry leaves each terminal every half hour on the half hour, departing from the new ferry terminal on the east river just south of the Fulton market.
Ride takes a little under 30 minutes, and there is actually time (if you are not planning to sightsee on Staten Island) when you arrive (if you hurry) to hustle off the ferry and go around to hop right back on the same boat for the return to Manhattan so you don't end up waiting around half an hour for the next boat.
Bring your camera. The view of the bridges and the Statue of Liberty is unforgettable.
Bring your own refreshments. Lots of people do, from snacks / sandwiches to beers and cokes, & the crew doesn't seem to mind.
Bottom line: I think the Staten Island ferry is great and I'll probably do it every time I go to NYC if weather / visibility is decent.
The price is right.
Hoping on board a ferry to Staten island... is something u don't want to miss especially if the ride is absolutely FOC !!! Staten island transportation and sightseeing treasures is actually the municipal service since 1905, and meant for commuter route between Staten Island and lower Manhattan. The ferry ride covers a glorious, 5.2-mile, 20-minute mini-cruise with great views of the Statue of Liberty, New York Harbor, and lower Manhattan….at no cost...
About the Operator:
New York City Department of Transportation
Staten Island Division
St. George Ferry Terminal,
Staten Island, New York 10301
Departs the St. George Ferry Terminal at Richmond Terrace, Staten Island.
Arrives at the Whitehall Terminal at Whitehall St. and South St., in Lower Manhattan.
ATTN: People with disabilities should use the upper level. Elevator available at the Whitehall Terminal
Arrival and departure times are subject to change. Because of security concerns, there are no vehicles allowed on the ferry until further notice. For updates, call 311. A piece of advise, the terminal is really packed on weekends so u might want to schedules ur ride on weekdays if possible.
How to get to the terminal??
Public Transportation Connections
The Staten Island Terminal is served by the Staten Island Railway and the S40, S42, S44, S46, S48, S51, S52, S61, S62, S66, S67, S74, S76, S78, S90, S91, S92, S94, S96 and S98 bus routes.
Passengers arriving at the Whitehall Terminal are within a short walking distance from the 1, 9, 4, 5, N, R subway lines as well as the M1, M6 and M15 bus lines.
The free commuter ferry connects Manhattan and Staten Island. This is the way that a lot of tourists choose to take their pictures of the Statue of Liberty, while locals go to and from work or school. The Statue of Liberty, one of the most famous immigrants, is another icon of New York. The statue was designed by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi and built by Gustave Eiffel's company, and given to the US by the people of France, as a token of friendship.
I took the free ferry to Staten Island, that passes the statue on the way there and back on a gorgeous sunny and warm January day. At no point I felt like I couldn't take a picture because there were too many people.
For security reasons, all passengers must get off the boat even if they want to go back to Manhattan right away, which is what I did. I went out, turn left and pretty much followed the crowd. The pier is signed as well so it's easy to find where to take the ferry back to Manhattan. On the waiting room at St. George terminal there was a fish tank, maintained by the Staten Island Zoo. The ferry runs 24/7, the ride takes about 25 minutes with departure times every 15-20 minutes during rush hour.
The ferry gave me some other cool photo ops, like a "ship traffic line" under the Verrazano-Narrows bridge, Manhattan and Brooklyn skylines, the Brooklyn Bridge and Newark/Jersey City.
New York's best deal is the absolutely free Staten Island Ferry which runs between Staten Island and Manhattan. The Staten Island Ferry overs views of some of the New York's most famous sights, including Ellis Island, the Lower Manhattan skyline, Verrazano Narrows Bridge, Elizabeth Seaport, and the Statue of Liberty. It runs each half hour between the two points; each trip takes 25 minutes. After riding to Staten Island from Manhattan, you can get off, hop right back on, and head back.
Other objects visible from the ferry are the World Financial Center, 40 Wall Street, tugboats and large cargo ships, the forested residential areas on Staten Island, the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, and Governor's Island; to get the best view, head to the right side of the ferry when you get on.
