Staten Island ferry: ideal for admiring Manhattan for free!

A Few Words of History on the Staten Island Ferry

The Staten Island ferry was put into service over 200 years ago: in 1817. At that time, the ticket to take it cost 5 cents before going down to 50 cents in 1997 and becoming completely free (decision taken by New York City).

Initially the boat was white in color, but a few years later theorange has been adopted so that the ferry is better located and more visible in bad weather.

Today, the New York City Department of Transportation operates the Staten Island ferry.

Good to know: the New York City Department of Transportation is the department in charge of the construction, maintenance and management of roads.

Staten Island ferry: overview and description

Staten Island Ferry connects Manhattan Island to Staten Island. The crossing lasts about twenty minutes and during the journey you can admire the Manhattan skyline and see some iconic buildings such as the Empire State Building. With the ferry, you will also pass close to the Statue of Liberty! So don't forget your camera, because the landscapes are simply magnificent!

Today, the Staten Island Ferry is a popular activity in New York City. Indeed, every year, the ferries transport more than 20 million people (around 60 per day according to estimates). While the ferry is ideal for tourists, it is also the mode of transportation for New Yorkers living on Staten Island and working in Manhattan.

The fleet is made up of 9 ferries. During the week, 109 trips are made every day and on weekends, 84 crossings are provided on Saturdays and 82 on Sundays. Ferries also operate all year.

The equipment provided on board the boat

On board the ferry, you can enjoy a very well equipped waiting room : toilets are available and access to the Wi-Fi is free. The size of the ferry is huge and as stated 109 trips are operated each day. So you can easily get on board!

Every day, many shuttles are therefore offered. In general, the waiting time is not very long and at the time of the embarkation, it will not be necessary for you to pass the security checks.

Staten Island ferry: a great deal not to be missed!

First of all, the ferry provides trips 7 days a week, 7 hours a day and all year round. You therefore do not need to reserve your seat in advance to be able to board. You just have to choose the date and time you want and go to the point of embarkation to be able to make the crossing. In the morning, afternoon or evening, you simply choose the time that suits you best!

The ferry is also a great way to see Miss Liberty and the skyline for nothing. Moreover, do not hesitate to take the boat several times during your stay in New York: in the morning, it is Miss Liberty which is highlighted by the sunlight, in the afternoon, it is the skyline which is illuminated and in the evening, the whole city sparkles!

Note: the ferry connects Manhattan and Staten Island without any stopover. You will therefore not be able to disembark on Liberty Island and Ellis Island.

Where are the best places for the ferry?

For the best view from the ferry, on the way out, sit at outside the boat. As soon as the ferry starts, you will have a beautiful view of the skyline. Has the boat moved away? Stand on the right side of the ferry to gaze at the Statue of Liberty.

On the way back, try to climb in the first and get on the platform at the front of the boat.

Practical information for taking the ferry

Where is the boarding located?

To take the ferry, you must go to White Hall Terminal near Battery Park in southern Manhattan (address: 4 Whitehall St, New York, NY 10004). To do this, take metro line 1 or R and get off at South Ferry Station.

Once you get to your destination, take the escalator upstairs and wait until the boat arrives. Usually there are a lot of people waiting, but don't worry, the boats are big and can carry a lot of people.

On Staten Island, boarding is at St George Ferry Terminal (1 Bay St, Staten Island, NY 10301) north of the island.

What are the schedules ?

The ferry is running 24 hours a day and every day. Peak hours are in the morning between 6 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. and in the afternoon between 15:30 p.m. and 20 p.m. So avoid taking the ferry at these times, because the crowds will be there!

As for the frequency of the ferries, during peak hours there is a boat every 15 - 20 minutes and during the rest of the day the ferries run every 30 - 60 minutes.

What to do when you arrive on Staten Island?

Upon your arrival on Staten Island, you will be impossible to stay in the ferry. If you want to reach Manhattan, you will have to get off the boat and go through the waiting room to be able to board again.

Otherwise, you can stay a little while on Staten Island to discover this very charming island! If you feel like it, be sure to check out our comprehensive guide to what to do in Staten Island.

You would have understood it ! The Staten Island Ferry is a great place to get up close and personal with Miss Liberty, especially if you can't get to Liberty Island. Free, the ferry will allow you to take pretty pictures, without paying anything.

The ferry ride is also very pleasant and if you get seasick, rest assured! The boat is so big that you won't feel the swell. Very good crossing!

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