Are you looking for information about exactly how to get the ferry to Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island from Manhattan, NYC? We are going to walk you through everything you need to know about booking your Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island ferry including schedule, tickets and tips.
When we lived in NYC we personally took the ferry to both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, spending plenty of time at the national monument as well as the museum.
We will share our experiences and best advice to help you make the most of your trip.
Visiting the Statue of Liberty is one of the best things to do in New York City, but how do you get there and how much is it going to cost you?
Here is what we will show you in this guide:
- Where to get the Statue of Liberty Ferry
- Statue of Liberty ferry schedule
- Walkthrough of both Liberty Island and Ellis Island
- How to buy your Statue of Liberty ferry tickets
- Important information about your tickets
Now, let’s get your ferry booked so you can visit Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island in NYC!
Our Statue Of Liberty Ferry Experience
Kristen is a New York State native and since we have also lived in NYC, you can consider us experts when it comes to the Empire State.
We visited the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Immigration Museum on a cold winter morning in January with a New York attractions pass (more on this later in our guide).
Personally, we thought both the museum on Liberty Island and the Ellis Island Immigration Museum were extremely well done. If you are interested in NYC history, you should definitely plan to spend a few hours exploring these NYC attractions.
Since we spent most of our day at these two museums, we grabbed a few hotdogs at the Ellis Island cafe. This was the same location where new immigrants ate when first arriving to America.
Heading to NYC? You might like our New York City Guidebook to help you prepare for your trip.
Where Do You Get The Ferry To Statue Of Liberty?
The only place in New York City you can catch a ferry to visit Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island is behind Castle Clinton National Monument in Battery Park.
There is a second ferry departure point for Statue of Liberty but it is in Liberty State Park, New Jersey.
In this guide we will focus on the Battery Park ferry to Statue of Liberty, which you will find located in Lower Manhattan.
How To Get To The Statue Of Liberty From Manhattan
In order to travel between Manhattan and Liberty Island, you must take the Statue of Liberty ferry with Statue Cruises. There are no other ways to access Liberty Island from Manhattan through boat tours or cruises.
You can either walk to Battery Park from your hotel or you can take the NYC subway following these directions:
- Green subway line numbers 4 + 5 – From Union Square, Grand Central or Brooklyn to Bowling Green
- Red subway line number 1 – From SoHo, West Village, Chelsea and Times Square to South Ferry
- Yellow subway line letters R + W – From Brooklyn, Flatiron and Times Square to Rector Street
- Brown subway line letter J – From Williamsburg to Broad Street
NYC Subway Stations To Castle Clinton
Each of Bowling Green, South Ferry, Rector Street and Broad Street subway stations are within 10 minutes walk to Battery Park.
Follow your maps app or signs to Castle Clinton, the old rounded fort in Battery Park. Behind Castle Clinton you will find a huge white canvas tent.
This is where you will enter a security check, before lining up in a fenced off area ready to board your ferry to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
Where Does The Ferry To The Statue Of Liberty Leave?
The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island ferry typically departs Battery Park in Manhattan every 20-25 minutes between the hours of 9:00am to 3:30pm.
Restrictions put in place during the coronavirus pandemic had resulted in fewer ferry crossings to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
However, those restrictions are no longer in place and a full NYC ferry to Statue of Liberty service is running.
Statue Of Liberty And Ellis Island Ferry Schedule
All visitors to the Statue of Liberty will travel from Battery Park to Liberty Island, then on to Ellis Island and finally back to Battery Park in Manhattan.
Currently, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island ferry schedule from Manhattan is listed as follows:
Battery Park Departures
Here are the daily Battery Park departures times which you will use to begin your journey from Manhattan to see the Statue of Liberty:
- 9:00am, 9:20am, 9:45am, 10:10am, 10:35am, 11:00am, 11:25am, 11:50am, 12:30pm, 12:40pm, 1:05pm, 1:30pm, 1:55pm, 2:20pm, 2:45pm, 3:10pm, 3:35pm and 4:00pm.
Liberty Island Departures
Once you’re done at the Statue of Liberty, here are the times you need to get back on the ferry to travel onward to Ellis Island:
- 9:25am, 9:45am, 10:10am, 10:35am, 11:00am, 11:25am, 11:50am, 12:15pm, 12:40pm, 1:05pm, 1:30pm, 1:55pm, 2:20pm, 2:45pm, 3:10pm, 3:35pm, 4:00pm and 4:25pm.
