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Question about the Statue of Liberty

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Denver, Colorado
posts: 17
reviews: 3
Question about the Statue of Liberty

Apologies in advance if this has been asked, but I've looked in the two travel books I have about New York City and all over the internet, but I can't find an answer to this simple question:

What do I do if I want to go on to the little island that the Statue of Liberty is on (I think it's called Liberty Island)? Does the Staten Island Ferry dock on that island and let you get off there and take pictures of the Statue super up close, or does the Staten Island Ferry just go past it?

There's a ferry service called Statue Cruises that says it takes you to the Statue of Liberty, but that's a little vague. Do they mean ON the actual island or dock right up to it? I'm not looking to go into the Statue, just on the island like I did back in Spring Break of 2001 when I was last in NYC. The website statuecruises.com says Liberty Island will re-open on July 4th, but I'm going in mid-June so I don't know what I'll be paying for to see. The contact info on the website isn't much help so I figured maybe someone on here knows something. Looks like it goes on to Ellis Island as well??

Thanks in advance!

NYC / Fire Island...
posts: 6,008
reviews: 4
1. Re: Question about the Statue of Liberty

The best "guesstimate" from the folks at the U.S. Park Service is that Liberty Island will re-open on the 4th of July (2013) following closure in November from Hurricane Sandy:


That said, when those Islands are open to the public, we all get a chance to walk around those spaces, but until the re-opening we can only view those places from various commercial tours and water taxis or on the Staten Island ferry.


Edited: 11:09 am, May 14, 2013
NYC / Fire Island...
posts: 6,008
reviews: 4
2. Re: Question about the Statue of Liberty

We meant to say:

.....we can only view those places from afar on various commercial tour boats and water taxis or on the Staten Island ferry......


Denver, Colorado
posts: 17
reviews: 3
3. Re: Question about the Statue of Liberty

Looks like I'm pretty much #*&$ out of luck. Here's the conversation I had with Statue Cruises:


Welcome to StatueCruises.com!

Reservations: Agent has joined the conversation.

Lloyd: Hello Mark

Lloyd: How may I help you?

Mark+Newcomb: Hello, I'm planning to visit NYC in mid-June and was wondering what exactly the Harbor cruise will be that you guys are offering: will Statue Cruises take people on Liberty Island at that time, or just dock right up to it?

Lloyd: The Statue will not be opening until July 4. The harbor cruise is a 60 minute narrated cruise that goes nearby the islands providing a view

Mark+Newcomb: I read that Liberty Island won't re-open until July 4th, but will you guys be able to at least dock right up to it so that people can take pictures from the ferry? At least closer than Staten Island gets to the statue?

Lloyd: Unfortunately the harbor cruise does not dock at anytime, it only cruises nearby within 300 ft.

Mark+Newcomb: Hmm, OK. Does the harbor cruise not even dock at Ellis Island?

Lloyd: No sir, doesn't dock at either location

Mark+Newcomb: So what exactly does Statue Cruises offer that someone wouldn't get by taking the Staten Island Ferry? I remember the last time I visited NYC in Spring Break 2001 my family went on a ferry that left Battery Park, stopped at Ellis Island, then Liberty Island, then back to Battery Park? Does Statue Cruises offer a stop to Ellis Island at all?

Lloyd: Ok, so since around October of last year when the hurricane hit NY, the Statue of Liberty has been closed along with Ellis island. Since that time we have been operating the Harbor cruise due to the islands being damaged severely.

Lloyd: In July when the Statue opens again we will resume our cruise that goes and docks on the islands.

Lloyd: Until then all we have is a cruise that departs from Battery Park every 30-45 minutes, is narrated, and goes nearby the islands

Mark+Newcomb: Darn, looks like I'm about a month too early. Well, thanks for clarifying...I'll probably still check you guys out when I'm there as I'm sure your ferry is less crowded than the Staten Island Ferry

Lloyd: Ok Mark, do you have anything else I can help you with?

Mark+Newcomb: I believe that's all, thanks

NYC / Fire Island...
posts: 6,008
reviews: 4
4. Re: Question about the Statue of Liberty

Thanks for posting this information, Mark.

Is there a question here?


New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for New York City
posts: 84,091
reviews: 2
5. Re: Question about the Statue of Liberty

What they haven't explained is that you'll get A LOT closer to the Statue (almost on top of it) from that cruise or ANY cruise you pay for than you will from the free Staten Island ferry that only provides DISTANT views of the Statue. Most any cruise will stop and allow plenty of photo ops. The SI ferry does not stop or get close to the statue. Other cos. offering cruises with views






6. Re: Question about the Statue of Liberty

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Edited: 11:24 am, May 14, 2013
Brooklyn, NY
Destination Expert
for New York City
posts: 20,486
7. Re: Question about the Statue of Liberty

Yes, the docks at both Liberty and Ellis Islands were completely destroyed by the hurricane. No boats can dock at the island until they are rebuilt, and it is the rebuilding of the Liberty Island dock (scheduled to be completed about July 4th) that's allowing the statue to be reopened.

If what you want is to get super close to the island, so you're right under the statue, then you absolutely do not want the Staten Island Ferry. You can take the Statue Cruises harbor cruise, or any of the other harbor cruise companies will also have a cruise that pauses under the statue for ten or fifteen minutes to allow for good pictures. The Staten Island ferry only gets you a very distant view without pausing. Have a look at Circle Line, NY Waterways, and I think there's a few others.

I'm sure one of them will suit your purposes. Enjoy!

Edited: 11:25 am, May 14, 2013
Denver, Colorado
posts: 17
reviews: 3
8. Re: Question about the Statue of Liberty

Thank you. Yes, my question CasaHoffa was basically how close the Staten Island Ferry gets to the Statue as opposed to the commercial tours.....NONE of the travel books or YouTube videos about the Staten Island Ferry got even close to addressing this and just stuck to "it's a photo opportunity" vagueness that drives me nuts when I'm trying to plan something, but people on this thread answered it for me. Thanks people!

NYC / Fire Island...
posts: 6,008
reviews: 4
9. Re: Question about the Statue of Liberty

In the meantime, enjoy this live "cam" that from time to time may show how close the tour boats actually get to the SoL:



Edited: 12:23 pm, May 14, 2013
Sydney, Australia
posts: 9,236
reviews: 28
10. Re: Question about the Statue of Liberty

http://flic.kr/p/dh8QSK is a photo I took when I was on a cruise last year. It's before Sandy which is why you can see people. Although, that's probably a good thing because it gives you scale.

I am still looking for the photos I took from the SI ferry from a previous trip and if I find them, I will post it for you.

Having done both, I always recommend the cruise.