New York City

Exploring NYC by ferry

August 14, 2017
New York City ferry guide

This summer a new era has begun in the transportation history of NYC: It’s never been easier, cheaper and more comfortable to explore the city by ferry! The NYC ferry has launched with brand new boats, routes and schedules, making it a pleasure to visit some of the city’s less well connected areas.

So if you’re visiting NYC next time, I highly recommend this service that beats the subway in many ways: At only 2.75 $ regardless of distance, the ticket costs the same as a single ride on the train – so go on board and catch the ocean breeze with some of the finest views! In the following I’ll share my favourite places that can be visited by ferry and if you’re looking for more summer tips in the city, see also here.

Rockaway Beach

The same ferry service I mentioned above connects Manhattan’s Wall Street with NYC’s most popular beach destination: Rockaway Beach! Contrary to the long, boring subway ride, this journey is a pleasant one – you can either sit on deck or inside with AC, and there’s even a bar that sells beer and snacks. It feels like a mini vacation and once you hit the beach, you’ll almost forget that you’re still in NYC! The beach is so long that there’s a quiet spot for everyone even during the busiest day (you might have to walk further or take the shuttle bus provided) and the sand and water is incredibly nice for NYC standards. Don’t miss to grab the city’s best fish tacos (yes we loved them!) at the Rockaway Beach Surf Club, quite a cool joint with a Californian vibe! Check all routes and schedules of the NYC Ferry here.

Governor’s Island

Another summer hot spot is Governor’s Island just between Manhattan and Brooklyn. The small island is under US National Park management, completely car-free but even more popular to explore by bicycle. History geeks will find lots of historic buildings like a fort and Army settlements there, while foodies will love the food trucks lined up in the courtyard. And pretty much everyone will appreciate the fantastic views of Lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty, the events that take place there frequently, or the generous park areas. Governor’s Island is only open to the public during the summer season from May to October, so if you happen to visit NYC during these months – check it out! You’ll find more information on the Governor’s Island official website.

Staten Island

One of the best things to do when you either 1) look for the best view of the Statue of Liberty without actually visiting Liberty Island or 2) want to kill time for any reason – the Staten Island Ferry is oldie but goldie. Leaving from Whitehall Ferry Terminal on the southern tip of Manhattan, this ferry isn’t only a necessity for commuters but also a favourite among visitors. Simply because it runs 365 days a year, 24/7 and 24 hours – and it’s completely FREE! The boat is huge, has plenty of seating and provides great outdoor views, especially when it passes Liberty Island. The ride only takes about 25 minutes but most visitors get off the terminal at Staten Island and wait for the next ferry back. Take a good book and go back and forth as often as you like ๐Ÿ˜‰ Find more information about the Staten Island Ferry here.

NY Waterway to/from Jersey

Another ferry service, the NY Waterway, is the main operator that runs in the Hudson River connecting various locations in New Jersey with The Big Apple. Why going to Jersey? Well, they’re lucky to have some stunning views of Manhattan from the “other side”. The ticket prices are a little higher than the ones from NYC Ferry and depend on distance, nevertheless for Jersey visitors it might be a good alternative to the buses or the PATH. Schedules, routes and tickets can be found here.

I hope you enjoyed that little ferry tour and found some useful information for your next trip ๐Ÿ˜‰

Everything you need to know, useful information and links for traveling within New York City by ferry can be found here. Welcome on board!

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  • Reply SueTๅ” ๆขฆ ็‡ August 15, 2017 at 6:56 am

    Great way to see the city Julia. I did a tour on the water but we booked through a boat company that offered food and drinks. Bit expensive if I recall so I should have done the ferry ride especially the Staten Isl ferry. Shame!!

    • Reply sileas August 30, 2017 at 5:12 am

      Oh I can see the benefits of such a cruise too ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Reply Vicky T. August 16, 2017 at 1:44 am

    I’ve never thought about taking the ferry to see the city. I’m definitely going to try it if I ever get to go to New York


    • Reply sileas August 30, 2017 at 5:13 am

      Yes, you definitely see more than taking the subway ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Reply Paleica August 16, 2017 at 4:18 am

    wie cool ist das denn alles? was fรผr eine tolle stadt <3 ist vielleicht ein blรถder vergleich, aber ich war schon damals in hamburg total begeistert, dass man ein boot als รถffentliches verkehrsmittel verwenden kann ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Reply sileas August 30, 2017 at 5:16 am

      Gar kein blรถder Vergleich ๐Ÿ˜€ In der Stadt mit dem Boot herumfahren zu kรถnnen, hat einfach was!

  • Reply shootingvienna August 17, 2017 at 6:01 am

    I love the sunset picture! Bet it was hard to chose from so many pics.
    Great info should I ever visit NYC ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Reply sileas August 30, 2017 at 5:17 am

      Thank you! You should definitely put it on your travel list – especially food-wise ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Reply Chiara Pannozzo (@wine_and_olives) August 27, 2017 at 10:39 am

    How fantastic! I can’t believe it only costs $2.75, that’s an absolute bargain. It’s such a cool way to travel, not to mention a whole different experience. I’ll bear this in mind when I’m next in NYC, thanks for sharing!x

    • Reply sileas August 30, 2017 at 5:21 am

      Yeah it costs the same as riding the subway and gives you better views ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Reply Christina September 1, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    wow you took some great shots, love them! I really like ferries, so everytime I have the chance to go on one I always do it! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’d never expect such a big city like New York to have such great beaches with quiet places.

    • Reply sileas September 6, 2017 at 12:02 pm

      Thank you! Yeah, fortunately it’s not all about skyscrapers and traffic jams in NYC ๐Ÿ˜›

  • Reply Sanne September 8, 2017 at 5:15 am

    That’s great news! My sister and I are heading to Rockaway Beach this weekend, and the ferry sounds like the perfect way to get there:)

    • Reply sileas September 12, 2017 at 3:57 am

      Nice! It looks like you’re having a blast in NY, I’m a little jealous ๐Ÿ˜‰

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