East River Ferry

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

 

 


OVERVIEW AND MAP

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 48 minutes with great views all around. All for just $2.75!

East River Ferry Route

 


SCHEDULE (as of April 1, 2019)

Monday-Friday

  • 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.

Weekends

  • 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


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.


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 


Hunters Point South 


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. 

 


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HOW TO BUY TICKETS

There are two tickets types available: a single-ride ticket, one-way ticket and 30-day passes 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 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.
 


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OTHER ROUTES

 

South Brooklyn Route 

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


THINGS TO DO AT EACH STOP

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


Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 6

 

 


Governors Island (summer weekends only) (see above)


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.

Sunset Park

  • 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.

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.

 


Astoria Route

 


THINGS TO DO AT EACH STOP

Wall Street/Pier 11 (see above) and 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

 


Rockaway Route 

This is the longest route, lasting almost a full hour. It makes just three stops. Wall Street/Pier 11 (see above), Sunset Park (see above) and Rockaway.

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

 


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Written by Courtney Shapiro

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