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Staten Island Ferry

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The Staten Island Ferry is a passenger ferry operated by the New York City Department of Transportation between Whitehall Street at the southernmost tip of Manhattan near Battery Park (South Ferry) and St. George Ferry Terminal on Richmond Terrace in Staten Island near Richmond County Borough Hall and Richmond County Supreme Court.

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      12.10.2012 20:38
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      Great family freebie a must see in the Big Apple.

      So as every one knows I won a trip to New York City and I chose to go in early April. When I was talking to my husband about it and what he thought I should see The Staten Island Ferry was a top on his list. My husband visited the big apple as a child and remembers riding across on the ferry. How ever as it was many years ago things had changed quite dramatically I was sure but I did know that they were still running the Staten Island Ferry and that it did provide some great views of the city. As our visit to the Ferry was very impromptu and more on a spur of the moment we just sort of discovered it after walking through Battery Park and seeing the ferry leave the dock as we walked through the park brought us to the front door of the Ferry. I was excited and was very nervous as I am not a big boat type person or a boat person at all for that matter. Every time I have been on a boat I end up hanging my head over the edge with a green tint to my skin wishing I had never had the thought to get on the blasted thing. As I was not planning on getting on the boat I was not able to take any thing to help with my boat problem not that it would have mattered any way. So I had been told by my husband that when he was there they charged a small fee to ride the ferry and that you could drive your car onto the boats and pay to have them taken across to Staten Island. I had expectations of how it would look cars pulling up on one level as people that walked were on a different level. How ever it seems that they no longer allow cars on the ferry's and the best part is that several years earlier the New York City Department of Transportation took over the operations of the ferry and have since provided it free of charge. For me the expectations of having to pay and then it being free made it a great opportunity that I was thrilled to take advantage of. We walked in to the main entry way of the boarding terminal and had to wait a few minutes for a ferry to arrive and for the people that were riding it from Staten Island to get off. As we stood around and waited the closer the boat got the more people that were milling around waiting. As I looked around I did notice a place that you could buy food and drinks as you waited but not being hungry and having drinks already with us we opted to just wait but it sure did smell good. The ferry arrived and we were able to get onto it. As I knew that I needed to be close to the edge just incase we opted to sit on the outside. It was a windy day and the wind really did blow hard. I was sure that it was going to be the undoing of me. As the boat started to disembark I felt my stomach do a flip flop then even right back out. I was too interested in the sights that I was seeing and trying to skype my daughter so that I could show her every thing that I was seeing. That even the biggest wave could not have phased me. The whole ride across to Staten Island took all of 20 to 30 minutes and it was one of the coolest things I did while in New York City. From the ferry you have a great view of the Manhattan sky line as well as the Statue of Liberty. There are it seems never ending photo ops from the side of the Ferry with the skyline in the back ground. I had directions from my husband that I needed to be outside and to take a picture of me with the Manhattan skyline in the background as my husband wanted to do a then and now picture as when he went the Twin Towers were still standing. It was sad to see the void of where they used to be but was pretty cool to see the Freedom Tower rising tall in the skyline. Once we arrived at Staten Island we were disappointed to learn that every one must get off the boat at this time. If you wanted to go back to Manhattan you had to go back around and reenter. It was not a pain to do but it was rather shocking that you could not just ride the boat back. So we got off and opted to check out the boarding terminal on the Staten Island side. This side was a little more updated as they had stores and shops as you got off the boat and in the waiting area to get on the boat. I would have been happy to check out some of the shops but it seemed that they had already closed shop for the day. So we got back on the boat as we did not want to miss the last boat going back to Manhattan and have to find our way back. We figured that we would ride the boat back the same way we went out. While we were in the Staten Island Terminal the wind had picked up. As we tried to open the doors to the outside sitting area it was rather hard and really took both my cousin and I to push the doors to get them opened so we could go out side. We stood out side for a few minutes but I was not able to hear anything that my daughter was saying on skype so I tried to go in. As I tried to open the door I realized that I was not going to be able to do it alone I asked a very nice guy that was by the door if he could help me. He opened the door and in I went with the door slamming shut behind me the wind really blowing now. I was able to show my daughter on skype via a video call the entire ride on the Staten Island Ferry she was able to see the Statue of Liberty and every thing I saw while riding the Ferry. It was one of the coolest things ever and I was thrilled to have service on my phone the whole way across. As we got back to the Manhattan side and got off I noticed all the guards and police that were just standing around watching every thing that was going on. It made me feel very safe to know that they were there doing their jobs. This is one of those must see things while in New York City and the price makes it right. You can not go wrong with this freebie. Would I recommend this to my friends and family? Yes and I would raise cane if they missed it. This is one of many must see's in New York City.

