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“An Excellent Service”

Staten Island Ferry
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NYC Highlights Small-Group Tour
Ranked #19 of 1,098 things to do in New York City
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: The Ferry operates between the St. George Ferry Terminal on Staten Island and the Whitehall Terminal in Lower Manhattan. The trip is about 25 minutes long. The Ferry is free. The St. George Terminal is located at 1 Bay Street, Staten Island. The Whitehall Terminal is located at 4 South Street, Manhattan. Passengers using wheelchairs are encouraged to use lower-level boarding at both the Whitehall and St. George Terminals. All passengers are required to comply with applicable U.S. Coast Guard Security Regulations regardless of which level they board from. The Staten Island Ferry does not carry cars.
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
204 reviews
72 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
“An Excellent Service”
Reviewed August 19, 2013

If you take this ferry it is worth bearing in mind that this is a service provided free of charge by the taxpayers of New York to enable New Yorkers to get to and from Manhattan Island without bringing their cars. All New Yorkers I have met on my visits to the Big Apple welcome visitors and are happy to share their amenities and their knowledge, if you want to "go native" then this is a good way to do it, however if it's a commentary or tourist information you want then the Liberty Island ferry will happily accommodate this in Battery Park for a fee.
The Staten Island ferry itself is a good way to see the "Green Lady" but you will need to be on the starboard side going and the port side returning.
Thank you city of New York, this Brit appreciates your hospitality.

Visited August 2013
Thank Jon068
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level Contributor
69 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“What a great deal free”
Reviewed August 18, 2013

This was our second trip to NYC the 1st time we pd big money to do the trip to the Statue of Liberty it was great but if u want to save some money this is the way to go free fun and you get to enjoy some awesome views

Visited August 2013
Thank eeseasdaszds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marzy, France
Level Contributor
26 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Free and Authentic”
Reviewed August 18, 2013

When visiting a city it's great to do things like the ordinary Joe Soaps instead of like a tourist. The Staten Island Ferry is a really good way to do that in NYC. The ferry shuttles workers and visitors alike from one island to the other and passes the Statue of Liberty with lots of time to take photos. It operates 24 hours a day so you have the opportunity to take photos at dawn, sunset or whenever and since it's free - why not all of them?

Visited August 2013
Thank Bernie W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Nice ferry trip but no tourist advice when we arrived”
Reviewed August 18, 2013

As new visitors to Staten Island, we had expected our arrival on the island itself to be a bit more interesting. When you get off the boat you're faced with a selection of bus stands but the signs and guides are very, very poor. No tourist information desks or leaflets to be seen. We had absolutely no idea where the good places on the island were to visit so we walked along the promenade for about an hour before coming back. If the island wants to attract more business, they need to promote it a bit more! We could have spent the whole day there but didn't know where to go, what to do, which buses to get, what was recommended. All in all, a bit of a disappointment to a trip which should have been really interesting. Best part was the ferry which was free to and from Manhattan - probably the only thing in NYC which is free!

Visited August 2013
3 Thank SA2278
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lynbrook, New York
Level Contributor
96 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 195 helpful votes
“If you want to feel like cattle......”
Reviewed August 18, 2013

We had always heard that the views on this ferry trip are spectacular...and free. While that may be true, it does not give the full story.
The ferry is a commuter boat. It is not designed for allowing the maximum people to have great views. I am not sure if all the boats they have are the same, but the two we too do not have a top deck. This means that everyone is trying to crowd onto the middle and lower deck side areas. In order to get a decent spot you must be one of the first on line, and then walk (or push your way) forward when they open the doors to claim your spot. Then you will stand the entire trip. The outside seats will not provide a decent view because everyone is standing in front of you. And if you get a decent view, expect many people to crowd right up next to you to take their pics.
We felt like cattle entering and exiting the boat. And on the boat we did not feel like it was worth the claustrophobic feeling to stand a view the sights.
On the return trip we sat inside.
If you can afford it, I would recommend the circle line half island tour (2 hours) which provides better views of Manhattan, more space, and a tourguide who narrates the trip and provides lots of info. We felt like it was a better value than the free SI ferry. You start on the Hudson, head southand go around the tip of Manhattan, and go up to the Brooklyn Bridge. It's a beautiful trip!
Also, we took a Clipper ship from the south street seaport, which provided better views of governor's island and the statue of liberty. Although they did not have a tourguide providing information, they had music and sold drinks on board. It was a relaxing and beautiful trip.
I can't recommend the ferry unless you absolutely cannot pay for one of those trips. And I would try to do the ferry at a quieter time of day. Maybe mid day on a weekday (to avoid commuters) or early or late on a weekend? Not sure, but we went btween 1 and 4 on a summer Saturday and we really did feel like cattle.
If you do it some tips: There are a variety of food court places at the Staten Island ferry dock, such as subway, DQ and pizza. We were able to buy fresh fruit. Parking was free on weekends, but it is $5 on weekdays. The ball park is right next door.
On the Manhattan side, you are close to a bunch of fun things to do. We took pics with the Wall Street Bull (maybe time it with a freetoursbyfoot tour) and visited the National Museum of the American Indian, which is also free. (and small, doable in an hour)
Battery Park is nearby as well.

Visited August 2013
3 Thank sandyplayercarroll
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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