Carrying 70,000 passengers each and every day, which equates to around 22 million people a year, the Staten Island Ferry runs 24 hours a day, offering up a round trip journey from the Whitehall Terminal in Lower Manhattan. The trip each way takes 25 minutes, and, along the way, you will be able to see some of New York‘s most iconic landmarks.
Wall Street and Lower Manhattan Skyscrapers
The Manhattan skyline is world-famous, and, from the Staten Island Ferry, you will be able to enjoy a spectacular view of this. From Wall Street to Lower Manhattan, these are some of the best skyline views in the city, so make sure to bring along your camera.
Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty, located on Liberty Island, was gifted to the USA from France during the American Revolution, as a symbol of international friendship, and, today, is one of the city’s most legendary monuments. An icon of freedom and democracy, views of the Statue of Liberty are definitely one of the highlights of the Staten Island Ferry, although keep in mind that you will only be seeing the statue from a distance.
When the Brooklyn Bridge first opened in 1883, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world, and it was not long before it was designated a National Historic Landmark. This is an incredible monument that has inspired many artists over the years, from Georgia O’Keefe to Walt Whitman, and its world-class design, complete with Neo-Gothic towers, are bound to continue inspiring people for years to come.
Governors Island used to be a military base for almost 200 years, until it was closed by the Coast Guard in 1996. Today, Governors Island is a haven for recreational activities, from biking and picnicking to mini golf and beach concerts. From the Staten Island Ferry, you will be able to enjoy a glimpse into Governors Island, giving you the opportunity to see what it is like, and decide whether or not you would like to dedicate a day to exploring it.
Over 12 million people passed through Ellis Island between 1892 and 1954, as this is where immigrants used to be processed before being allowed to enter the United States. Today, the island has been transformed into a museum that tells the story of these people, and while the museum is well worth visiting, simply passing by Ellis Island on the Staten Island Ferry will still give you a great insight into what life was like at this point in time.
The Staten Island Ferry is free to ride, but keep in mind that it is designed for commuters, so while you will pass a number of famous sights, you will not have the same sort of photo opportunities that the other New York cruises offer. Nevertheless, with ferries running every 15 minutes during peak times, this is a great way to quickly take in some of the city’s most iconic landmarks from a truly historical perspective. Even if you are not able to grab a good seat on the first leg of your journey, do not forget that everybody needs to disembark before the return journey, so you will have another chance to find yourself an optimum spot.