My Favoritestours

Free Water Taxi in New York

I love the amount of free things to do in this city! With research – and smart tips, like this from today! – you can enjoy New York without spending much. I’ve talked here on the blog aboute Staten Island Ferry – free tour that provides an incredible view of Manhattan and Statue of Liberty, you can click here to check. I have also given a tip on the blog about Water Taxi, a paid tour that is a different alternative to get close to Lady Liberty – you can click here to read more details. What some people do not know is that, besides the classic tour, Water Taxi offers a daily shuttle to Ikea – the Water Taxi Express Ikea, whose ticket costs $5. And, on weekends (Saturdays and Sundays), this ride is free.

First of all, we need to make one thing clear: this shuttle to Ikea departs from Wall Street Pier 11 in Manhattan – and does not follow the same route of the classic tour of Water Taxi. The classic tour has six stops, including passing by the Statue of Liberty. Water Taxi Express Ikea departs from south of Manhattan and goes to Ikea, which is located in Red Hook, in Brooklyn. Before returning to Manhattan, the boat also makes a stop at Red Hook Dock at Van Brunt Street.

Even that it is not the traditional route of Water Taxi, the Water Taxi Ikea Express also provides a very nice ride. The travel time (round trip, since you do not have to get off the boat) is 25 to 30 minutes and the trip provides a beautiful view of the Manhattan skyline and Brooklyn Bridge. The boat passes by Governor’s Island, a very beautiful island – I wrote about it here on the blog – and you can also see Statue of Liberty. As the Water Taxi Ikea Express goes through Buttermilk Channel, you can also enjoy the ancient and charming architecture of Red Hook, in addition to cargo ships that depart from Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. The pictures of this post were taken at the end of the day – we took the 7pm ferry. I recommend to get a ride on Water Taxi to see the sunset – remember that the sunset’s time is different in each season of the year.

UPDATE: It may happen that they request passengers to disembark at Ikea pier – but then, there will be another water taxi to return. The first time I did this tour, they did not ask us to disembark. Second time,  they did. But it was just disembark and embark again.

As I mentioned earlier, you can just get on Water Taxi on Pier 11, making all the path and go back to Manhattan without leave the boat- but if you want to explore the area of Red Hook, you can either go to Ikea – I’ve shown this video here – as well as enjoy a day in the neighborhood – in this post here I spoke about a winery and also about a restaurant and here you can check a post about two chocolate factories. Oh, and you can reach Pier 11 in Manhattan by lines 2 and 3 , J, Z, 4 and 5. Check out the schedule here and remember that, on weekends, you just have to wait in the line to get in the ferry.

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