This post is about the East River Ferry service including information about tickets, schedules, routes and what there is to see along each route.
- East River Route
- How to Buy Tickets
- Other Ferry Routes
- Boat Rides and Cruises in NYC
- Free Tours By Foot
At just $2.75 per ticket, this is the cheapest boat ride in NYC - except for the free Staten Island Ferry, which is a New York City must-do!
The ferry is not just an inexpensive sightseeing ride. It is a practical way to get around and visit different parts of NYC.
In this post, we share ideas for what you can do at each of the stops along the different routes.
Keep in mind that this is not a hop-on, hop-off ferry. Once you get off the ferry, your ride is done. You will need a new ticket to board another ferry.
If you are curious about hop-on, hop-off ferries, read our post about which New York boat tour or cruise is best.
If you are a visitor to New York, this is the route that we recommend you take. From start to finish the ride is 48 minutes with great views all around. All for just $2.75!
SCHEDULE (as of April 1, 2019)
- From Wall St. - first ferry departs 6:30 am then approximately every 30 minutes. Last ferry departs 9:12 pm.
- From East 34th St. - first ferry departs 6:30 am then approximately every 30 minutes. Last ferry departs 9:28 pm.
- From Wall St. - first ferry departs 6:49 am then approximately every 30 minutes. Last ferry departs 9:04 pm.
- From East 34th St. - first ferry departs 6:30 am then approximately every 30 minutes. Last ferry departs 9:12 pm.
NOTE: As this is a commuter ferry, we recommend that you avoid "rush hours" (8 am-10 am) and (4 pm-6 pm).
See the full schedule here.
THINGS TO DO AT EACH STOP
Wall Street/Pier 11
- Take a Wall Street tour since you will disembark there.
- Take a tour of the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.
- Visit the South Street Seaport with stunning waterfront views.
- Explore Lower Manhattan on your own or with us on one of our many Lower Manhattan tours.
- Go to the top of One World Observatory (Freedom Tower).
- See the Charging Bull of Wall Street, Federal Hall, and the Stock Exchange.
Governors Island (summer weekends only)
This small island in the middle of the harbor is just 4 minutes from Manhattan. With no cars and historic houses, it is a playground for both kids and grown-ups.
Get the scoop on all you need to know at our post on things to do on Governors Island.
- This is a must-see neighborhood. Consider taking our pay-what-you-like DUMBO walking tour.
- Visit the Brooklyn Heights Promenade which is just a short walk from the ferry landing.
- Walk over the Brooklyn Bridge as the entrance to the pedestrian path is right in DUMBO.
- Visit East River Park with amazing views of the Manhattan skyline.
- Love Street Art? We have a pay-what-you-like Williamsburg Street Art Tour that begins just 10 minutes away from the ferry.
- You can also take the L train to Bushwick and check out our pay what you like Bushwick Street Art tour.
- Check out relaxing Transmitter Park right near the ferry landing. It’s a prime spot for unsurpassed panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline.
- Eat some of the best pizza in New York City at Paulie Gee's, consistently voted one of the top 10 pizzerias in NYC.
Hunters Point South
- Head to Transmitter Brewing, a micro-brewery known for its unusual craft beers. If you like to imbibe, see our other posts:
East 34th Street
At the ferry landing, there is a free shuttle bus that stops near Midtown sights that are likely on your NYC bucket-list.
- Visit the Empire State Building.
- Take our pay-what-you-wish walking tour of Grand Central or explore it on your own!
- See the lights of Times Square.
- Join us on our pay-what-you-like Midtown Manhattan Tour.
- Take a self-guided tour Rockefeller Center.
- Visit the United Nations.
There are two ticket types available: a one-way ticket and a 30-day pass typically meant for commuter use.
You cannot use your subway MetroCard. You must buy a ferry ticket.
There are two ways to buy tickets. You can either purchase your tickets at the ferry landing ticket machines using a credit card, debit card, or cash.
Ticket Prices as of 2019
- Adult One-Way Pass $2.75
- Children: up to two children under the height of 44 inches ride free when accompanied by an adult.
- Bicycle ticket $1.00 one-way
- 30-Day Adult Pass $121.00
- 30-Day Adult Pass with Bike $141.00
For additional information about tickets, click here.
TIP: Some NYC subway apps have begun including the ferry in suggested routes. For more information, see our post listing the best NYC subway apps.
For this route, you may want to check out our guide to things to do in Brooklyn.
THINGS TO DO AT EACH STOP
Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 6
- From the ferry landing, it is a 13-minute walk to the start of our pay-what-you-like Brooklyn Heights Walking Tour.
- The ferry landing is next to the phenomenal Brooklyn Bridge Park. It is one of the best places to bring kids in NYC.
- You can also visit the famed Brooklyn Heights Promenade for breathtaking views. It’s also a great view at night, and it’s free. In fact, it’s one of the top free things to do at night in NYC.
Governors Island (summer weekends only) (see above)
- This waterfront enclave was a historically industrial neighborhood that underwent a transformation in the past ten years.
- It is now an art and culture destination with a fun restaurant and bar scene.
- You can get an amazing view of the Statue of Liberty and Lower Manhattan from Valentino Pier.
- This is New York City’s second-largest Chinatown. Try any number of the great Chinese restaurants and the ferry ride will have been worth it.
- TIP: If you haven't visited the oldest Chinatown in New York City, join us for our pay-what-you-like Chinatown Food Tour.
- You can also hike over to Greenwood Cemetery, one of the most beautiful green spaces in the city located on a hill from which you can see all the way to the Statue of Liberty.
- Definitely for commuters only. You may want to hop off the ferry at one of the earlier stops as Bay Ridge is very residential and a far subway rides back to the city.
THINGS TO DO AT EACH STOP
Long Island City
- Go to MoMA P.S. 1, a branch of the Museum of Modern Art.
- See sculpture for free at Socrates Sculpture Park, an outdoor museum with waterfront views of Manhattan or the Noguchi Museum, with works by sculptor Isamu Noguchi.
- TIP: Check out our extensive list of free museums in NYC.
- Go kayaking! The Long Island City Boathouse offers free kayaking in the East River during the summer months!
- This small island is located on the East River accessed by an aerial tram that is a thrilling 3-minute ride with spectacular views.
- We highly recommend you take this tram ride if you have the time. Then use our self-guided tour to explore the island.
- Check out NYC's largest outdoor beer garden at Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden
- Go to the Museum of the Moving Image. For cinema lovers, this preeminent history museum will not disappoint.
- No visit to Astoria is complete without eating some Greek food. Find recommendations here.
At the Rockaway stop, head to Rockaway Beach is one of the nicest and most popular beaches in New York City. Find out more about it and other beaches here.