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NYC Ferry: How to ride a ferry in New York

Updated November 18, 2021 by Thiago Khoury

O NYC Ferry is a public-private partnership that has turned the ferry into a very practical and inexpensive option for transportation in New York.

Another thing that the NYC Ferry It’s still a great way to get around the city: for less than three dollars we can cross the river and cross districts by boatwhich makes for great photos and is much more fun than subways and buses.

I will teach you how to walk around and how to get around New York using the ferry at the lowest price, but first I want to leave you two essential tips for those who are planning their first trip:

+ What travel insurance to buy for the United States?

+ What is the best travel chip for the United States?

Boating in New York on a Budget

Have you ever wondered how to walk ferry in new york can it be so cheap?

the price of NYC Ferry it is low because the government subsidizes most of the ticket and passes on to the people only the equivalent of the bus or subway ticket, that is, 2.75 dollars.

In any other American city, or elsewhere that inspired this initiative, taking the ferry is considerably more expensive than taking a bus or taking the subway.

Soon after opening the first route, which connected Wall Street and 34th Street, they opened another five that connect Manhattan to Queens, Roosevelt Island, Bronx, Long Island City, Governors Island and different points of Brooklyn.

When everything is up and running, in mid-July 2021, there will be eighteen boats on nine routes.

East 34th Street Station in Manhattan

How was my experience on the NYC Ferry?

I used the East River line to leave Manhattan and get off at Dumbo, that cute part of Brooklyn that is just over the bridge.

As I was staying at Belleclaire, which is where I’ve been staying on the last few trips, it would be more practical to take the subway to Dumbo, but as I wanted to experience the novelty, I didn’t miss the opportunity to go down to 34th Street and from there take the NYC Ferry.

like the NYC Ferry have their own ticket even those who have the weekly unlimited subway pass need a specific pass to ride a boat in NYC.

If you don’t use the $2.75 one-way pass, the other option would be the unlimited monthly pass for $121.

You can buy the pass at the machines at the entrance to the station or from the attendants at the counter, but when I took these photos, on a Sunday morning, there were no employees there, so I had to look for the machines:

NYC Ferry

Arriving at the station, the counters were closed…

NYC Ferry

…but the machines to buy the tickets were working!

NYC Ferry

That’s it, $2.75 a one-way ticket!

NYC Ferry

I walked to dock A, or “Slip A”

this route east river It’s great for those in Manhattan who want to stroll around Brooklyn: it leaves from 34th Street and makes two stops in Williamsburg, one in Dumbo and one in Governors Island.

The cool thing is that before returning to 34th Street, the ferry still passes through Manhattan’s Pier 11, where Wall Street is now.

Anyway, the complete route has eight stops and passes through all of them in 40 minutes of travel, there are approximately 5 minutes between each station, only Governors Island takes twice as long.

Remembering that Governors Island is not open year round, it is worth checking the opening period.

Other NYC Ferry Routes You Can Use

These are the nine routes of the NYC Ferryincluding those that will open in 2020 and 2021:

  • east river (Manhattan and Brooklyn)
  • south brooklyn (Manhattan and Brooklyn)
  • rockaway (Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens)
  • astoria (Queens, Roosevelt Island, Manhattan and Brooklyn)
  • soudview (Bronx and Manhattan)
  • lower east side (Queens and Manhattan)
  • governors island (seasonal service)
  • St George (Manhattan and Staten Island, opening 2020)
  • Coney Island (Manhattan and Brooklyn, opening in 2021)

I want to give you some tips on how to use some of them, except the most obvious ones that are practically shuttle services, like Governors Island and Coney Island.

Staten Island will be very practical, but little different from the current, toll-free line that connects Manhattan to the district, the Staten Island Ferry.

How to use the East River route

This was the first route I used and it is one of the best for those who want to face the NYC Ferry as a walk.

It leaves from Manhattan’s 34th Street station and ends at Wall Street, also in Manhattan, but passes through some cool Brooklyn spots, such as Williamsburg and Dumbo.

