Staten Island Ferry

Staten Island Ferry: Connecting Manhattan and Staten Island

The Staten Island Ferry is a passenger ferry service that operates between St. George Terminal on Staten Island and Whitehall Terminal in Manhattan. The Staten Island Ferry is not only a means of transportation but also a significant cultural icon of New York City. It’s a symbol of the city’s rich maritime history and its enduring commitment to public transportation. It has been an essential part of New York City’s transportation system for over a century, providing both commuters and tourists with stunning views of Manhattan’s skyline and the Statue of Liberty. The Ferry is a popular choice for filmmakers and photographers.

Key Facts

  • Route: The ferry runs between St. George Terminal (Staten Island) and Whitehall Terminal (Manhattan), covering a distance of approximately 5.2 miles (8.37 km) across New York Harbor.
  • Staten Island Ferry Hours: The ferry operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with more frequent service during peak hours.
  • Passenger Capacity: Each ferry can accommodate up to 4,500 passengers, making it one of the largest passenger ferry systems in the United States.
  • Duration: The crossing takes approximately 25 minutes one way.
  • Scenic Views: Passengers enjoy breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge.
  • Free of Charge: Unlike most public transportation, the Staten Island Ferry is completely free for passengers.
  • Commuter Use: The ferry serves as a crucial link for daily commuters traveling between Staten Island and Manhattan. Many Staten Island residents rely on it to reach their workplaces in the city.
  • Tourist Attraction: Tourists often take the ferry to experience the iconic views and capture memorable photos.
  • Historical Significance: The ferry has a rich history dating back to the late 19th century. It has survived accidents, fires, and even wartime service.
  • Fleet: The Staten Island Ferry operates 10 modern vessels, including Sandy Ground, Dorothy Day, and Staff Sergeant Michael H. Ollis.
  • Accessibility: The ferries are wheelchair accessible, and passengers can bring bicycles on board.
  • Safety Measures: The ferry system prioritizes safety, with regular drills and emergency procedures in place.
  • Unique Connection: It is the only direct mass-transit connection between Staten Island and Manhattan.

Staten Island Ferry Times

Monday–Friday (AM Rush Hour)St. George TerminalEvery 15–20 minutes from 6:00 AM to 9:00 AM
Whitehall TerminalEvery 15–20 minutes from 6:30 AM to 9:30 AM
Monday–Friday (PM Rush Hour)St. George TerminalEvery 15–20 minutes from 3:30 PM to 7:00 PM
Whitehall TerminalEvery 15–20 minutes from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Monday–Friday (Other Times)St. George TerminalEvery 30 minutes
Whitehall TerminalEvery 30 minutes
Weekends & HolidaysSt. George TerminalEvery 30 minutes throughout the day
Whitehall TerminalEvery 30 minutes throughout the day

Note: This table is for informational purposes only. Please refer to the official Staten Island Ferry website for the most up-to-date schedule.

Additional Information


Both terminals are equipped with escalators and elevators, operating within ADA guidelines. Authorization to board on the lower level requires proper supporting documentation. For further information, call 212-839-3061 (Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm), or dial 311 at other times. Email requests and documentation to [email protected] (allow 3 to 5 business days for processing).


  • All passengers are subject to random screening by NYPD and K9 personnel.
  • Refusal to undergo random screenings will result in denial of boarding.
  • Staten Island Ferry terminals are under 24/7 CCTV surveillance.
  • NYPD officers are present on all Staten Island Ferry vessels and stationed in both terminals.


  • Except for service animals defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, pets are not allowed in the facilities or onboard the ferry boats unless caged and/or muzzled.

Free Wi-Fi

  • Free Wi-Fi services are available in each terminal and on all ferries.

Lost & Found

  • The Ferry’s Lost and Found Office, located in the St. George Terminal waiting room next to the NYPD Police Room, is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.
  • For assistance, call 311 (outside New York City, dial 212-NEW-YORK or 212-639-9675).
  • Passenger Service Staff will search for lost items and provide results directly to the passenger. 

A History of the Ferry

The Staten Island Ferry boasts a rich history dating back to 1817 when the Richmond Turnpike Company launched the first steamboat service connecting Manhattan and Staten Island. Throughout the 19th century, ownership changed hands several times, with prominent figures like Cornelius Vanderbilt involved. In 1905, the City of New York took control, establishing the ferry as a vital public transportation link. Today, the Staten Island Ferry transports over 22 million passengers each year. Notably, the ferry has been fare-free since 1997, making it an accessible and scenic transportation option for all.

