Ellis Island

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Ellis Island: Our most recommended tours and activities

Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island: Ticket Options with Ferry

1. Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island: Ticket Options with Ferry

Hop on board the ferry and enjoy a self-guided tour of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Visit Liberty Island, explore the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, and learn fascinating facts as you go. Begin your experience by departing from Liberty State Park, located in Jersey City, NJ, easily accessible by car. Once you arrive at the meeting point, bypass the ticket line with your pre-purchased ticket. Board the ferry and see the impressive views of Lady Liberty and the NYC skyline. Take note of the ferry's return times to plan your day. Your ticket gives you access to explore two attractions: Ellis Island and Liberty Island (with the Statue of Liberty). On arrival to Ellis Island, pick up your multilingual audio guide at the Immigration Museum. Then, explore what was America’s busiest immigration station for over 62 years. Walk in the footsteps of millions of people from all around the globe who passed through here looking for a new beginning and a new life for their families in America. With access to the American Family Immigration History Center's records, you can search all ship manifests that came through Ellis Island. Use this unique experience to research your family history. Once you're ready to discover Liberty Island, drop off your audio guide and return to the ferry. Upon arrival on Liberty Island, pick up your multilingual audio guide to start exploring the history of the Statue of Liberty. Children also have the opportunity to enjoy a special narration of this self-guided tour. When you are finished, return to the ferry and make your way back to your original departure point.

NYC: 1-Hour Cruise Around Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island

2. NYC: 1-Hour Cruise Around Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island

Take a 60-minute boat ride to within 100 feet of the Statue of Liberty. Cruise right under the Brooklyn Bridge and see the most famous skyline in the world. Your live English guide will point out the sites as you journey along the river including the Empire State Building, the new Freedom Tower, the Manhattan Bridge, Governor's Island, and more. Make use of both the indoor and outdoor seating, along with large open windows for your viewing pleasure. Get within touching distance of "Lady Liberty" and then move on to Ellis Island to take photos of the famous entry point to New York City. Marvel at the skyline of Manhattan and its famous skyscrapers, including the new One World Trade Center. Glide down both the east and west sides of Lower Manhattan on this roundtrip cruise, and purchase drinks and food from the concession stand aboard the boat. 

New York: Go City Explorer Pass with 95+ Tours & Attractions

3. New York: Go City Explorer Pass with 95+ Tours & Attractions

Go City offers you a selection of over 95 must-see NYC attractions, museums, and tours for one low pre-paid price. Save up to 45% compared to buying separate attraction tickets, and see New York's most popular attractions with one easy-to-use digital pass. Choices include the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island Ferry, 9/11 Museum and Memorial, Empire State Building, NY Waterways Tours, MoMA, and many more. There's no need to decide in advance, and you can take up to 60 days after using the pass to make your first visit. Your Explorer Pass also features special perks including gift shop discounts or a free audio guide at selected attractions, helping you make the most of your New York trip and save even more along the way. The New York attractions you can select include:  Museums and Galleries• American Museum of Natural History • The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) • 9/11 Memorial and Museum• Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum and Space Shuttle• Guggenheim Museum • Museum of Sex • New York Historical Society Museum • The Whitney Museum of American Art• Brooklyn Museum and Botanic Garden Combo• Museum of the City of New York• Museum of Jewish Heritage• Fotografiska New York Experiences• Top of the Rock Observatory• Empire State Building• One World Observatory• The Vessel at Hudson Yards• Hop-On Hop-Off Big Bus New York• Statue of Liberty Ferry and Ellis Island Immigration Museum• Central Park Bike Rental• The Downtown Experience by The RIDE• Ground Zero Museum Workshop: Hands-On 9/11 Tour• Brooklyn Bridge Full-Day Bike Rental• Hudson River Full-Day Bike Rental• New York Botanical Garden• Madame Tussauds Times Square New York• Spyscape• LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester• LEGOLAND Discovery Center at American Dream• Welcome to Harlem: Harlem Jazz Series• Queens Experience On Foot• RiseNY• Perfect Picnic• Masters of the Camera NYC Rooftop Photoshoot• Surrey Bike Rental on Governors Island (2 hours)• SEA LIFE at American Dream• Escape Virtuality Tours• 9/11 Tribute Center and Walking Tour• Central Park Walking Tour• Night Tour by Big Bus New York• Yankee Stadium Tour• The TOUR• Woodbury Common Bus Tour (Round Trip + VIP Coupon Booklet)• Rockefeller Center Tour• Radio City Stage Door Tour• Central Park Bike Tour• Brooklyn Bridge Bike Tour• Madison Square Garden: All Access Tour• Central Park TV and Movie Sites Walking Tour• When Harry Met Seinfeld Bus Tour • NYC TV and Movie Bus Tour • Brooklyn Bridge and DUMBO Walking Tour• Hamilton Happy Hour Tour• Catacombs by Candlelight Tour• Harlem Gospel Tour (Sunday Service)• High Line, Chelsea, Meatpacking District Neighborhood Walking Tour• Top Dog Tours NYC Marvel & DC Superheroes• Holiday Market & Christmas Lights Walking Tour (seasonal)• City Rambler: Walk Through History Tour• A Walk in the Park Tour by City Rambler• Ghosts of Greenwich Village Tour• New York City Sketching Art Tour• Top of the Highline and Vessel Tour• Fashion Windows Walking Tour• Pride Walking Tour• NYC Slavery & Underground Railroad Walking Tour• St. Patrick's Cathedral Tour with Express Entry• Best of Brooklyn Walking Tour in Williamsburg• Greenwich Village Walking Tour• Broadway & Times Square Walking Tour• Graffiti & Street Art Walking Tour in Brooklyn• Secrets of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island - Walking Tour• SoHo – Little Italy – Chinatown Neighborhood Walking Tour Food and Drinks• Spirits On Foot: Beer, Spirits and Wine Crawls• Food On Foot Tours• Queens-Flushing Meadows International Food Excursion Cruises• Lady Liberty Cruise: Circle Line Sightseeing• Harbor Lights Cruise: Circle Line Sightseeing (Upgrade fee applies)• Best of NYC Cruise: Circle Line Sightseeing (Upgrade fee applies)• Landmarks Cruise: Circle Line Sightseeing• 1929 Shearwater at North Cove: Daytime Statue Sail or City Lights Sail (seasonal)• Clipper City Tall Ship Sail - Daytime Statue or Harbor Lights (Seasonal) Customers save an average of 45% when buying the New York Explorer Pass versus buying tickets at the gate. Savings percentage based on most popular customer itineraries. Attractions and tours are subject to change. Please check the included guide for an up-to-date list of included experiences.

