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Top sights in New York City
Ellis Island was the most active American immigration inspection station from 1892 to 1954 making it the first piece of land millions of immigrants set foot on in their new home. Today it remains a landmark where that hope for a better tomorrow remains.
Getting there is half the fun! A $18 ticket will take you on a humbling cruise through the Upper New York Bay to both Ellis Island and Liberty Island.
Bonus: head to the information desk for a complimentary tour at the top of the hour for a guided tour, no ticket required.
Take the ferry a little further north to visit Liberty Island and experience the nation’s symbol of freedom, the Statue of Liberty, up close and personal.
Dive deeper into the experience of arriving at Ellis Island with a 90-minute hard hat tour of the Hospital Complex. Purchase tickets in advance.
Did you know, for example, that a 1998 ruling by the Supreme Court determined that most of the island belongs to New Jersey, not New York?
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.
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.
The $18 ferry ticket grants access to both of the islands.
- When should I visit?
- Hours vary throughout the year, so make sure you plan ahead and note the first and last ferries! Closed Christmas.
- 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.
What people are saying about Ellis Island
The day started with a very well organized meet and greet. Mike our tour guide was absolutely brilliant from the start. Knowledgeable, funny, personable and made everyone feel included. The tour is well structured with the right amount of facts being told as you make your way around Liberty and Ellis Islands. Also plenty of time for you to do your own thing in the breaks in the tour. The tour bought an iconic monument to life. If you are going to see Liberty then I would recommend this tour as the way to do it.
Almost as promised, but I still will strongly recommend especially for last minute planning. We didn’t have the guide at Ellis Island due to time issues Which we were not told ahead of time (it only said “longer wait time”). But we were able to go to the paddle and Ellis Island and cut the line significantly because of the this tour.
If the staff on the boat, and the ones giving out the audio machines, plus those marshalling the crowds, would have been more friendly and polite, it would have been better. However, the gentleman manning the lift inside the statue was fantastic - he joked with us and wished us a lovely time. Maybe other staff could learn from him!
I cannot say enough amazing things about the Priority Statue of Liberty tour. The “regular” line snaked on forever and we just walked into the reserved line and saved so much time! This service is bar none. We keep talking about how happy we were to have picked this service and tour!
Highly recommended. We had to reschedule due to our other city tour bus issues and cityguide took care of it even past cancel time. The service staff on phone and at the event was very cooperative. Niraj