Here are some tips on what to see and do in Williamsburg and Dumbo – you can get to all these places by ferry from Manhattan on the East River route:

+ Things to do in Dumbo, the Brooklyn Bridge neighborhood

+ Brookyn Bridge: how to cross the Brooklyn Bridge

+ Brooklyn Brewery: brewery in Brooklyn

+ Smorgasburg in Brooklyn: New York’s best food fair

How to use the Astoria route

This was the second route to be opened: it connects Astoria in Queens and Wall Street in Manhattan through Roosevelt Island, Long Island City, 34th Street and Brooklyn Navy Yard.

The cool thing is that the Astoria route connects with the East River line at its two stops in Manhattan, and as the transfer is included in the ticket price, you can considerably shorten your journeys when using the NYC Ferry.

Brooklyn Navy Pier is very close to Dumbo, you can walk. I suggest using the Astoria route to visit Queens museums and leave Roosevelt Island:

+ Queens Museums: which ones to visit and how to get there

+ Is it worth visiting Roosevelt Island in New York?

How to use the Rockaway route

rockaway it is the route that makes the longest trips: leaving Pier 11 on Wall Street it stops at Sunset Park in Brooklyn and then at Rockaway in Queens.

I don’t know the beaches of Rockaway, I still want to visit them, because by ferry the trip takes only an hour – Rockaway is in the extreme west of the district of Queens, it was always a struggle to get there.

I’m no connoisseur of Sunset Park’s surroundings, but the park itself is pretty silly.

How to use the South Brooklyn route

south brooklyn is a great tip for anyone who wants to fully explore Brooklyn: it leaves Wall Street in Manhattan and passes through Dumbo, Atlantic Avenue, Red Hook, Sunset Park and Bay Ridge.

I’m a fan of Dumbo and Red Hook, but I also really like Atlantic Avenue which is close to Prospect Park.

+ Things to do in Dumbo, the Brooklyn Bridge neighborhood

+ Red Hook, my favorite neighborhood in Brooklyn

+ Prospect Park in Brooklyn: Brooklyn Museum and Brooklyn Botanic Garden

How to use the Soundview route

Soundview connects Manhattan and the Bronx, but since I know almost nothing there, I’ll restrict myself to saying that this is a great way to get around for those staying on the Upper East Side.

In Manhattan the Soundview route passes through Wall Street, 34th Street and 90th Street.

How to use the Lower East Side route

Everyone says the Lower East Side route should be called Long Island City: it connects four points from Manhattan to Long Island City in Queens in 34 minutes from Wall Street, the farthest station.

In Long Island City the stop is at the famous Gantry Plaza State Park, the Pepsi sign park that we see from Roosevelt Island.

NYC Ferry

Getting on the ferry that would first stop at Hunters Point South…

NYC Ferry

… usually they have an outdoor and indoor area


Each stop at the station lasts less than a minute

Manhattan Bridge

The cool thing about going to Brooklyn on this route is going over the Manhattan Bridge…

Thiago Khoury in New York

…and then with her in the background

If you have any questions about the NYC Ferrythe best and cheapest way to get around ferry in new yorkleave a comment with your question and I’ll answer.

And if you’ve tried other routes in the NYC Ferry just say it!

Other blog tips for planning your trip:

Already know where to stay in New York? I made a selection of the best options around Times Square. I have been staying at the Hotel Belleclaire a lot and highly recommend it – the price is great and the location too!

Have you already purchased travel insurance? Insurance is essential in the United States, especially in times of covid! The Insurance Promo comparator offers at least 10% off for blog readers and even pay on the card!

Can you travel without a cell phone? Do not forget to leave Brazil with your American SIM card with real unlimited internet – and through the blog link you will take at least 15% off and free and unlimited calls to Brazil!

For rent a car in the usa for the lowest price search all rental companies at once on Rentcars. They have an office in Brazil with service in Portuguese!

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