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        19.12.2011 12:54
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        An unmissable free ferry ride for Working Girl and tourist alike...

        We often take things under our noses for granted. As a Londoner, it usually needs a foreign visitor to lift me out of complacency to visit places like the National Gallery and the Tower of London. It was much the same during my thirteen years in New York during the Eighties. An unexpected opportunity to visit the Big Apple arose last week, and I was determined to scratch a seventeen year itch by finally taking a ride on the Staten Island Ferry (the Ferry). Staten Island (also known as Richmond County) is one of New York's five boroughs (along with Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn and Manhattan) and is geographically situated on the New Jersey side of New York Harbour. The Ferry has been operated by the City between lower Manhattan and the northern tip of Staten Island for over 100 years, first commencing service in 1905. The route covers just over five miles, and takes around 25 to 30 minutes depending on harbour traffic. It is, first and foremost, a commuter ferry, carrying around 20 million passengers a year to and from New York's so-called "forgotten borough". It's the most direct route to the City for most Staten-Islanders, whose only other connection to New York is over the majestic Verrazano Narrows Bridge at the gateway to New York harbour. However, given the fantastic views of lower Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the East River Bridges and the Brooklyn riverside, the Ferry has become a practically mandatory destination for tourists. The downtown Whitehall ferry terminal, next to Battery Park was completely refurbished in 2005, and is easily accessible from the South Ferry (1,2, & 3 train which runs up Manhattan's West Side) and Bowling Green (4,5 and 6 train running up the East Side) subway stations. The instantly recognisable orange-liveried Ferry offers a twenty-four hour, free (yes, that's completely free) turn up and go service every fifteen minutes during busy times and thirty minutes, most other times. Visitors from the UK will despair at the lack of obvious queuing system. There is usually a fairly inelegant rush to get on board. Although the main deck is wheelchair and pushchair accessible, the upper decks are not. For commuters, a seat, or position, on the bow is the holy grail (quickest to get off) and for tourists, the starboard (right) side outbound and port side (inbound) narrow outside decks are prized for the best views of New York, Lady Liberty and Jersey City. It can get very windy and nippy in the winter months, so warm clothing is essential if you plan on braving the elements. Once on board, there is generally plenty of space and seating available (depending on time of day) for those not fussed about the coveted vantage points. A full service snack bar operates on board, providing much needed coffees and snacks. Information points around the deck exhort the charms of Staten Island, but as an ex-New Yorker I remain to be convinced. The half-hour ride is relatively smooth. The ferry we took on both legs was the newest in the fleet, the MV "Spirit of America" which has been in service since 2006 and was built to deliberately echo the more traditional designs that have plied the route for a century. It is one of eight ferries currently operating. More information on each of them (if you're interested) is available at www.siferry.com. Before docking at either terminal, its popularity with tourists is evident from the announcement requesting that all passengers making an immediate return journey leave the Ferry and re-board at the gate. This is easily accomplished (the route is clearly signposted) and is done for both security reasons, and to give waiting passengers an equal chance of getting on board. The Ferry is well worth the time and effort and makes a great budget alternative to expensive ferry tours such as the Circle Line. My voyage was at sundown on a clear day, making for some spectacular light behind Lady Liberty on the return journey. By the time we approached lower Manhattan, the skyscrapers in the Financial District were twinkling with light, with the still-unfinished Freedom Tower (the replacement for the fallen Twin Towers) festooned with multicoloured Christmas lights from top to bottom. Unmissable and highly recommended. ©Hishyeness 2011

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          02.12.2011 13:49
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          The Staten Island Ferry

