For locals, the New York Ferry or NYC Ferry is one of the most important means of transportation when it comes to reliability and speed. Unfortunately, the subway (MTA), usually has a problem with running on time. You just never know if the MTA is on schedule for if there will be delays. It can also be particularly bad on weekends because of ongoing construction. You usually won’t have to deal with any of this when it comes to ferries.

NYC Ferry Guide: What to Know

NYC ferries run on a strict schedule here. Now, that may seem completely normal to you as a visitor, but it is a real luxury for us locals. Transportation in NYC can be difficult and the ferry is one of the few options that remains on schedule and on time. In this article, we’ll provide you with an overview of the different possibilities as a tourist about using ferries in NYC. You have many options and very attractive destinations that can be reached by using an NYC Ferry.

NYC Ferry: The Ferry for the East River

new york ferry

The public NYC Ferry or New York Ferry used to be called the East River Ferry. It travels on the East River, which takes you from Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx (and back). The ferry is especially popular with New Yorkers to get to work from home. It’s super-efficient, because it’s guaranteed to avoid any traffic jams. If you get thirsty or hungry, you can even buy small snacks or drinks on the ferries. 

The best part about this is the ride is super-relaxing, it doesn’t put a dent in your wallet because it costs just as much as a subway ride which is only $ 2.75. Also, just like other ferries, you get to see amazing views.

Schedule, Prices and Tickets for the NYC Ferry

Ferry tickets are relatively cheap. A one-way ticket runs for $2.75 (if you bring a bike on board, it costs $1 more). There’s also a $30 dollar ferry ticket as well. Kids are permitted to ride the NYC Ferry for free as long as they are no taller than 44 inches.

Getting Your New York Ferry Tickets

new york ferry

There are four different ways to buy New York ferry tickets. Our favorite is the really good and easy-to-use NYC Ferry app (available for free download on iOS and Android). Here, you can choose your New York ferry ticket and you can pay by credit card. Make sure your phone has a working internet. You can also can buy the New York ferry tickets at kiosks at their respective seaports. The last alternative is the website itself, here you can order the tickets and then print them out at the end.

NYC Ferry Map and Stops

In total there are 6 routes, 4 of which you can already use. Depending on the particular route, the ferries start every 20-30 minutes on weekdays and every 45 minutes on weekends (you can see that they are very popular with commuters).

The blue East River route runs between Midtown East (34th Street), Queens (Hunters Point), Brooklyn (Greenpoint, North and South Williamsburg, DUMBO at Brooklyn Bridge Park, and again to Manhattan (Wall Street / Pier 11) In addition, Governors Island is also on the blue route.

The Rockaway route is a summer hot spot. After an hour long ride, you’ll reach Rockaway (NYC Ferry used to stop at Sunset Park in Brooklyn), which is known for its fantastic beach. Here you can enjoy a beach day, walks along the promenade or visit the Rockaway Brewing Company.

The pink-colored South Brooklyn route connects the southern part of Brooklyn with Lower Manhattan. The stops are DUMBO, Atlantic Avenue (both at Brooklyn Bridge Park), Red Hook (near IKEA, nearby is our favorite BBQ at Hometown BBQ and right next to it is the Brooklyn Crab which is also recommended), Sunset Park and Bay Ridge. The NY ferry also heads to Governors Island in the summer.

If you want to go north from Manhattan, or you want to go back to Manhattan from Queens, then the orange route from Astoria is the place to go. Here, the ferry commutes between Wall Street / Pier 11, East 34th Street, Long Island City at Gantry Plaza State Park, Roosevelt Island and Astoria.

For the summer of 2018, two more routes are being planned. The purple-colored Soundview line leads from Lower Manhattan to the Bronx. The Lower East Side route will be yellow and connect Lower Manhattan with Long Island City (in addition to the Astoria route, it will have two more stops in Manhattan).

You can download the NYC Ferry map with all the stops as a PDF.

Here, you can view the schedule including the departure times in detail.

NY Waterway–The NYC Ferry to Jersey and Manhattan

NY Waterway ferry connects Jersey with Manhattan. It’s also known as the Hudson River Ferry. Many locals have now moved to the neighboring state, New Jersey, particularly Jersey City and Hoboken. Those cities have become super attractive neighborhoods. In addition to the PATH and buses, the NY Waterway Ferry is also a reliable option.

The Ferry Terminal locations are in Midtown on W38th Street, Brookfield Place in Lower Manhattan, Pier 11 Wall Street and the Battery Maritime Building in Port Liberté. For example, if you have rented an Airbnb in the neighboring state or are staying in a hotel, the NY ferry is often the faster alternative to get to the city.

While the South, such as Jersey City, Paulus Hook and Hoboken, have good access to the PATH, areas like Weehawken, West New York and Edgewater rely on the NJ Transit Bus. This can be a nightmare especially during peak times, because the buses have to drive through the Lincoln Tunnel, which is usually congested. It often makes sense to take the ferry at certain times of the day, especially if you need to be somewhere.

