As you pass through this beautifully renovated architecture – the Whitehall Terminal in Lower Manhattan, with almost, always clean toilets, food outlets like Wendy’s and Pizza Plus and at times live entertainers you cannot believe that your Ferry journey is absolutely free! It’s been free of charge since 1997.
No need to purchase tickets. Just stand or sit in comfort or have a meal while waiting for the ferry which comes approximately every half an hour taking you on the 5.2 miles trip across the waterways from New York Harbor between the New York City boroughs of Manhattan and Staten Island with views of the Statue of Liberty on the front or right, Ellis Island, some iconic views of New York Harbors like Governors Island and lower Manhattan as you leave it behind.
The ferry operates 24/7. So, you can take a day tour with/ without a tour guide to explore Staten Island’s Top attractions or at night for a more romantic ambiance with the city lights as your backdrop, the Statue of Liberty giving you liberty to take chances – a kiss or two! A cheap but lasting impression!
Note – Saturday nights also include beer and food items served at the snack bar.
A day trip goes best by avoiding the ‘Rush hours’. However, if you want the full experience of the busy waterways with ferries and boats passing so close that you belt out songs to lower your heart rate or film a YouTube moment – then go ahead!
Best time to travel
- Times highlighted in yellow on the schedule are commuter-packed trips.
- The main deck usually has lots of space and is great for pictures.
Where to sit?
The best seats aboard the Staten Island Ferry depend upon what you most want to see. When departing Manhattan, the best views of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island are from the front of the ferry. (If you can, grab a space more to the right.) For Governor’s Island and the Brooklyn Bridge sit anywhere on the left, or else sit at the back for panoramas of lower Manhattan.
Remember you must disembark at each terminal and reenter through the terminal building for a round trip to comply with Coast Guard regulations regarding vessel capacity.
Cyclists can enjoy touring the island as well..
There are two bicycle entrances to the ferry from either borough. The bike entrance is always on the first floor so bicyclists can enter the ferry from the ground without needing to enter the building. The ground entrance is also reserved exclusively for bike riders (everyone else must use the 2nd floor entrance). Cyclists must dismount and walk their bicycles to the waiting area and onto the boat and bicycles must be stored in the designated bicycle storage area on each boat. Cyclists are subject to screening upon arrival at the ferry terminals. Bicycles may also be taken on the lowest deck of the ferry without charge.
Did you know?
Before New York City incorporated the four boroughs in 1898, the Staten Island Ferry was operated by a number of private companies.
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