How to Take the Staten Island Ferry

With over 35,000 trips made annually,[1] the Staten Island Ferry in New York City provides millions of New Yorkers with quick, efficient transportation between the Outer Boroughs and Lower Manhattan. Even if you're boarding just for the ride and a spectacular skyline view, the ferry is a great and popular attraction beloved by locals and visitors alike. Here's how to make the most of your ride.


  1. Image titled Take the Staten Island Ferry Step 1
    Visit the ferry terminals in either Lower Manhattan or Staten Island. These are accessible by a number of subway and local bus transportation lines, as well as by taxi. While there was once a fee implied to ride the ferry, it was eliminated in the late 1990s and there is currently no charge.
  2. Image titled Take the Staten Island Ferry Step 2
    Board the next available ferry, depending upon where you are heading to. If you are traveling with children, keep a close eye on them as you prepare to board. The crowds can get unexpectedly large at peak times, and kids can easily become separated.
  3. Image titled Take the Staten Island Ferry Step 3
    Enjoy the ride! A one-way trip on the ferry will typically take around 20-30 minutes, which offers plenty of time to relax your feet and savor the view. A few ideas for making the most of your ride include:
    • Grab your camera and step outside to enjoy the view. The ferry passes several landmarks and icons of New York City during the journey, including the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the Brooklyn Bridge, and a variety of other ships and sailboats cruising the harbor.
    • Visit the ferry's concession stand and get something to eat. Your typical ballpark offerings are the menu, and can provide a quick lunch or refreshing drink while traveling between boroughs. Beer is the only alcoholic beverage served on the ferries.
    • Doze off. A pleasant boat ride across the harbor with the gentle breeze offers a great opportunity for a quick nap.
    • Strike up a conversation. New Yorkers are a melting pot of different cultures and people. Your friendly "hello" to the person sitting or standing next to you can go a long way meeting new people.
  4. Image titled Take the Staten Island Ferry Step 4
    Gather your belongings and disembark at the end of the journey. Make sure to keep an eye on children here as well in the swarm of people.


  • Rides on the Staten Island Ferry are not round-trip. If you're planning on making a return trip to Manhattan or vice versa, you will need to disembark and board the next departing ferry.
  • Questions and complaints about the ferry can be reported by calling 311 in New York City.
  • All ferries and terminals are handicap-accessible.
  • While it was once a convenient and inexpensive way to transfer your vehicle across New York harbor, cars are no longer permitted on the ferry. Bicycles are permitted onboard in designated storage areas.
  • Pets are allowed on the ferries, but must be caged or muzzled in accordance with the Staten Island Ferry's policies.


  • Smoking and littering are prohibited on all ferries.

Sources and Citations

Article Info

Categories: New York | Travel Tips