          During our trip to the USA, we have also spent a few days in New York. There we also went to the Staten Island Ferry. The Staten Island Ferry has nothing to do with the boat tours, but it's a ferry that connects the southern tip of Manhattan to the Staten Island. Staten Island is 22 kilometres long and 12 kilometres wide, the smallest district of New York. There are about 400 000 inhabitants, what sounds a lot, but for New York standards is just a small district. Because there are few sights the 'New Yorkers' sees the part as the 'Forgotten suburb'. There is a nearly 1.3-kilometer bridge between Brooklyn and Staten Island, but there is no bridge to Manhattan. And here comes the ferry into sight as the Staten Island Ferry replaces the non-existent bridge. At a distance of 5 miles, or about 8 kilometres it just makes sense to use a ferry than to build a bridge. Within 20 minutes you can take the ferry and it's absolutely free. Daily use about 60 000 passengers in the ferry, which are about 20 million passengers a year. The New Yorkers use the ferry to get to work, but also many tourists have now discovered that the ferry can be a free alternative to a tourist boat. Because of the ferry, you have a great view of the Manhattan skyline, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, located on the opposite Governor's Island Iceland and on the bridge that connects Staten Island with Brooklyn. The Staten Island Ferry has two ports. One in Manhattan and on Staten Iceland. The pier is located in Manhattan in Battery Park, this is named after the gun range, was defended in the earlier hours of the port. Here lay off the more ships sailing to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The pier for the Staten Island Ferry is located in the south of the Battery Park Ferry Terminal, which is in turn at the end of Whitehall Street. The metro line 1, you can go directly to the ferry terminal by getting off at the South Ferry terminus. If you want to go a few minutes' walk, you can also take the line R to Whitehall Street. From there you are at the terminal within 10 minutes. The ferry terminal has a large waiting room, in which there are also public toilets. As the ferries run regularly but, never have to wait long. The second pier is on Staten Island and specifically at the St. George station. There, too, there is a waiting hall. Several buses leave from the dock into the interior of Staten Island. The ferry runs every day around the clock. From 6 to 1:30 clock it runs every 30 minutes. During rush hour, so during the week, when the commuters traveling to work or on the way home, she travels occasionally even in the 20 - or 15-minute intervals. At night she runs only hourly. Overall, one can say that the ferry has very good departure times. In that at peak times several boats are in use, you must never wait long. The Staten Island Ferry is a typical ferry boat. It's completely orange and is not necessarily pretty, but it does not have to be, because any way you look at the skyline and the Statue of Liberty but not to the boat. After our ferry has arrived once poured out a lot of people, we were allowed to board the ship. This is a larger ferry with several decks. In the lower deck you can sit on wooden benches in the warm and even drink a coffee or something else for there are opportunities to buy snacks and drinks, which we have not done so I can say nothing about the prices. Even toilets are there if you go during the journey. Most of the passengers crowded to the open deck, because only here you have great views. We are placed in the back of the ship. So we went back and could see Manhattan is slowly reduced. If you are in front, you see Staten Island coming towards you but the view of Manhattan is already rewarding. Of course you can also place the side, what we did on the way back. Once the ferry has passed, you get to see something directly. It has a really nice view of Manhattan and it is also relatively close past the Statue of Liberty. We decided to see the Statue of Liberty from a distance, just from the ferry. The ride lasts even 20 to 25 minutes. After our arrival, we wanted to stay on the ferry and head straight back, but you have to get out and stand in line again. Since not much was going on - it was a Wednesday afternoon - we came in the same boat back in and could go back without waiting. The trip was very nice. If the weather still been a bit clearer and the sky is not so gray and overcast, they would certainly be able to have better vision, but even with the cloudy weather, you get plenty to see. The Staten Island Ferry is a free and excellent alternative to tourist boat tours. Whom it is enough to see the Statue of Liberty. The crossing from 20 to 25 minutes each way is fun, because you have a great view of Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island as the whole and costs nothing, saves you also have a lot of money. For me there is nothing negative and therefore there is a perfect score and a recommendation for the Staten Island Ferry.

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          22.05.2010 13:35
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          We had heard of the Staten Island Ferry before we went to New York. Wasn't really sure how to get to it, and although it is a free service to use it which was quite appealing to us, there wasn't any point in travelling for miles to perhaps get a freebie. That may sound bad as we were just on a holiday of a lifetime to New York, but we had so much to cram into our 9 days there that all time was precious. We went down to Battery Park to take the Statue of Liberty Cruise and it was down there that we saw the Staten Island Ferry. Since it was so close to where we were, we decided to take a walk over to it after going to Liberty Island, go over on the Ferry and basically come back again. When in New York and all that! This was just a short walk left from where we boarded the Cruise Boat for the Statue. Upon looking the details up here I see it leaves from Whitehall Street which is at South Street. We just looked at the large orange Boat and followed where to go. It wasn't hard to be honest. Although it looked a large Boat when we were some way away from it, it was even bigger when next to that (bit of an odd statement, but it was huge!). It looked kind of grubby and in need of a bit of a wash. Although it is in the water going back and forth all the time, the water is pretty grimy and this does show on the boat. Who cares as long as it is mechanically sound anyway. Perhaps if it was a chargable service then the standards may have been a bit higher. This service runs 24 hours a day every single day of the year. I think the Ferry is busy all the time, and it was pretty crowded when we were on. There is a good amount of seats, and loads of standing room on either of the levels. The crossing takes about 25 minutes and goes to the St George's Ferry Terminal on Staten Island. Nothing too much to see and do over on Staten Island, but it was a nice little walk around. Ferry leaves every half hour, so really you get there in the 25 minutes, everyone gets off, new crossing is boarded and away it goes again. We just walked about until the next ferry came back and headed back to Manhatten. A nice little Ferry cruise. Yes, nothing much to do but it was free and felt like a New York thing to do.

