Since I was a teenager it has been a dream of mine to ride the Staten Island Ferry. I've rode on ferries on Puget Sound in Seattle just for the ride and the stunning scenery, and I've rode the Lewes - Cape May run from Delaware to New Jersey and watched dolphins pace alongside the boat. I've even rode the ferry between Ostend, Belgium to Dover, England, crossing the English Channel, taking in the historical White Cliffs of Dover. In June 2014, with my son and daughter, I was finally able to do it. I rode the famous Staten Island Ferry.
The ferry runs 24/7 and is absolutely FREE, leaving Whitehall Terminal in Lower Manhattan (above) about every half hour. It doesn't take long to see the world famous view as the ferry pulls into the Hudson River.
After a few minutes you get to take in the view witnessed by thousands of immigrants as they came up the river after a long journey across the Atlantic, the Statue of Liberty. I have to admit, I felt a chill as I thought about what the view meant to so many.
Lower Manhattan (below)
After the 30 minute run the ferry lands at St. George Terminal on Staten Island, one of New York City's five boroughs; people get off, people get on and the ferry starts the journey back to Manhattan. The entire process takes about ten minutes.
The view returning to Lower Manhattan: to the left in the picture is the Statue of Liberty and Jersey City, New Jersey. To the right is Lower Manhattan and the new World Trade Center building. One day I hope to return to New York and ride the ferry after dark and photograph the skyline lit up.
If you get to New York, a ferry ride should not be one of those things you do after you've seen everything else, it should rank toward the top of your list. The ride is FREE and the views are world class.