Costs, Prices and Tickets for the NY Waterway

In terms of price, the cost of the NY Waterway is significantly higher than the NYC Ferry. A drive from Port Imperial in NJ can cost $13 per person to Lower Manhattan. Children from 6-11 years pay $ 6.50. From age 11, the child counts as an adult. A ride to Midtown costs a maximum of $9 depending on where you leave.

How To Get NY Waterway Tickets

You can get NY Waterway tickets either online or at the ticket kiosks that are located at every stop of the NY Waterway. There are monthly and weekly tickets which are worthwhile if you ONLY use the ferry.

New York Ferry to Staten Island

One of the most popular ferries is the Staten Island Ferry which connects Manhattan to Staten Island. The orange-colored ferries are a a part of New York City’s vibe jus as much as the yellow cabs. The best part is the Staten Island Ferry is free! On the 20-25 minute crossing, you’ll enjoy the photogenic skyline of Lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty. The ferries have been connecting the two boroughs since 1905 and the Staten Island Ferry uses more than 23 million passengers per year or over 60,000 per day.

Staten Island Ferry Schedule

During rush hour, the ferries leave every 15 minutes. Otherwise it’s every 30 minutes.

The ferry starts in Battery Park in Manhattan. The nearest subway stations are Whitehall St., which you can reach by taking the  NR W lines and South Ferry Station, which is line 1 . The St. George Terminal is your destination in Staten Island. You can either take the next ferry back to Manhattan or take some time off at the North Shore Waterfront Esplanade Park. When you get back to Lower Manhattan, you can round off your experience with a visit to the 9/11 Memorial and the One World Observatory or you can go for a nice drink at the bar, The Dead Rabbit.

You can see the schedule here.

New York Ferry to the Statue of Liberty

new york ferry

This is one one of the most popular tours in New York. This New York ferry connects New York’s Battery Park with Liberty Island (where the Statue of Liberty is located) and Ellis Island. If you only want to go to Liberty Island without going into the Statue of Liberty itself, then the price for the crossing is already included in all sightseeing passes.

Tickets and Prices for the Ferry to the Statue of Liberty

There are several tickets for the Statue of Liberty: 

1. Ferry ticket and visit to Liberty Island and Ellis Island

2. Tickets for the first pedestal of the Statue of Liberty

3. Tickets to the crown of the Statue of Liberty (of which there are only 365 per day, you have to book long in advance)

More about the Statue of Liberty can be found in this article.

Schedule, Tickets and Prices For the Ferry to the Statue of Liberty

Every day, the ferries leave their ports in Battery Park at 8:30 am and run pretty much every 20 minutes. It takes about 15-20 minutes to get to Liberty Island. From there, the ferries leave for Ellis Island which is about a 10 minute ride and then the ferries head back to Manhattan.

NYC Ferry–The Seastreak Ferry

This relatively large, very comfortable ferry in New York is both a ferry for commuters and for those looking for a weekend getaway. Seastreak has numerous destinations. We recommend taking weekend trips to beautiful Newport or to Martha’s Vineyard.

Obviously, only do something like this if you plan on staying in New York for a long time and want to plan an extra weekend outside of the city.

The IKEA Ferry in New York

The IKEA Ferry is also called the Ikea Water Taxi or IKEA Express Ferry and is part of the New York Water Taxi. It commutes between Manhattan and Red Hook, Brooklyn. The ferry stops right in front of IKEA in Brooklyn. Yes, New Yorkers take the ferry to Ikea and then have the furniture delivered to their home. It’s pretty convenient.

The ride itself is realxing. You can look at wonderful skyline of Lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge. The IKEA ferry goes right past Governors Island as well. The ferry starts at Pier 11 in Wall Street.

Schedule, Tickets and Prices for the IKEA Ferry

On weekdays, the ferries start every 45 minutes from 2PM. On weekends, they start every 50 minutes from 11:30AM. The price for a ride is $5, but you can redeem it when you shop at IKEA!

You can buy tickets at the ticket counter at Pier 11. For the trip back to Manhattan, we bought them at the ticket kiosk at the pier in Brooklyn.

New York Water Taxi

new york ferry

The New York Water Taxi is an ideal way to explore New York City from the water. NY Water Taxi has four stations in Midtown, Battery Park, South Street Seaport and Brooklyn Dumbo). You can travel back and forth as often as you like with the one day ticket.  Just sit back, relax and enjoy the view. The ride takes about 70 minutes. Here is a detailed article from us about NY Water Taxi.

Prices and tickets for the NY Water Taxi

The New York Water Taxi Day Pass rates are as follows: Adults are $37 and children ages 3-12 are $31. These tickets are valid for one day.  You can get Water Taxi tickets here . If you have the New York Pass, the day pass for the Water Taxi is already included.

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