The Staten Island Ferry is one of the most iconic attractions in New York City for tourists. The Ferry, which connects Lower Manhattan with Staten Island, runs frequently, 365 days a year. A ride with the ferry is free and the view you get is absolutely amazing. Considering that there are many cruises available that you pay a lot of money for in Manhattan, this is a great budget-friendly option to take the skyline in from the water.
The Staten Island Ferry – Amazing views of NYC for free
Get an amazing view of the NYC skyline and enjoy the ride over to Staten Island on the Staten Island Ferry. New Yorkers use the ferry for their daily commute between Staten Island and Manhattan – but for those who are just visiting, this is the perfect way to see NYC from the water without having to pay for a cruise!
5 Miles in 25 Minutes
The 5-mile ride across to Staten Island will take approximately 25 minutes. This gives you plenty of time to relax and enjoy the view. Have your cameras ready and take some amazing pictures when you pass the Statue of Liberty and the NYC skyline behind you. In our opinion there is no extra value of taking the ferry to Liberty Island, it is always extremely busy and it is very difficult to take good pictures of the statue from that close.
Unless you have specifically booked tickets for the crown, it really doesn’t make sense to take the Liberty Ferry to see just Lady Liberty. The ferry ride with the Staten Island Ferry is also far more relaxing. Find the Ferry Terminal at Battery Park South Street / State Street / St. George Ferry-Terminal.
Did you know – Interesting facts
The city of New York has been running the Staten Island Ferry since 1905. The ferry wasn’t always free of charge but since 1997 the Staten Island Ferry you can enjoy the views of Lady Liberty and the NYC skyline free of charge. In the past cars were able to use the ferry as well, the service has been suspended since 9/11 however due to security reasons.
A special ferry was also constructed in memory of the victims of 9/11. It was built with steel from The World Trade Center Towers and named to Honour the Spirit and Unity of America after the attacks. It was built to make sure we never forget the victims and the civil servants who died trying to save them.
More than 60.000 passengers take the ferry from Monday to Friday. Every year the ferry runs more than 35.000 times with more than 21 Millions of passengers between the two islands. During the week they have to run five ferries, which do 109 rides per day. On weekends 3 are usually enough to cater to all those traveling from Manhattan to Staten Island. This is partially due to the fact that the ferry is used more as an attraction for tourists on the weekends compared to being used as a means of transportation between the two islands during the week.
Our tips & tricks for the perfect Staten Island Ferry ride
For the best view over Manhattan on the way to Staten Island take a seat in the back of the ferry. If you’re going back to Manhattan pick your spot at the front of the ferry. If you follow this advice, you’ll be able to take some amazing pictures of Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty and the Surrounding Waters. During fall and winter time make sure to wrap up – its windy out there! Take your seat inside of the ferry to avoid most of the wind.
The Best NYC Cruises
Although the Staten Island Ferry is a great free alternative to the many cruises that NYC has to offer, if you are after amazing skyline views and exploring NYC from the water, you will need to buy tickets to a cruise.
If the idea of seeing Manhattan from the water is what has got you onto the Staten Island Ferry, be sure to check out the cruises below. As these ranging from 40 minutes to two hours, the views of the city are much there are a number of cruises that allow you to explore the Manhattan skyline from a completely different angle. Although these options are not free, they are well worth the money! With amazing views of everything from the Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty to the One World Observatory. Check out the options below to cruise around Manhattan!
May - Sept.
May - Oct.
42nd Street & 12th Av.
42nd Street & 12th Av.
42nd Street & 12th Av.
North Cove Yacht Harbour
you will see:
I'm a true New York fan! Not only have I visited the city over 20 times but also have I spent several months here at a time. On this blog, I want to share everything I have learned and discovered, so you can have the best time in the greatest city in the world!