Ellis Island Departures
Once you’re finished at Ellis Island, here are the times you need to get on the ferry to complete the journey back to Battery Park in Manhattan:
- 9:45am, 10:05am, 10:30am, 10:55am, 11:20am, 11:50am, 11:45pm, 12:10pm, 12:35pm, 1:00pm, 1:25pm, 1:50pm, 2:15pm, 2:40pm, 3:05pm, 3:30pm, 3:55pm, 4:20pm and 4:40pm.
Battery Park Arrivals
Here are the daily Battery Park ferry arrival times which will be the options you have for finishing your round trip journey from both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island:
- 9.55am, 10.15am, 10.40am, 11.05am, 11.30am, 11.55am, 12.20pm, 12.45pm, 1.10pm, 1.35pm, 2.00pm, 2.25pm, 2.50pm, 3.15pm, 3.40pm, 4.05pm, 4.30pm and 4.50pm.
You can find the entire Ferry schedule for the Statue of Liberty ferry here if you need additional information.
How To Plan Your Ferry Times At Each Stop
The easiest way to plan your ferry times for visiting Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island is to plan ahead. Consider how long you want to spend at each stop and be mindful of the time.
Here’s an example of how you can plan your Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island ferry itinerary:
- Take the first ferry of the day from Battery Park at 9:00am
- It takes around 20 minutes to reach Liberty Island
- You want to spend 1 hour 30 minutes walking around the base of the Statue of Liberty and exploring the museum
- Take the 11:00am ferry from Liberty Island to Ellis Island
- Spend 1 hour 30 minutes walking around the Ellis Island museum
- Take the 1:00pm ferry from Ellis Island back to Battery Park
- Arrive back to Battery Park in Manhattan at 1:10pm
Following this itinerary, you would spend more than 4 hours from departure to arrival. Make sure you have enough time spare on your New York City itinerary.
Travel Tip: Check the departure boards when you get off the ferry at each stop. The boards will show updated or revised ferry timetables for that specific day in case of any changes.
Statue Of Liberty And Ellis Island Ferry Self Guided Tour Walkthrough
Let’s take a look at an example of how you could visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis island under the current ferry schedule without missing anything or losing time.
We will cover the best ways you can buy tickets later in the guide, including one fantastic way you can save money.
For now, let’s assume you already have your Statue of Liberty ferry tickets.
1. Security Check And Departure From Battery Park
Getting the first ferry of the day is the best way to visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
You will be among the first people let loose on Liberty Island. This makes life easier for exploring the museum and taking your photographs before Liberty Island fills up with tourists.
In order to get the 9:00am ferry to Statue of Liberty from Manhattan, you must arrive to Battery Park between 8:15am and 8:30am.
Once you arrive to Castle Clinton in Battery Park, make your way into the security facility inside the white canvas tent.
The security check to board a ferry to Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island is similar to an airport security checkpoint.
You will then be directed into a gated area which will open as you board the ferry to Liberty Island.
2. Liberty Island Ferry
Statue of Liberty is one of the very best NYC photography locations so get your camera ready as soon as you board the ferry. Head up to either the middle or top deck depending on weather.
Sit or stand on the right hand side of the ferry for best views of the Statue of Liberty as you approach Liberty Island.
You can open doors to access the front of the ferry but be sure to close them afterwards on a cold day.
The ferry ride from Battery Park to the Statue of Liberty takes just 15 minutes.
You will be shocked at how quickly the time passes as you become mesmerized by the Statue of Liberty slowly growing in size.
Watch as the flaming torch gradually turns into direct view and boom, in just a matter of seconds, your front-on view of Lady Liberty comes and goes in a flash.
3. Liberty Island
Once you arrive onto Liberty Island, the first thing you should do is pick up a free audio guide headset in a small kiosk near the dock.
The self guided audio tour is included with the price you pay for your ferry tickets and it is for both Liberty Island and Ellis Island.
Our top tip for Liberty Island is not to miss the Statue of Liberty museum.
Everything you want to know about the Statue of Liberty is detailed inside, including the designers and engineers, some of whom have built other famous structures in other famous cities.
We strongly recommend you carry a telephoto lens to capture the best Statue of Liberty photographs. Even close up, the angle and perspective make her look smaller than in reality.
4. Ellis Island Ferry
Earlier, your 9:00am ferry from Battery Park to Liberty Island arrived around 9:15am. You spent 30 minutes in the museum and an hour walking around the Statue of Liberty.
This is perfect timing to walk back to the ferry on Liberty Island via the bathrooms and cafe for a comfort break.
