New York City Guide
Staten Island Ferry
The Staten Island Ferry is a passenger ferry that operates between South Ferry, located at Whitehall Street, in Lower Manhattan, near to Battery Park, and the St. George Ferry Terminal, at Richmond Terrace on Staten Island. The trip takes about 25 minutes each way. During peak periods, the ferries can become very crowded.
The ferry is free of charge, which has resulted in a large increase in the number of passengers using the service, and not just as a commuter link between Manhattan and Staten Island, but has also become a popular tourist attraction, with visitors doing the round trip just to get wonderful views of New York harbour, although you must disembark on your arrival, and re-
The 201 million dollar Whitehall Ferry terminal, opened by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is built on a pier cantilevered over the harbour. It has a 75 foot high entry hall, and wrapped around the building is an outdoor deck. Facilities include, police and tourist offices, plus a number of concession spaces. It also possesses stunning views of New York Harbour, and the downtown skyline.
The price of the ferry, has for long time been considered to be good value for money. But it hasn't always been free. In 1897, the price was set at five cents, and it remained at that price for almost 80 years. In 1972 it went up to 10 cents, Then over the next 18 years the cost gradually increased, with it reaching 50 cents in 1990. On July 4th 1997, the Staten Island Ferry became one of the biggest bargains in New York as it was then that passengers began riding for free.
The ferry ride has become a firm favourite with tourists to New York as it provides excellent views of the Lower Manhattan skyline, Ellis Island, and the Statue of Liberty.