Staten Island Ferry

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by rufusni on February 24, 2008

I have to admit I like free things and what better than a free ferry trip in New York past one of the most famous figures in the world - the statue of liberty.
First thing to note is that the subway station (South Ferry) at the ferry terminal is shorter and so only those on the front few cars can get off - so don't get into the last subway car!

The orange Staten Island ferries can only be described as distinctive as you see them head towards the terminal - they certainly aren't beautiful. They are functional, and there is plenty of outdoor space to look at the great views over the harbour, the NY skyline, Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island,...

Having spent the morning travelling and checking into were I was staying, I really fancied a chance to catch my breath before I really took New York by storm. The trip took about an hour, about half an hour each way - although you have to get off the boat when you arrive at Staten Island, there is plenty of time to get straight back on the same boat for the return trip. There can only be described as a scrum, the rush of people onto the ferry, with the tourists with cameras in hand rushing to find a 'perfect' spot - so just be careful that you are somewhat prepared for the vvoosh of people past you.

It was a pleasant way to spend an hour - its never going to be a cruise ship or harbour guided tour - it is a ferry for commuters - but its a great way to take the weight off you feet and enjoy a different side to New York away from all the hustle and bustle while enjoying the sights. You will get a reasonable look at the Statue of Liberty, the city skyline and so on - if you want something more substantial then there are lots of other options - but this suited my purse! and as I didn't have much time in NY I didn't want to spend most of a day going to the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island.

The best views of the statue are on the trip out to Staten Island as the ferry passes closer than on the return trip. There are plenty of benches out on deck to sit, or stand at the rails to enjoy the views, as well as seating inside. I have to say that unlike those who took snaps every 2 seconds on the ferry, I took a couple of 'essential' photos and then chilled out and enjoyed the experience of floating in New York, watching the world glide by.
Staten Island Ferry
Whitehall Ferry Terminal
New York, New York, 10004
(718) 390-5253

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