NYC: Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island First Tour of the Day

4. NYC: Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island First Tour of the Day

Be the first of the day to discover two of New York’s most iconic monuments with exclusive first ferry tour departure to Liberty Island, including a visit to the Statue of Liberty Museum and Ellis Island. Watch American history come to life with the only tour operator that runs ferries this early. Arrive at the grounds just under the watchful eye of Lady Liberty, where great views across NYC's skyline, Lower Manhattan, and the Big Apple await. Then, board the city's earliest ferry to Ellis Island (early morning tour only), ensuring you avoid the swelling afternoon crowds. Follow in the footsteps of some 12 million immigrants and learn about the process those hopeful individuals went through to settle in America. View and walk the Stairs of Separation, growing to understand the Island's two very unique names - "The Island of Hope" and "The Island of Tears". After your guide has explained to you the history, they will give you the option to continue your exploration of Ellis Island on your own with the audio guide (included) or return to The Battery on the ferry with them. If you wish, feel free to stay on Ellis Island a bit longer to explore your personal heritage and find all the unique and interesting sights in the special location.

New York City: Manhattan Helicopter Tour

5. New York City: Manhattan Helicopter Tour

Manhattan brings to mind grand skyscrapers, taxi cabs, and a world-class attitude all of its own. See all this and more as an expert pilot flies you over NYC on a 15 or 20-minute helicopter tour. Soar over the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge, Madison Square Garden, among other landmarks. After take-off from the Downtown Heliport, swing down over lower Manhattan to see the skyline and streets below. Swoop over Battery Park to glance at Wall Street and its labyrinth of streets. Then sail over to Governor's Island, an island once reserved only for the city's dignitaries that now hosts summer concerts and public art. Then, fly over Ellis Island and see Lady Liberty shining brightly in the distance. Cruise right up to her eye for a new perspective of the Statue of Liberty. Enjoy all this before heading up the Hudson past the piers of Chelsea and the lights of Broadway. On your way back to the pier, head around the Empire State Building, Brooklyn Bridge, and fly over Ground Zero where you can have a look at the exceptional work they're doing at the sight. Continue past Madison Square Garden and the Intrepid Air and Space Museum. See Central Park as your flight turns around to return to the heliport. Sights included in the 15-Minute tour: Statue of LibertyEllis IslandOne World Trade Center9/11 MemorialBrooklyn BridgeBattery ParkWall Street/Financial DistrictEmpire State BuildingChrysler BuildingMadison Square GardenTimes SquareU.S.S. Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space MuseumCentral Park Sights included in the 20-Minute tour: Brooklyn BridgeBattery ParkWall StreetStatue of LibertyEllis IslandOne World Trade Center9/11 Memorial SiteEmpire State BuildingChrysler BuildingMadison Square GardenU.S.S. Intrepid MuseumTimes SquareCentral ParkGrant’s TombGeorge Washington BridgeHarlem and Harlem RiverThe Bronx and Yankee StadiumPalisades CliffsSpuyten Duyvil Bridge

