Want to see the New York Harbor up close? The Staten Island Ferry serves commuters traveling between Staten Island and Lower Manhattan, but visitors looking to see New York City's working waterfront (& the Statue of Liberty) will enjoy the free ride across the New York Harbor.
About the Staten Island Ferry:
The Staten Island Ferry is an attraction fit for young and old, New York first-timers and those who have lived here for years.
But it's a real treat for those on a budget.
The ferry, which runs frequently enough that if you just show up, one is probably not far off, offers a wonderful view of the harbor and all it has to offer. Among the sights to take in from either side of the vessel, are Governors Island, the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, lower Manhattan and Wall Street's skyscrapers, Ellis Island, and the Verrazano Narrows Bridge connecting Staten Island to Brooklyn.
Hop aboard. Or rather, push on board through the cattle-car feeling entrance way, and take a seat. If you want one of the seats on the benches on the borders of the boat, to overlook the harbor, grab one fast because they fill up quickly. Take the ride back and forth if you wish. Each leg is half an hour. Switch sides so you can take in all views. And as it pulls in to Manhattan, take a walk up to the front of the boat and bring your camera -- it's a great view you won't want to miss.
- No cars are allowed on the ferry.
- Even on a warm day, a jacket is recommended. It is windy on the ride, and even if you're not sitting outside taking in the view, the interior of the ferry can be breezy and cool.
- You'll need to get off the ferry and re-board once it's reached its destination even if you want to ride right back.
- The Richmond County Bank Ballpark at St. George, home of the minor league Staten Island Yankees, is within walking distance of the Staten Island port of the ferry.
- If you're waiting in Manhattan, next door is Battery Park, complete with a distant view of Ms. Liberty, a nice place to wait if you have time before your ferry arrives-which you can see coming from a distance and have plenty of time to walk to from the park.
Tips For Riding The Staten Island Ferry:
- It will come as no surprise that the ferry attracts a wide range of users -- from commuters and tourists to the occasional homeless person taking advantage of having access to a bathroom.
- The ferry is designed for commuters, so while you can enjoy the harbor, the breeze and a view of the Statue of Liberty, you won't get a photo-op or nearly as close as you do on some of the other sightseeing cruises designed for tourists and visitors.
- There is free-wifi available in the terminals, as well as on the ferry.
- There are food concessions on every ferry, and beer, but not hard liquor, is sold on board.
- Ferries run every 15-20 minutes during peak times and every 30 to 60 minutes during less popular times.
Staten Island Ferry Hours:
The ferry operates 24 hours a day every day of the week.
Through most of the day (the only exception being the hours of midnight to 6am), you will not have to wait more than half an hour for the next departure, and it will be more frequent-and crowded-during weekday rush hours. Weekdays and weekends, boats leave and arrive on the half hour. Each leg of the ferry takes half an hour.
Staten Island Ferry Essentials:
- Manhattan: Whitehall and Water St
New York, NY 10006 (Map)
- Staten Island: 1 Bay St.
Staten Island, NY 10301
- Manhattan: Whitehall and Water St
- Phone: 718-815-BOAT
- Nearest Subways In Manhattan, J/Z to Broad Street; 1 to South Ferry; 4/5 to Bowling Green. In Staten Island, Staten Island Railway to St. George.
- Price: Free
- Website: http://www.siferry.com/
- Photos: Staten Island Ferry Photos