Things to do in New York City: The Staten Island Ferry August 30 2017

Staten Island Ferry Sign

While taking one of the amazing boat tours offered by New York Nightlife could be the highlight of your trip to NYC, a visit isn’t quite complete without a short ride on the Staten Island Ferry.  This free ride operates 24/7, 365 days per year and goes between the Whitehall Terminal in Lower Manhattan to the St. George Ferry Terminal on Staten Island and lasts about 30 minutes each way.  It has great views of New York City and the Statue of Liberty, not to mention people-watching. The team at New York Nightlife is here to help you get the most out of this ride.

How to get to the Staten Island Ferry

  • You can take a cab or car to the Whitehall Station at 4 Southstreet
  • If you prefer public transportation like subways or buses, you will need a Metrocard (which you may by at any subway station or at one of the kiosks on the street). Check out MTA Trip Planner to find the best way for you get there.

Note:  Most subways require you to be in the first five cars in order to get off at the Whitehall Station, so plan to be in the front of the subway before getting there.

What to do once you arrive at the Ferry Terminal

  • Follow the crowds and the signs and you will soon be at the terminal
  • Get in line and get on the ferry
  • Find a place where you like the view and enjoy the ride


New York Skyline From Staten Island Ferry

Tips for taking the Staten Island Ferry

  • Avoid riding during rush hours between 6-9 AM and 3:30-8 PM on weekdays to enjoy a less crowded trip
  • Bicycles are allowed on, but they must be walked onto the ferry and they must be loaded in the bicycle loading area
  • Rollerblades and skateboards may be brought onto the ferry, but not used while on-board or in the terminal
  • Snacks, drinks and beer are sold at a concession stand on every boat
  • Taking pictures or video is fine for personal use
  • Smoking is not permitted in the ferry and in most areas of the terminal
  • Make a backup plan on where to reunite with your group in case you get separated
  • The decks can get slippery in wet or snowy weather, so please be cautious in those situations
  • Be sure to take all of your belongings with you when you get off the Ferry


View of Statue of Liberty from Staten Island Ferry

Fun Facts about the Staten Island Ferry

  • The distance traveled each way is 5.2 miles (8.4 km)
  • It is operated by New York City Department of Transportation
  • It has been in service since 1905
  • The Staten Island Ferry carries 23 million passengers per year
  • Vehicles have not been allowed on the ferry since the September 11 attacks
  • The Whitehall Terminal was designed to hold more than 100,000 people
  •  The eight vessels used to make the trip are: Spirit of America, Senator John J. Marchi, Guy V. Molinari, Samuel I. Newhouse, Andrew J. Barberi, John F. Kennedy, John Nobel, Alice Austen and Micheal Cosgrove

The Staten Island Ferry in Movies and TV

Staten Island Ferry has been a staple in pop culture.  It has been featured in the following movies and TV shows, just to name a few:

I Love Lucy—Season 5, Episode 12 “Staten Island Ferry”

Multiple episodes of Law & Order

Friends—“The One with the Princess Leia Fantasy”

The Staten Island Ferry was an important part of 1988 Melanie Griffith, Harrison ford and Sigourney Weaver in  Mike Nichols new classic Working Girl.

Amy Schumer rode it in the 2015 film Trainwreck

In the 2017 film Spider-man: Homecoming, Spider-man and Iron Man work together to save one of the Staten Island Ferry boats in a key action scene.  

 Happy riding!