New York: Pier 36 Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island Cruise

6. New York: Pier 36 Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island Cruise

Enjoy views of famous landmarks on the Manhattan skyline during a 60-minute roundtrip sightseeing cruise by boat. Depart from Pier 36 right under the Brooklyn Bridge then travel toward South Street Seaport and Battery Park. Get up close to within 100 feet of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island for the most incredible photos opportunities. Admire views of One World Trade Center, the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, Battery Park, and more. Make the most of the full cash bar with snacks and drinks available to purchase onboard.

New York: Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Sunset Cruise

7. New York: Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Sunset Cruise

Watch the sunset behind the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island on this Manhattan cruise. Get panoramic views of the city skyline with excellent photo opportunities of iconic landmarks like the Empire State Building and the Brooklyn Bridge. Depart from Pier 36 right under the Brooklyn Bridge and travel toward South Street Seaport and Battery Park. Travel on a comfortable ship that is well-maintained. Relax as you capture pictures of stunning views of the Manhattan skyline. Get up close to within 100-feet of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island for the most incredible photos opportunities as the sunsets. Admire views of One World Trade Center, the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, Battery Park, and more. While aboard, make the most of the full cash bar with snacks and drinks available to purchase.

New York City Pass: Access to 100+ Attractions and Tours

8. New York City Pass: Access to 100+ Attractions and Tours

Use The New York Pass on your phone for cash-free entry to over 100 New York tourist attractions. See the best that the Big Apple has to offer with access to any of the attractions covered by the pass. Your pass records when and where you first use it, as well as how long it will remain valid. This means your pass is activated the moment that you first use it at any attraction or service. Your New York Pass is then valid for the number of days that you've purchased. See list of attractions: POPULAR EXPERIENCES • Empire State Building • Big Bus Tours: 1-day Classic Tour • Top of the Rock Observation Deck • 9/11 Memorial & Museum • Edge (Hudson Yards) • One World Observatory • Statue of Liberty Ferry and Ellis Island Immigration Museum • Circle Line: Best of New York Cruise • Madame Tussauds New York • Central Park Bike Rental by Unlimited Biking • Guggenheim Museum MUSEUMS & GALLERIES • American Museum of Natural History • MoMA - Museum of Modern Art • Intrepid Sea Air and Space Museum • Museum of Sex • Whitney Museum of American Art • Fotografiska New York • Museum of the City of New York • New York Historical Society • Museum of Arts and Design • Museum of Jewish Heritage • Skyscraper Museum • Fraunces Tavern Museum • New York Hall of Science • Brooklyn Museum of Art • Museum at Eldridge Street • International Center of Photography • MOMA PS 1 • Staten Island Museum • Paley Center for Media • Museum of Chinese in America • Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum FAMILY-FRIENDLY • Central Park Bike Tour by Unlimited Biking • 9/11 Museum Workshop: Hands-On 9/11 Tour • The RIDE • Marvel & DC Superheroes Walking Tour • Yankee Stadium Tour • LEGOLAND® Discovery Center, Westchester • Staten Island Zoo • LEGOLAND® Discovery Center New Jersey • Staten Island Children’s Museum • Bike Rentals HIDDEN GEMS • New York Botanical Garden • Catacombs by Candlelight Tour • Harlem Jazz Series – Tuesday and Friday • New Museum • El Museo del Barrio • Manhattan by Sail: Shearwater Classic Schooner • Cathedral of St. John the Divine • Snug Harbor Botanical Garden- Staten Island • Brooklyn Botanical Garden TOURS & CRUISES • Central Park TV & Movie Sites Walking Tour • Rockefeller Center Tour • The Official Chinatown Walking Tour • How Money Was Made: Wall Street Walking Tour • Circle Line: Harbor Lights Cruise • Circle Line: Landmark Cruise • SoHo - Little Italy - Chinatown Walking Tour by NY Tours 1 • Manhattan by Sail: Clipper City Tall Ships Cruise • The Official Little Italy Walking Tour • Hamilton Tour • Colonial New York Retold Walking Tour • New York City News Media Tour • Brooklyn Bridge & DUMBO Neighborhood Walking Tour by Inside Out Tours • Brooklyn Bridge Bike Tours Attractions and tours are subject to change. Check your included digital guide for an up-to-date attraction line-up including opening times and instructions on how to access each attraction with your pass before you go.