Information for Tourists

  • Sightseeing Cruise Alternative: The Staten Island Ferry serves as a free substitute for a sightseeing cruise. The ride lasts approximately 25 minutes, and passengers must disembark when the ferry arrives at the other terminal. The schedule is designed so that the next departure leaves a few minutes after the preceding arrival, allowing for a minimum round trip time of about 1 hour.
  • Connecting to NYC Ferries: After riding the Staten Island Ferry, you can walk over to Wall Street and board an NYC ferry that travels up the East River. This route takes you under the Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Williamsburg bridges, offering stunning skyline views. NYC ferry tickets cost $4 each.
  • Staten Island Views: While the Staten Island Ferry primarily provides a head-on view of southern Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty, the NYC ferry from Wall Street offers a different perspective as it runs up the East River. Depending on your desired destination, the Astoria, or East River line is recommended.
  • Staten Island Attractions: If you get off at Staten Island, explore the numerous shops in the area. A ten-minute walk away, you’ll find fun and hipster bars and restaurants worth checking out.
  • 9/11 Memorial: Near the Staten Island Ferry terminal, there’s a lovely 9/11 memorial. Take a moment to pay your respects.
  • Daytime and Nighttime Rides: For a varied experience, consider taking both daytime and nighttime rides. The vibes differ, and both offer beautiful views if the weather cooperates.
  • Pro Tip: You can bring alcohol on board the ferry. Enjoy the ride and the scenic views!

A Perfect Day in Staten Island: Tourist Itinerary

Staten Island, often overshadowed by its bustling neighbors, offers a delightful escape for tourists seeking a mix of history, culture, and culinary delights. Here’s your ideal itinerary for a memorable day on the island:

1. Staten Island Ferry Ride

  • Morning: Start your day by taking the iconic Staten Island Ferry from Battery Park City. The 25-minute ride across New York Harbor provides stunning views of the Manhattan skyline, the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island.

2. Pizza Paradise

  • Lunchtime: Dive into Staten Island’s pizza scene, renowned for its mouthwatering slices. Here are your top choices:
    • Pier 76: Conveniently located near the St. George Ferry Terminal, Pier 76 offers a quick and satisfying pizza fix. Grab a classic New York slice and savor the flavors.
    • Joe & Pat’s: For pizza aficionados, Joe & Pat’s serves up the best vodka pie on the island (and arguably in the entire city). It’s a short Uber or bus ride from the ferry.
    • Denino’s: While slightly more challenging to reach, Denino’s in Port Richmond is worth the journey. Their crispy crust and generous toppings have earned them a loyal following.

3. Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden

  • Afternoon Exploration: Make your way to Snug Harbor, a hidden gem on Staten Island. Spend 2–3 hours exploring the beautiful gardens and visiting the Noble Maritime Collection and the Staten Island Museum. Immerse yourself in art, history, and nature.

4. Sri Lankan Culinary Adventure

  • Evening Delight: Staten Island is also known for its vibrant Sri Lankan community. Try the flavors of Sri Lanka at:
    • New Asha (Tompkinsville): Experience a hole-in-the-wall culinary adventure with authentic Sri Lankan dishes.
    • Lakruwana (Stapleton): For a more ornate dining experience, indulge in Sri Lankan cuisine at Lakruwana.

5. Return Journey

  • Easy Transit: After your culinary escapade, hop on a short 10-minute bus ride back to the ferry terminal in Manhattan. Reflect on your day as you sail back across the harbor.

6. Optional Side Trips

  • Fort Wadsworth: If you’re curious about other parts of the island, visit Fort Wadsworth, a Civil War fort with great views of the Narrows and the Verrazzano Bridge.
  • Alice Austen House: Explore the museum dedicated to the pioneering 19th/20th-century female photographer, Alice Austen.


The Staten Island Ferry is more than just a means of transportation; it’s a symbol of New York City’s resilience, diversity, and enduring spirit. Whether you’re a daily commuter or a curious tourist, a ride on the Staten Island Ferry offers a unique perspective of the city that never sleeps.

Spread the Staten Island Spirit

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