Ellis Island

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Ellis Island: Our most recommended tours and activities

60-Minute Cruise Around the Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island

1. 60-Minute Cruise Around the Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island

Take a 60-minute boat ride to within 100 feet of the Statue of Liberty. Cruise right under the Brooklyn Bridge and see the most famous skyline in the world. Your live English guide will point out the sites as you journey along the river including the Empire State Building, the new Freedom Tower, the Manhattan Bridge, Governor's Island, and more. Make use of both the indoor and outdoor seating, along with large open windows for your viewing pleasure. Get within touching distance of "Lady Liberty" and then move on to Ellis Island to take photos of the famous entry point to New York City. Marvel at the skyline of Manhattan and its famous skyscrapers, including the new One World Trade Center. Glide down both the east and west sides of Lower Manhattan on this roundtrip cruise, and purchase drinks and food from the concession stand aboard the boat. 

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NYC: Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island & Pre-Ferry Tour

2. NYC: Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island & Pre-Ferry Tour

Discover the history of Lower Manhattan on a walking tour of Battery Park, then hop on the ferry to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Upgrade your tour to experience the latter landmarks with a guide. Learn about the unique history of Battery Park on a 30-minute guided tour with an experienced local guide. Located at the southern tip of Manhattan Island, the 25-acre green park has a varied history and many classic monuments to explore. Learn about the Battery Cannon, Battery Oval, Coast Guard Memorial, Bosque Gardens, and the circular Bosque Fountain. Finish at Castle Clinton, built for the War of 1812 as a centerpiece of the revitalization efforts of the park. Board the ferry for Liberty Island. Benefit from priority boarding. Cross New York Harbor to the Statue of Liberty. Built by Gustave Eiffel, Lady Liberty was a gift to the United States from France. Take a self-guided tour with audio headsets that come in multiple languages. Travel to Ellis Island to hear about the immigrant experiences at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. It is thought that at least 40% of all current US citizens can trace one or more of their ancestors here. Journey how the facility processed new arrivals at the start of their lives in America. Upgrade to a fully-escorted tour and listen to your English-speaking guide bring the history of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty to life. This option also includes a guided tour of the 9/11 Memorial after you return to Manhattan.

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Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island: Ticket Options with Ferry

3. Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island: Ticket Options with Ferry

Hop on board the ferry and enjoy a self-guided tour of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Visit Liberty Island, explore the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, and learn fascinating facts as you go. Begin your experience by departing from Liberty State Park, located in Jersey City, NJ, easily accessible by car. Once you arrive at the meeting point, enjoy priority line access with your pre-purchased ticket. Board the ferry and see the impressive views of Lady Liberty and the NYC skyline. Take note of the ferry's return times to plan your day. Your ticket gives you access to explore two attractions: Ellis Island and Liberty Island (with the Statue of Liberty). On arrival to Ellis Island, pick up your multilingual audio guide at the Immigration Museum. Then, explore what was America’s busiest immigration station for over 62 years. Walk in the footsteps of millions of people from all around the globe who passed through here looking for a new beginning and a new life for their families in America. With access to the American Family Immigration History Center's records, you can search all ship manifests that came through Ellis Island. Use this unique experience to research your family history. Once you're ready to discover Liberty Island, drop off your audio guide and return to the ferry. Upon arrival on Liberty Island, pick up your multilingual audio guide to start exploring the history of the Statue of Liberty. Children also have the opportunity to enjoy a special narration of this self-guided tour. When you are finished, return to the ferry and make your way back to your original departure point.

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New York: 90-Minute Landmarks Cruise Skip-The-Box-Office

4. New York: 90-Minute Landmarks Cruise Skip-The-Box-Office

Spend just 90 minutes to take in many of the iconic sites of midtown and lower Manhattan on a Semi-Circle Cruise. You'll enjoy magnificent views of the world's most recognizable skyline and get a close-up look at Lady Liberty and Ellis Island. See it all with fun and knowledgeable tour guides who bring to life the breathtaking sights and the fascinating history behind the Big Apple. Sail down the Hudson, cruising around the Battery, and up the East River. You’ll pass under the Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Williamsburg Bridges to the United Nations – and then head back to Pier 83, the starting point for the tour.