NYC: Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and 9/11 Memorial Tour

9. NYC: Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and 9/11 Memorial Tour

Visit over 12 top downtown NYC attractions with this special access ticket and tour. Save time and see more: Statue of Liberty, Museum Access, Ellis Island, 9/11 Memorial, Wall Street, New York Stock Exchange, Charging Bull, Federal Hall, Federal Reserve Bank, Trinity Church, Fearless Girl, and more. Meet your guide in the Financial District to learn about the history of NYC, the early Dutch settlement and how it transformed to the financial capital today. As you walk along Wall Street, you’ll see the New York Stock Exchange, Federal Reserve Bank and other financial and historical institutions. Next stop is the 9/11 National Memorial where you’ll see the enormous reflecting pools, the largest man-made fountains. You’ll hear stories of the events, tragedy and heroism of that day. The guide will take you directly to the Reserve ticket line where you will get priority boarding to the ferry that will take you to Liberty Island. Before sending on your way to Liberty Island, your guide will tell you the key things to check out on Liberty and Ellis Island as well as share the amazing stories of America immigration and the story behind the Statue of Liberty. It is a better experience to explore the Liberty and Ellis Island at your own pace after you are given the history and the key sites to check out. You decide where you’d like to spend more time – whether it is to learn the history and construction of the Statue, admire the views of NYC or look for your ancestors’ names on Ellis Island. As you sail to the island you’ll see the amazing NYC skyline. Get those cameras ready for amazing views of Lady Liberty and NYC. Once on Liberty Island, there are handheld audio guide (available in 9 different languages) you can use while exploring the islands and museums. 8:45: Meet expert guide outside the fence of 24 Broad Street 9:00: Guided tour of Wall Street and the Financial District 10:00: Guided tour of the 9/11 Memorial 11:00: Board Statue Cruises ferry for Liberty and Ellis Island -  Audio Guide available on Liberty Island

New York City: Sunset Boat Cruise to Statue of Liberty

10. New York City: Sunset Boat Cruise to Statue of Liberty

Embark on a scenic boat cruise at sunset around the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and Brooklyn Bridge. First, travel to the Statue of Liberty. Continue towards Ellis Island, where you have the opportunity to take photos of the famous entry point to New York City with the sunset in the background. Take in views of the Manhattan skyline and its famous skyscrapers, including the One World Trade Center, while cruising along the east and west side of Lower Manhattan. Your guide can provide additional information about the sites while you view the Empire State Building, Manhattan Bridge, Governor's Island, and more from the boat.

Planning Your Visit

  • How to get there?

    You can get to Ellis Island by taking a ferry operated by Statue Cruises from either Communipaw Terminal in Liberty State Park or Battery Park on the southern tip of Manhattan in New York City. Reserving your tickets ahead of time is recommended.

  • How long does it take?

    Generally you won’t need more than a couple hours to take in these sights, but you can set your own pace visiting Ellis Island and Liberty Island - the ferries depart every 20 minutes.

  • How much does it cost?

    The $18 ferry ticket grants access to both of the islands.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    Hours vary based on time of year:
    March-May, Open daily, 8:30 AM-5:15 PM
    June-August, Open daily, 8:30 AM-7:00 PM
    September-October, Open daily, 8:30 AM-6:00 PM
    Holiday hours may vary
  • Is it expensive?
    Adult tickets start at just $18 and go upwards depending on tour packages and perks.
  • Will I need a guide?
    A guide is a great idea to help you understand the historical context of this iconic American monument.
  • How to get there
    Public transportation to the ferry departure points at Battery Park and Liberty State Park is recommended!
  • Additional information

    • Visitors and their belongings are subject to screening before boarding the ferry.

    • A limited number of wheelchairs are available to borrow for the visit on a first come, first service basis.

Other Sightseeing Options in Ellis Island

Want to discover all there is to do in Ellis Island? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Ellis Island

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 11,479 reviews

You should plan on a full day to see all that is there. Ellis Island has many exhibits that take time. The audio device really is good in that you gain much more information than just reading the information on each display.

Fabulous, on time and everyone able to get a photo with the Statue of Liberty from wherever you were. totally recommend for a lovely short cruise around.

It was a great day to take my family on a quick cruise. No bells and whistles but we had a nice time. The music was very fitting for the occasion.

A great trip over the sites of downtown New York. Lots of room and good visibility

Fantastic! Smooth entrance, friendly staff, totally worthwhile