Take the Staten Island Ferry from Whitehall St. in Manhattan by taking N, R, or W train. Its a cheap ride under a dollar but you can see the beautiful skyline of Manhattan. Nothing much to see in staten Island but its definitely worth to take a round trip with this ferry !!
That ferry is on a 30 minute interval.
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.
You will read in all the guidebooks to take the free trip onboard the Staten Island ferry and you should really try and do so, firstly it lets you get as near to the Statue of Liberty as i believe is required and also gives you a stunning view of the Manhattan skyline.
I would advise that you make your way to the opposite end of the ferry you board from quite sharpish in order to get a good vantage point in the open air deck. This area became a bitty crowded as the ferry filled up but we had managed to park ourselves in prime position.
You pass closer to the statue of Liberty on the return journey from Staten Island to Manhattan. We did not hang about for anytime in Staten Island so i could not say wether it would be worth a look around, we decided just to hop right back on the next departing ferry.
We actaully arrived in New York the same week that the Staten Island Ferry crashed into the pier at the Staten Island end, when unfortuantely there were a number of casualties.
Most of the tourists take advantage of the free ferry that goes every 30’ to Staten Island because they can take pictures of Statue of Liberty on the way! 80% of them return back with the next ferry without even walk for 5’ at the island! Believe it or not Staten island is bigger than Manhattan so there are some interesting places to visit. More than 500.000 people live on the island and the architecture is much different than in other districts of New York. I had a feeling I was traveling in the country side! I suggest you to go around the island for a while. The central town of the island is St George and its right there by the port so you can see some sights in walkable distance.
There are some nice Victorian houses at the historic part of the city where you can also see the St Peter’s catholic church. There are some museums in St George like The National Lighthouse Museum and The Staten Island Museum.
If you have some more time you can take a local bus(you can use your Metrocard) and go further inside the island. I went to the historical Richmond town (see next tip) but there are some other places too like the Snug Harbor Cultural Center, the Staten Island Zoo or the Center of Thibetian Art at 338 Lighthouse Avenue (one stop before the Historical Richmond Town) .
On our return with the ferry some people started to dance tango until we reached Manhattan again!!! (pic 2)
Richmondtown is a village at the center of Staten island. The reason I went there was the historic Richmond town, a town that is actually an open-air museum! It opened at 1958 and you can see 27 historic buildings that were built there since the 17th century. There is a central Info Center where you pay the entrance fee ($5) and they give you a sticker. With that you can go inside the museum and some of the buildings. All these houses that are open are furnished in the 17th century style and there is usually a person in each one that makes a demonstration about it.
It was very funny because when we went into the old grocery store, an old lady came dressed with some old dress and started explaining about her store and how she makes a living! Even the smell was interesting because they had put some of the herbs that were for sale in that era. Then I understood how this village works so I visited the carpenter’s place and he started cut the woods! I asked him if he does this all day for the tourists and he told me that some of the wooden things he makes are for sale because the people of the village don’t have so much money anyway.
One other house was very nicely decorated with a nice kitchen and plenty of rooms so I told to the little girl (that was the “guide” there) that I could easily live in the 18th century if I had a house like this. She told me “ok, but this was the house of a rich man, your will would probably had the one next door” Of course, I didn’t like the other house so much :) We walked around the village for a while and there weren’t any other visitors, only some ducks so I guess we felt for a while how was to be there in the 17th century! Lol
There is also a piece of land where they plan to build some old buildings that were burned out like the First County Courthouse(1729), a jail (1741) and the Jailer’s House(1751). The Courthouse destroyed during the Revolutionary War. I also saw some churches like the St.Andrew church which is a typical Episcopal-anglican church.
the entrance fee is $5 and includes Museum and village tour.
It’s open Wednesday-Friday 11:00-17:00 and Saturday-Sunday 13:00-17:00. It is closed Monday and tuesday
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!
Taking the Staten Island ferry is definitely a Must Do activity for new visitors to NYC. I've actually done it on two different trips and enjoyed the 2nd time as much as the 1st!
The trip for foot passengers is absolutely free. For cars it's only $3.00 each way.
The trip provides a glorious view of New York harbour and the NYC skyline. Highly recommended!
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.