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New York CityPASS®: Save 40% at 6 Top Attractions

5. New York CityPASS®: Save 40% at 6 Top Attractions

See world-class art, fascinating science, important history, and incredible views—from the sky AND the sea and save up to 40% with the New York CityPASS! New York CityPASS includes admission to: 1. The Empire State Building: With iconic views and a new museum, the Empire State Building provides breathtaking 360-degree, open-air views from the 86th-floor observatory. 2. American Museum of Natural History: Explore human cultures, the natural world, and the universe with a visit to one of the world’s most famous natural history museums. 3. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: New York’s most visited museum and attraction.  The Met presents over 5,000 years of art from every corner of the world for everyone to experience and enjoy.  At the Met’s uptown branch, The Met Cloisters, explore the art, architecture, and gardens and medieval Europe.  4. Top of the Rock OR Guggenheim Museum Top of the Rock: Experience incredible 360-degree panoramic views of New York City and beyond from interior and exterior decks on the top three floors of this legendary art deco skyscraper, 30 Rock.   Guggenheim Museum: Frank Lloyd Wright’s mid-century masterpiece of modern architecture, located alongside scenic Central Park.  See collection highlights, including works by Manet, Picasso, Van Gogh and more. 5. Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island OR Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island: Experience the beauty and history of the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island Immigration Museum with Statue Cruises.   Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises: Take in the world’s premier skyline with up-close and magnificent views of the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, One World Trade and 101 NYC sights.   6. 9/11 Memorial & Museum OR Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum 9/11 Memorial & Museum: Pay your respects to the victims of the 9/11 attacks at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum.  Examine the history and impact of the events and learn the stories of loss and recovery within the Museum.   Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum: Get an up-close look at the space shuttle Enterprise and 28 aircraft, including the world’s fastest jet.

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New York: Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Sunset Cruise

6. New York: Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Sunset Cruise

Take a 60-minute cruise to enjoy views of famous landmarks on the Manhattan skyline during a New York City sunset. Depart from Pier 36 right under the Brooklyn Bridge and travel toward South Street Seaport and Battery Park. Watch the sunset behind the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Get up close to within 100-feet of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island for the most incredible photos opportunities as the sunsets. Admire views of One World Trade Center, the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, Battery Park, and more. While aboard, make the most of the full cash bar with snacks and drinks available to purchase.

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Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island: Fast-Track Access

7. Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island: Fast-Track Access

Take a 30-minute Live guided tour in English of Battery Park where you can learn its unique history with a local guide. Located at the southern tip of Manhattan Island, the park has an interesting history and many monuments. You will learn about the Battery Cannon, Battery Oval, Coast Guard Memorial and Bosque Gardens and Fountain. Your tour will also encounter Castle Clinton, which was built in anticipation of the War of 1812 and was the centerpiece of the revitalization efforts of the park. Your guide will then assist you through the various procedures to board the ferry to Liberty Island where you will benefit from priority boarding and save precious time. You will receive priority access to the ferry Line to Liberty Island, before crossing New York Harbor to the Statue of Liberty. Built by Gustave Eiffel, “Lady Liberty” was a gift to the United States from the people of France. You can take a self-guided audio tour with the provided headsets, available in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Russian, and Arabic Then, cross to Ellis Island to learn about the immigrant experience at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. It is thought that at least 40% of all current US citizens can trace one or more of their ancestors to Ellis Island. Here you are able to pick up your audio guide on arrival (available in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Russian and Arabic) and explore independently. Journey through the 60-plus years that the facility processed new arrivals at the start of their lives in America. Alternatively, upgrade to an escorted tour and benefit from the services of an English-speaking guide on Ellis Island. This option also includes a guided tour of the 9/11 Memorial once you have returned to Manhattan from Ellis Island.

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New York Pass: Access to 100+ Attractions & Tours

