Where to Get Off The NYC Ferry

The NYC Ferry opened in April 2017 and has already become a favorite among New Yorkers, me included! City planners predict close to five million passengers will ride the ferry each year.

How much does the ferry cost?

The NYC Ferry is privately run, but heavily subsidized by New York City, maintaining the price at an affordable $2.75, the same price as a bus or subway ride!

You can buy your tickets at an automated kiosk, through the free NYC Ferry app (just activate your ticket and show the ferry personnel when you board) or, at some ferry slips, you can buy it from a cashier

So nobody ever thought of a ferry before?

We learned about the history of the ferry service at the NYC Transit Museum (see the related post at the end of this story).

Of course they did! The idea of the ferry is an old one in New York. In fact, the first ferries to Brooklyn were in 1642, connecting New Amsterdam to Long Island! Even as the city grew, ferries remained important. At the end of the 19th century, all the major roads in Brooklyn and Queens lead to the ferry slips.

What lead to the return of the ferry?

Just a few decades ago, the waterfront across the river from Manhattan was filled with old warehouses since the river was used for shipping.

New York has re-invented the waterfront as a place for luxury living with its perfect views of the Manhattan skyline, and lined with parks where New Yorkers can enjoy the afternoon.

So what does this mean for you, the tourist?

The ferry, which costs just $2.75, is an ideal way to catch the best views of the city, and a great way to see more of the city.

On the Manhattan side, you’ll have to walk several blocks when you get off the subway, and then pay separately for the ferry.

See the major NYC sites by NYC Ferry
The tall building behind me is part of the United Nations

We visited Governor’s Island on our first ferry ride. Governor’s Island, originally one of several fortresses built to defend New York, is now open to all.

Warning: Do You Really Want to Take The Ferry?

On beautiful summer days, you may have to wait an hour or more to board the ferry, due to the crazy popularity of the service.

If you buy your ticket through the app, do not activate it until you are boarding. If you activate the ticket and then decide not to wait, the ticket will no longer be valid the next day.

Here are some of the highlights at some of the ferry stops:

North Williamsburg

  • Every Saturday during the summer, part of the next-door park is occupied by Smorgasburg, a mashing of the words from “smorgasbord” (the Swedish word for buffet) and Williamsburg. These impromptu kiosks offer all styles of food, both healthy and not. (A related blog post will come when we re-visit Smorgasburg in the summer of 2018!

Brooklyn Bridge Park

Brooklyn Bridge Promenade
The Brooklyn Bridge Promenade is a lovely place to spend the day!
  • Eat lobster or pizza from Grimaldi’s or Juliana’s, or scroll through an endless number of places to eat on the Yelp app.
  • Walk along the promenade, watch the beautiful merry-go-round, or get some sun as you sit on the grass.
  • Find clean bathrooms here!

Long Island City:

  • Enjoy a beautiful riverside walk along the promenade;
  • At night, during the summer, you’ll find some free, live concerts;
  • Eat at the concession stand with good food and wonderful craft beer. Our favorite: Montawk summer ale. There are also several very good restaurants within just a couple of city blocks. Find them at Yelp.com;
  • See the United Nations across the river;
  • Take an iconic photo with the Pepsi Cola sign behind you;
  • Find clean bathrooms here!

Governor’s Island


  • Enjoy a cold beer and fresh oysters with one of the best views of the New York City skyline;
  • Explore the old fortress and learn about how New York City protected itself over the centuries;
  • Catch a view of the Statue of Liberty;
  • Find clean bathrooms here!

Red Hook, Brooklyn

Red Hook is now a trendy section of Brooklyn. You’ll get off the ferry at Fairway Gourmet Supermarket. This is a former warehouse. The upper floors are luxury apartments with huge windows. Maybe you enjoy exploring supermarkets as much as I do. This one is a lot of fun to explore.

All along the waterfront in Red Hook are great views of the Statue of Liberty here. There are a lot of unique restaurants and specialty shops, like Steve’s Key Lime Pie.

Red Hook is a lot of fun to explore. I highly recommend it if you have the time.


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23 thoughts on “Where to Get Off The NYC Ferry”

  1. Great post Aixa. I really enjoyed it.
    That’s very cheap. I’d wait even longer since I love ferries. However, why wait when we have all the conveniences of the Internet. Always plan for such things ahead so as not to waste precious time.

    1. We just took it on Saturday. Great views. Governor’s Island is closed in the cold weather, but I think soon they’ll open it year round. It would be nice to take you next time…

      1. The one I took was going to Staten Island where you see Statue of Liberty. There was also a ferry close to my apartment when I lived there a million years ago. I forget which one now. It’s been years since I lived there but it wasn’t a long stay. Just for a year.

      2. The Staten Island ferry is great for a close-up view of the Statue of Liberty and it’s free! The NYC Ferry takes you all along the waterfronts of Queens and Brooklyn. I highly recommend this.

    1. A private company runs it but NYC subsidizes it. It’s a great alternative transportation and even better for tourism

  2. I said to myself before during my first visit, I probably wont be back to New York, but after this second visit and your blog, I think some things had changed hehe. It’s definitely great to find an amazing blogger like you. Thank you aixa.

    1. Thank you so much for that, Rhea! I can see by your wonderful Instagram photos that you are having a great time here!

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