One of the “tourist” things that I love to repeat here in New York is to get a ride on Staten Island Ferry. For those who do not know, New York is composed of five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx and Staten Island. This last one is also an island and is located at south of Manhattan. There is no subway that connects the neighborhoods to the island and is this ferry that transports residents to Manhattan. Best of all, it’s free and everyone is welcome. Because of the path, with a privileged view, Ferry is in the route of the tourists who come here. I’ve done a video showing this tour – which you can check at the end of this post – but today I decided to gather pictures I took during the several times I repeated this tour to show that it is worth to include it in your itinerary.
Staten Island Ferry capacity is 1415 passengers. Today the Staten Island Ferry provides 22 million people a year (70,000 passengers a day not including weekend days). Ferry has restrooms, seats and external area. During its route to and from Staten Island, Ferry passes in front of the Statue of Liberty – which makes us understand why so many tourists do this tour. Obviously, the distance is not the same as riding in paid boats, but I would say it is a very satisfactory view, as you can see from the pictures. You may not get that classic photo with the Statue close to you, but I guarantee it is worth. Moreover, we can not forget the incredible views of the Manhattan skyline. From Ferry,you still can catch sight of the Brooklyn Bridge, New Jersey and Governor’s Island.
The trip from Manhattan to Staten Island takes about 30 minutes. You don’t need to present any card to enter the station or Ferry. What I recommend is that, as soon as the gate opens, you head to the outside area to be able to enjoy the view. Do not get frustrated if you can not get a good spot – remember that there is also the return trip. It is noteworthy that, when the boat arrives in Staten Island, all passengers must disembark. You can proceed to the gate immediately to get the next Ferry back to Manhattan. Both stations – Manhattan and Staten Island – are equipped with restrooms and several places to eat, plus free Wi-Fi.
If you have time, be sure to get a ride during the evening too: the view of the lights in Manhattan can be more surprising than during the day – not to mention that it is also magical to see Lady Liberty. The Staten Island ferry operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. From 6 am to 9:30 am and from 3h30 to 8pm, there are boats every 15 or 20 minutes. In other times, the frequency is 30 minutes. To see the complete schedule, just click here. The terminal of the Staten Island Ferry in Manhattan is at 4 Whitehall St, access by lines 1, 4, 5, J, Z and R. It is located right next to Battery Park.
And stay tuned: Staten Island, today an area somewhat overlooked by visitors and residents, promises to be in the route of many people who come here. A Ferris wheel and an outlet will be open next year and you can check all the details here.
Laura Peruchi is a Brazilian blogger, author, and entrepreneur. She has lived in Manhattan with her husband since 2014. Since then, she has shared on her blog varied content about the Big Apple. From travel tips, including unusual things to do, shopping tips, etiquette, restaurants, and a lot more, her blog has become a reference in Portuguese (also available in English) for anyone planning a trip to New York City.