Jump on the 11:00am ferry from Liberty Island to Ellis Island.
You have two choices at this point:
The first is to get off at Ellis Island so you can explore the immigration museum and the second is to skip this stop before continuing straight back to Battery Park.
5. Ellis Island National Museum Of Immigration
We very highly recommend you allow time to visit the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration.
Get your audio guide fired up again and explore the various rooms of the historic museum.
Kristen’s ancestors passed through Ellis Island from Europe and we are sure many of your family members also entered the US through this very immigration arrivals hall.
You will see what happened to immigrants upon arrival to America. It was surprising for us to learn about how many were sent back due to problems with diseases or other reasons.
There is so much revealed in this museum ranging from the intense questioning, hospital care, issues with money and how they figured out onward destinations around the US.
We are still going through Mark’s US immigration process today so it’s very interesting to see how things have changed.
6. Ferry Back To Manhattan
Let’s say you spend 1 hour 30 minutes touring the Ellis Island museum complex. It will be around 12:45pm and the next ferry departs at 1.00pm.
Don’t miss this one otherwise you’ll have to wait until 1:25pm and they do not hang around for stragglers!
Your ferry would arrive back to Battery Park in Manhattan at around 1:35pm, having experienced both the legendary Statue of Liberty and the historic Ellis Island.
Travel Tip: If you plan to visit New York City in Winter, be sure to wrap up warm for your ferry ride to the Statue of Liberty. You will need those gloves on if you want to take photos!
How Long Does It Take To Visit Both Statue Of Liberty And Ellis Island?
Every visitor will spend a different amount of time at both Liberty and Ellis Islands. It depends entirely on your preferences.
Are you interested in the fascinating history of immigrants arriving into Ellis Island? Or maybe you’re intrigued by the engineering behind Lady Liberty?
There is no one size fits all on this self guided tour of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
Remember, if you upgrade tickets to include Statue of Liberty Pedestal or Crown access, you will need to plan more time on this tour.
How Long For Liberty Island And Ellis Island Museums?
The small museum on Liberty Island gives a detailed account of how the statue was built, transported and unveiled in New York. Walking around the grounds of Liberty Island doesn’t take long.
But the Ellis Island Immigration Museum is much larger. It takes longer to complete the audio tour but is incredibly interesting and shouldn’t be missed.
We suggest a guideline of around 1 hour 30 minutes for Liberty Island and 1 hour 30 minutes for Ellis Island when it comes to average visiting times.
Statue Of Liberty And Ellis Island Tickets
There are three very different ways you can buy tickets for your visit to Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island by ferry.
Let’s take a look at your options.
1. Buy Statue Of Liberty And Ellis Island Ferry Tickets In Person
You can simply turn up to Castle Clinton National Monument in person and purchase Statue of Liberty tickets right inside the old fort.
This is the easiest way to buy tickets for your ferry to Statue of Liberty. However, there may not be any tickets left on the day so you are seriously risking your chances of reaching Liberty Island.
In late fall, winter and early spring you will have more chance of turning up last minute with same day tickets spare. But in peak months between April and October, you should not risk it.
Travel Tip: If you choose to purchase your tickets on site, be sure you purchase them directly at Castle Clinton National Monument because there are often fake vendors selling the wrong tickets outside Battery Park.
2. Buy Statue Of Liberty And Ellis Island Ferry Tickets In Advance
Booking your Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island ferry tickets in advance online is by far the safer option. You will save yourself any stress.
While Statue City Cruises is the ferry service authorized by the National Park Service for tickets, you can also purchase tickets on select third party websites.
Sometimes third party vendors run promotional deals so always compare prices before purchasing:
When you buy ferry tickets for the statue of liberty with Statue Cruises online, you will choose which type of ticket you want to purchase between standard, pedestal reserve or crown reserve.
Next, you must select whether you want to catch the ferry in New Jersey or New York.
If you would prefer to have a guided tour of both Liberty Island and the Ellis Island Museum, check out this popular Statue of Liberty tour here. Ferry access is included in the tour ticket.
3. Purchase A New York Attractions Pass
If you plan to visit several of New York City’s top attractions, we would recommend you consider purchasing an attractions pass.
Buying a New York attractions pass will give you instant access to the most iconic NYC museums, landmarks and observation decks at a discounted price.
The idea is simple in that the more attractions you visit, the more discount you will recieve and the more money you save. It’s very similar to buying in bulk.