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            10.05.2009 20:09
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            Go see the Statue of Liberty for free!

            As I carry on with my reviews of the sights and sounds of New York City I couldn't miss out on one of the main methods of transport used and one of the cheapest too, its completely free! New York City is made up of five boroughs, Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, The Bronx and Staten Island. The only non-vehicular way to access Staten Island is using the free ferry run by the New York City Department of Transportation that commutes between the Whitehall terminal in Manhattan and the St. George terminal on Staten Island. The fleet is made up of 9 different ferries, Spirit of America, Sen. John J. Marchi , Guy V. Molinari, Samuel I. Newhouse, Andrew J. Barberi , John F. Kennedy , John Noble, Alice Austen, Michael Cosgrove , American Legion III. The Spirit Of America is the newest ferry at only 4 years old and the Barberi and Newhouse are the highest passenger capacity vessels in the world at 6000 passengers each. 60000 people use the ferry each day to commute between Staten Island and Manhattan whether it be for work, pleasure or if your a tourist like we were and the ferries run approx every 30 minutes or 20 during peak times. Even if your not going to Staten Island as a tourist its a great free way to see the Statue Of Liberty on Liberty Island and also Ellis Island which is home of the Immigration Museum. Unfortunately I didn't get to either of these due to bad weather on the day we planned to go but we did get some great pictures of the statue from the ferry on the way back, on our trip over to Staten Island it was torrential rain and wind so we had to stay inside. You also get fantastic view of the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan as you head back towards it. The trip is only 25 minutes each way so is a fairly quick thing for you to do but as its free you could ride it all day if you wanted too! I highly recommend a ferry ride, its free and a great way to see Manhattan from a different view point. ***This review will also be posted on Ciao under the same user name***

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              19.11.2008 17:10
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              Great for travellers on a budget

              I have recently returned from a trip to New York and one thing I can really recommend is the Staten Island Ferry. In 1997, the NYCDOT removed the 50c charge allowing passengers to travel on the boat for free. On the 25 minute trip each way, you get an excellent view of the island, Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty - for nothing. The ferry departs from the newly completed terminal at 1 Whitehall Street at South Street in Lower Manhattan and will dock again at the St. George Ferry Terminal at One Ferry Terminal Drive, Richmond Terrace, Staten Island. The ferries have capacity for large numbers of people, so you don't have to queue to board and are fairly free to move around the boat whilst it is en route. On a clear day you can get excellent views, and you don't have to wait long to board the ferry, it leaves every 30 minutes, but up to every 15 minutes at peak times. You can travel on the ferry 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and is great for taking sunset shots of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty on the enclosed, seated deck or on the open terrace. If you want to come straight back, you can quickly exit the ferry and reboard again at the arrival terminal. You can also carry bicycles with no charge and there is dissabled access to the lower decks. If you're travelling on a budget, this is one of many free attractions in New York, and if you're short on time you can be there and back in around an hour. A visit to Liberty Island takes considerably longer with long queues and a security check.

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                12.10.2000 23:06
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                ...Don't think that the tourist boats will be the best way to see the island. The best, and by far the cheapest way to get an amazing view of the island is to take the Staten Island Ferry. It departs from the ferry terminal which is in between the place where the Statue of Libery ferry leaves from and South Street Seaport. It only costs 50c for a return trip, and is the only place you can get a view of the island with the Statue of Liberty in between. The views you will get are outstanding, and you won't have to worry about having to queue for hours or get jostled by hundreds of tourists. Another excellent place to view the island from is to take the PATH train (only costs $1) from World Trade Center and go just one stop and get off. It's not really a tourist area, but is totally safe, and the views are amazing. There are also great views to be had if you stay on the path all the way to Hoboken - a great place for a night out.

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                17.08.2000 05:06

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                You haven't been to New York city if you haven't been to the Liberty Island. And yes this is where the Statue of Liberty lives. The only way to get to the island is by ferries, from Battery Park, which is at the south end of Manhattan. I went on a Saturday morning. Tickets were $10 for a round-trip, for students. The queues at the ticket booths are horribly long. And there were only 2 ferries on that day so the queues for the ferries were like hundreds of people. Once get on the ferry, you're off for a nice trip. Manhattan sky-crapers such as the World Trade Centre are in a perfect view for photo taking when the ferry is half-way through. Souvenirs and refreshments are being sold on the ferried but most people won't be interested as they're busy taking photos. Be sure you bring your camera with you. Single journey to the Liberty Island takes about 15 minutes. You can stay on the island for as long as you like. But again expect long queues for the ferries on the island. On the journey back to Manhattan, the ferry will stop by another island nearby, called the Ellis Island and again you're free to get on the island for as long as you like. From Ellis, the ferry takes you back to Manhattan.

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