NYC Guide

How to visit the Statue of Liberty in New York City

Statue of Liberty is among the classic places of New York City – and is also a world-famous monument. It’s that kind of thing that’s on the list of 99% of people visiting the Big Apple – by the way, I’ve already written a post with 10 places to check out if you are a first-time visitor, click here to check it out! Although I have mentioned in several posts some ways to see the Statue, I had never done an exclusive post on the subject. So, as I see that some people still have doubts about which one is the official tour and other issues – I decided to write this post to explain everything.

Official cruise – Statue Cruises / Choose this if… you want to go to the Liberty Island!

Statue Cruises is the official and ONLY authorized concessioner tour company that brings you to Liberty Island, where the Statue of Liberty is located. This is the official tour. You can buy your ticket by clicking here or also at Battery Park. If you want to buy it at the park, be prepared for the lines. There is a separate line for those who have already bought the ticket. Also, ignore any approach from strangers in the area. Head straight to Castle Clinton, which is in Battery Park. It is the only authorized place to buy tickets for the Statue of Liberty. The ticket you purchase for the Statue of Liberty also allows you you to go to Ellis Island, an island off Liberty Island, where the Immigration Museum is located – the ferry stops there as well.

Tickets: There are three kinds of tickets – access to the island, access to the pedestal, and access to the crown. If your idea is to go on the pedestal or crown, plan ahead. Tickets to the crown usually run out months in advance as few tickets are available per day.

Price: from $18 to $21. Kids under 4 don’t need a ticket.

Plan ahead: the first boats (8h30, 8h45, and 9h) have the shortest waiting times. Click here and check the departure schedule. In addition, there is an X-ray before boarding. People usually spend three to four hours on this tour. It is recommended to arrive 30 minutes before the time determined on your ticket.

ATTENTION: The Statue of Liberty is open EVERY DAY, except on December 25th.

Water Taxi / For those who do not want to go to Liberty Island, but want to see the Statue up close – and still take a tour around southern Manhattan.

Water Taxi is a boat tour whose itinerary includes a stop near the Statue of Liberty – at a distance that, at least for me, is perfect in every way, both to enjoy it and to take cool pictures. The boat stands in front of Lady Liberty for a few minutes, so you can enjoy the monument. The total journey lasts 70 minutes, passing, among other places, the Brooklyn Bridge and the southern part of Manhattan. All narrated by a guide. The Water Taxi has 4 piers and you can choose to take the full tour, non-stop, or get off at any of the piers to explore a region and then catch the boat again – Pier 83, Battery Park, South Street Seaport and Dumbo. The boat has an open deck and an enclosed area. What I recommend is: check the weather forecast – because a tour of this will only be complete with a beautiful day! You can buy the tickets at any of the piers – one of them is at Battery Park, where most of the tour boats depart – or on the internet.

Tickets and price – $37 – click here to buy it. Kids under 3 don’t need a ticket.

Plan ahead – Water Taxi schedule is from 10 am to 6 pm. Check out.

Circle Line – Circle Line Liberty Cruise / For those who do not want to go to Liberty Island, but want to see the Statue up close.

It is another option if you want to see the Statue from the river. It departs from Pier 83, West Side, down the Hudson River, passing the Chelsea Piers, the towering One World Trade Center and the inspiring High Line Park, before passing the spectacular tip of southern Manhattan and ultimately cruising only a few feet away from the magnificent Statue of Liberty. The difference between this boat and the Water Taxi is that Circle Line is bigger and more crowded. Besides that, there is only one Pier for boarding and it doesn’t go to Dumbo.

Tickets and price – $31 – click here to buy it. Kids under 3 don’t pay.

Plan aheadCheck out departure times.

PLUS:  Circle Line also offers Statue of Liberty Express, departing from Pier 16, Downtown, and goes to the Statue of Liberty, perfect if you are short on time. It is $18.

Classic Harbor Line / For those who do not want to go to Liberty Island, but want to see the Statue up close on an unconventional tour.

Around Manhattan Brunch Cruise is a 2h45 cruise, that departs every Saturday/Sunday, 10am, from Chelsea Piers – 22th Street. The boat is a motorized yacht, very beautiful, by the way, and very stable. Being a relatively small yacht, it is a more intimate and less crowded tour than the other cruises.  All tables are positioned at the windows so, no matter where you sit, you will have a privileged view. The tables are numbered and you receive your number before boarding. Depending on the size of your group, you might get a table just for you – otherwise will share it with some more people. In addition to the enclosed area, with glass windows, there is also the open deck. You can move freely between the two areas and there is also a bathroom, of course.

Lasting almost three hours, you can imagine that it’s quite a ride, right? The yacht leaves Pier 62, at 22nd Street, heading south, past the west side of Manhattan, through the One World Trade Center, and following the Statue of Liberty, where it stops for a few minutes for everyone to appreciate the view and take some photos. From there, it returns to the eastern side of Manhattan, up and around the island, past points such as Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge, Williamsburg Bridge, and Queensboro Bridge. You will see places such as Midtown (Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, UN Building), Long Island City and its iconic Pepsi sign, Roosevelt Island, Upper East Side, Randalls Island, Harlem, and its several bridges, as well as areas of Upper Manhattan and The Bronx. The yacht goes all around the island and continues down the west side, past points like the George Washington Bridge and the Upper West Side. What I find most cool about this itinerary is that by circling the island, you end up getting to know and checking the not so obvious spots of the city. Also, there is plenty of time to eat, enjoy the view and the ride.

Besides the food, you also get coffee or tea + a drink (mimosa, sangria, wine, sparkling, or beer). If you want more drinks, you can buy them on board – but remember they only accept cards.

Price: $86 per person. Considering what is included in the package and the duration of the cruise, I find a very reasonable price! We love the experience, first, because I love not so touristy cruises, which are more like an experience. Secondly, because the groups are smaller and the boat is less crowded. And third, because it is a long cruise, with a different itinerary, and you can enjoy and relax a lot!

Children brunch tickets are available for kids ages 3-14 years – the cost is $64 + tax. Children 2 and under are free.

Did you like this post?  I hope that it helps you to understand the options and to decide!

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