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This post is about the East River Ferry service including information about tickets, schedules, routes and what there is to see along each route. 

OVERVIEW AND MAP

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!

As you can see on the map, the ferry has several routes (and they are adding more every year!) Most routes have incredible views of Lower Manhattan, the Freedom Tower, the Brooklyn Bridge, and more. 

Some routes offer a gorgeous view of Midtown Manhattan, including the Chrysler Building and Empire State Building

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.

East River Ferry Route Map

EAST RIVER ROUTE

If you are a visitor to New York, this is the route that we recommend you take. From start to finish the ride is 43 minutes with great views all around. All for just $2.75!

East River Ferry route

SCHEDULE (as of April 4, 2022)

Monday-Friday

  • From Wall St./Pier 11- first departure at 6:20 am. Last departure 9:46 pm.
  • From Hunters Point South - first departure at 6:32 am. Last departure 9:41 pm.
  • See ferry schedule for exact times.

Weekends

  • From Wall St. - first departure 7:22 am then every 50 minutes. Last departure 9:32 pm.
  • From Hunters Point South - first departure 6:32 am then approximately every 30 minutes. Last departure 9:27 pm.
  • See ferry schedule for exact times.

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

DUMBO

North Williamsburg 

  • 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.

Greenpoint *stop temporarily closed

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. 

Hunters Point South 


HOW TO BUY TICKETS

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.

The other option is to purchase your tickets through their website or app then redeem your ticket by showing your phone when you board the ferry.

Ticket Prices as of 2022

  • 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

One-way tickets include free transfers within the NYC Ferry system for up to 90 minutes once you start your one-way trip.

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.


OTHER ROUTES

South Brooklyn Route 

For this route, check out our guide to things to do in Brooklyn.

THINGS TO DO AT EACH STOP

Corlears Hook Park

Wall Street/Pier 11 (see above) and DUMBO (see above

Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 6

Red Hook

  • 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.

Governors Island

Brooklyn Army Terminal/Sunset Park

  • Sunset Park is NYC'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 Green-wood 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.

Bay Ridge

  • 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 ride back to the city.

Staten Island/St. George Route

Midtown West/W. 39th Street

At the ferry landing, there is a free shuttle bus that stops near popular Midtown Manhattan sights (see above).

Battery Park City

Staten Island/St. George Landing

Before buying a ferry ticket to this stop, read our post on taking the amazing free Staten Island Ferry! We also list some things you can do in Staten Island when you are there!


Astoria Route

Map of East River Ferry Astoria route

THINGS TO DO AT EACH STOP

Wall Street/Pier 11 (see above)

Brooklyn Navy Yard

  • The Brooklyn Navy Yard was an active navy yard from 1801-1966 building well-known US battleships. It is now the site of an industrial complex with offices and a few restaurants.
  • Visit the Bldg 92 Museum with the three exhibition floors showcasing the past, present and future of the Navy Yard.
  • Beat the lines for one of NYC's best bagels at the outpost of the Russ & Daughters. 
  • Walk to DUMBO (see above) in ten minutes.

East 34th Street (see above)

Long Island City

Roosevelt Island

  • 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. 

Astoria

East 90th Street

  • This ferry dock is in the Upper East Side, a mainly residential area. There are a few things to do nearby and destinations you can get to via crosstown bus.
  • Take a tour of Gracie Mansion, the historic house of New York City's mayors since 1942.
  • Visit the lovely Carl Schurz Park and walk along the East River.
  • Head to Central Park and The Metropolitan Museum of Art on 5th Avenue via the crosstown bus on E. 86th Street.

Rockaway Route 

THINGS TO DO AT EACH STOP

Rockaway Walk 5 minutes to Rockaway Beach, one of the nicest and most popular beaches in New York City

Wall Street/Pier 11 (see above)

Sunset Park (see above)


Coney Island Route - Coming in 2022!

About The Author

Stephen Pickhardt

Stephen is the CEO of Free Tours by Foot and has overseen the transformation of a local walking tour company into a global tour community and traveler’s advice platform. He has personally led thousands of group tours in the US and Europe, and is an expert in trip planning and sightseeing, with a focus on budget travelers. Stephen has been published and featured in dozens of publications including The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Yahoo, Washington.org, and more.
Updated: March 31st, 2022
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