Staten Island Ferry
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Staten Island Ferry: Tours & Tickets

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Staten Island Ferry facts

The Staten Island Ferry is not only essential to New York's morning commute, but is also a great way to see the bay's most famous sights. Here are a few facts to accompany the best views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and other New York Harbor icons!

The service dates back to the 19th century

The original routes were operated by individual boat owners until the Richmond Turnpike Company ran the first motorized ferry to Staten Island in 1817.

The city took over in 1905

In 1901 a ferry sank in a collision and the City of New York used it to justify taking over the service. Staten Island had been consolidated into the city just three years before.

Its oldest operational boat dates back to 1965

The MV John F. Kennedy was built in 1965 and named to honor the murdered president. It was built as part of 3 "Kennedy class" ferries but is the only one still in service.

It serves 22 million people a year

That's 70,000 people a day on weekdays alone! Between them, the ferries make about 37,180 trips a year!

It's been free of charge since 1997

Ticket prices were scrapped under Mayor Rudy Giuliani. His office realized that covering the cost of collecting fares would make ticket prices unaffordable for most commuters!

Staten Island Ferry: Our Tips

Booking tickets

The Staten Island Ferry is completely free, but if you want to visit the Statue of Liberty and/or Ellis Island then you'll need to book tickets aboard a different ferry. Tour prices for both start from $24.

What are the operating hours?

The Staten Island Ferry runs regularly all day long, but avoid rush hour if you're planning a relaxed sightseeing trip! For a full schedule of departure times visit

Where to sit?

The best seats aboard the Staten Island Ferry depend upon what you most want to see. When departing Manhattan, the best views of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island are from the front of the ferry. (If you can, grab a space more to the right.) For Governor's Island and the Brooklyn Bridge sit anywhere on the left, or else sit at the back for panoramas of lower Manhattan.

Good to Know

  • When to visit
    The ferry runs regularly all day, everyday. Check exact times online to plan your trip.
  • What is the price?
    The ferry is always free!
  • Will I need a guide?
    A ferry guide is not necessary, but might want to include the ride on a city tours.
  • How to get there
    In Manhattan, take an MTA bus or Subway to 4 South Street. In Staten Island, go to the Staten Island Railway (SIR).
  • Additional tips
    • Times highlighted in yellow on the schedule are commuter-packed trips.
    • The main deck usually has lots of space and is great for pictures.

What People Are Saying About Staten Island Ferry

Good experience and accomplished narrator, and the weathe was fine too

Boat left on time, we had coffee and hot dogs. Listened to the guide most of the time. Knowledgeable and humorous. Lots of interesting facts about the Manhattan shoreline. Good pics of the Statue as we approached, also the new World Trade Center, awesome. Overall, good value for the money. A highlight of our NYC break.

New York Statue of Liberty Cruise Reviewed by jim, 12/04/2016

Fun and informative, time and money well spent

Great 5 hour highlight of NY. Jeff was fun and knowledgeable - and his recommendations for places to eat were great!

New York See It All Full-Day Sightseeing Tour Reviewed by a GetYourGuide Customer, 10/23/2016

Comprehensive Tour that was interesting and adventurous

Our tour guide was very knowledgeable, personable and gave our tour group a fact filled humorous excursion that was both pleasurable and instructive.

New York See It All Full-Day Sightseeing Tour Reviewed by a GetYourGuide Customer, 05/21/2014

A delightful trip that lets you see so much of what NYC has to offer!

This tour was one of the highlights of our stay in NYC! Our tour guide Jay and driver were entertaining, informative and so accommodating! The experience itself was truly memorable, from the first glimpse of the Statue of Liberty from the Staten Island ferry, to Strawberry Fields and then onto Rockefeller Plaza and amazing views of all of the skyscrapers NYC is famous for it was worth every penny! We had so much fun! A massive thank you to all involved!!

New York See It All Full-Day Sightseeing Tour Reviewed by Leanne, 11/06/2013

An awesome way to see the city's highlights in a few hours!

This tour was absolutely fabulous. Intermittent spurts of a bus ride combined with stops where walking and picture-taking are encouraged made this tour so special. Dave was an excellent guide who knew just about everything there was to know about NYC! Highly recommend on your first or second day in the city to familiarize yourself with landmarks and to help plan additional visits to places you want to re-visit during your stay. Loved it!

New York See It All Full-Day Sightseeing Tour Reviewed by Jean, 03/23/2012

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Staten Island Ferry
Based on 53 reviews by GetYourGuide customers