Having used all of the NYC attraction passes ourselves when we lived in New York, we recommend the New York Sightseeing Pass because its extremely easy to use while offering both flexibility and big savings.
The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Ferry is included with the NY Sightseeing DAY Pass (but not the FLEX pass) and we have an exclusive 10% discount just for our readers.
Want To Save Money In NYC?
Use the button below to claim 10% off any NY Sightseeing Pass.
You can also read our detailed comparison to the New York attractions passes to help you decide which New York pass you should purchase for your visit to the Big Apple.
Is There A Free Ferry To The Statue Of Liberty?
Many people confuse the Staten Island Ferry with the Statue of Liberty Ferry.
The NYC DOT operates the very large orange Staten Island Ferry which provides a free service between St. George Ferry Terminal and the Whitehall Ferry Terminal (or South Ferry) 365 days of the year.
While the Staten Island Ferry is free to ride, it only passes by the Statue of Liberty and you can not access Liberty Island via this bright orange boat.
So if you want to see the Statue of Liberty up close for no cost, this ferry is a great option. Just remember, you won’t be able to visit the Statue of Liberty using the Staten Island Ferry.
Important Information About Your Statue Of Liberty And Ellis Island Ferry Tickets
Let’s take a look at the seven most important things you need to know about your Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island ferry tickets.
1. You have to select a reservation date and time if booking in advance. The time you select is NOT the time for your ferry departure, it is your entry into the security facility.
For example, you pre-book a 10:00am time slot at Statue Cruises or with New York Sightseeing Pass. That means you have access to security at 10:00am and you will board a 10:35am ferry from Battery Park to Liberty Island.
2. Every ticket comes with round trip ferry service, entry to Ellis Island Immigration Museum, Statue of Liberty Museum and grounds, plus self guided audio tours.
3. You can choose on the day whether or not you want to visit only the Statue of Liberty or include Ellis Island in your tour. There is no obligation to visit both landmarks.
4. In order to access the Pedestal or Crown, you have to upgrade your tickets at time of purchase. This is the same for buying in person, booking online with Statue Cruises or using any New York attraction pass.
5. Crown tickets sell out very quickly, particularly in summer. Advanced reservations are highly recommended and you can find more information on the official NPS website.
6. During the peak season in NYC, it is advised you arrive before 10:00am to beat the crowds and avoid long lines for departure.
7. Once you have tickets or online passes ready, you can enter the canvas tents behind Castle Clinton where someone will scan your ticket and allow access to the security checks.
What Else Is In The Area?
Once you disembark the Statue of Liberty ferry, what else can you do around the area?
Well, New York City is one of the best vacation spots in the US and nearby Lower Manhattan has a whole host of touristy things you can get stuck into:
- Trinity Church
- Wall Street
- New York Stock Exchange
- 9/11 Memorial and Museum
- One World Observatory
- Seaport District
- Elevated Acre
- Helicopter Tour Over NYC
- Staten Island Ferry
- Brooklyn Bridge
Need Help Planning Your Visit To New York City?
NYC is a vacation planning beast and it can be overwhelming trying to get every aspect right. Trust us, we know!
After living in New York City, we created a comprehensive NYC travel guidebook that will answer every question you have about where to stay, what to do, where to eat and how to get around the city.
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Statue Of Liberty Ferry FAQ’s
Let’s take a quick look at some of the most frequently asked questions regarding how to get the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island ferry.
In order to see the Statue of Liberty up close, you must take a ferry to Liberty Island with Statue Cruises which departs from Battery Park in Manhattan in New York or from Liberty State Park in New Jersey.
The only ferry you can take to reach Liberty Island is with Statue Cruises. Many tourists in NYC choose to take the free Staten Island ferry to see the Statue of Liberty, but this ferry only passes by Liberty Island and you will not be able to get off. No NYC ferry goes to the Statue of Liberty for free.
You should arrive at Castle Clinton in Battery Park 45 minutes before your scheduled ticket time so you can pass through security. It is important to remember the time you book is to access security, it is not your ferry departure time.
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We hope this detailed guide helps you book your ferry to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island!
Please let us know if you have any questions about the Statue of Liberty ferry or New York City in the comments below.
Mark and Kristen
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Mark and Kristen Morgan are travel, hiking and photography experts. Over the last 6 years traveling full time, they have explored more than 40 countries and 30 US states.
Their work has been featured in USA Today, Gestalten, Get Your Guide, CityPASS and Condé Nast Traveler along with various other publications.