8. New York Pass: Access to 100+ Attractions & Tours

Use The New York Pass on your phone to allow you cash-free entry to over 100 New York tourist attractions. It’s a bit like an “all you can eat” buffet; once you’ve bought your New York Pass, you don’t have to pay to get into any of the attractions covered by the pass, and the more sights you see, the more money you save. The New York Pass records when and where you first use it, as well as how long it will remain valid. This means your pass is activated the moment that you first use it at any attraction or service. Your New York Pass is then valid for the number of days that you've purchased.  The full list of attractions: POPULAR EXPERIENCES• Empire State Building• Big Bus Tours: 1-day Classic Tour• Top of the Rock Observation Deck• 9/11 Memorial & Museum• Edge (Hudson Yards)• One World Observatory• Statue of Liberty Ferry and Ellis Island Immigration Museum• Circle Line: Best of New York Cruise• Madame Tussauds New York• Central Park Bike Rental by Unlimited Biking• Guggenheim Museum MUSEUMS & GALLERIES• American Museum of Natural History• The Metropolitan Museum of Art• MoMA - Museum of Modern Art• Intrepid Sea Air and Space Museum• Museum of Sex• Museum of Ice Cream• Whitney Museum of American Art• Fotografiska New York• 9/11 Tribute Center & Audio Tour• Museum of the City of New York• New York Historical Society• Museum of Arts and Design• Museum of Jewish Heritage• Skyscraper Museum• New York Transit Museum• Fraunces Tavern Museum• New York Hall of Science• Brooklyn Museum of Art• Museum at Eldridge Street• The Met: Cloisters• International Center of Photography• MOMA PS 1• Museum of American Finance• Staten Island Museum• Paley Center for Media• Museum of Chinese in America• Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum FAMILY-FRIENDLY• Central Park Bike Tour by Unlimited Biking• 9/11 Museum Workshop: Hands-On 9/11 Tour• The RIDE• Marvel & DC Superheroes Walking Tour by Top Dog Tours NYC• Yankee Stadium Tour• LEGOLAND® Discovery Center, Westchester• Staten Island Zoo• South Street Seaport Museum• Staten Island Children’s Museum• Escape Virtuality• Brooklyn Bridge Bike Rental by Unlimited Biking• Bike Rental (Pier 84) by Blazing Saddles• Harlem Bike Rental by Unlimited Biking• Hudson River Bike Rental by Unlimited Biking• Governor's Island Surrey Rental by Blazing Saddles• HighFlyer Zipline at Foxwoods Casino Resort• NYC Holiday Market & Christmas Lights Walking Tour by Inside Out Tours (seasonal) HIDDEN GEMS• New York Botanical Garden• Catacombs by Candlelight Tour• Harlem Jazz Series – Tuesday and Friday• New Museum• El Museo del Barrio• Manhattan by Sail: Shearwater Classic Schooner• Cathedral of St. John the Divine• Snug Harbor Botanical Garden- Staten Island• Brooklyn Botanical Garden• Grand Central Terminal Audio Tour• New York Slavery & Underground Railroad Walking Tour by Inside Out Tours• New York City Sketching Art Tour• Ghosts of Greenwich Village Tour• Masters of The Camera: NYC Rooftop Photoshoot TOURS & CRUISES• Madison Square Garden All Access Tour• Rockefeller Center Tour• Radio City Stage Door Tour• Carnegie Hall Tours• Circle Line: Harbor Lights Cruise• Circle Line: Landmark Cruise• The DOWNTOWN EXPERIENCE• The TOUR• SoHo - Little Italy - Chinatown Walking Tour by NY Tours 1• Manhattan by Sail: Clipper City Tall Ships Cruise• Inside Broadway Walking Tour by NY Tours 1• Hamilton Happy Hour Tour• Fashion Windows Walking Tour• High Line Walking Tour by NY Tours 1• Brooklyn Bridge & DUMBO Neighborhood Walking Tour by Inside Out Tours• Brooklyn Bridge Bike Tour (Pier 17) by Blazing Saddles• Brooklyn Bridge Bike Tour by Unlimited Biking• Brooklyn Bridge Walking Tour by Unlimited Biking• Best of Brooklyn Walking Tour by Brooklyn Unplugged• Secrets of Brooklyn Walking Tour by Inside Out Tours• Graffiti Street Art Walking Tour by Brooklyn Unplugged• Top of the Highline and Vessel Tour• Central Park Walking Tour by Unlimited Biking• Central Park Walking Tour by On Location Tours• When Harry Met Seinfeld Bus Tour by On Location Tours• Pride Walking Tour• Harlem Gospel Tour (Wednesday Service) by Harlem One Stop• Harlem Gospel Tour (Sunday Service) by Inside Out Tours• Harlem Bike Tour by Unlimited Biking• Cultural Walking Tours of Harlem by Harlem One Stop• Greenwich Village Walking Tour by NY Tours 1 FOOD & DRINK• Food on Foot Tour• Queens - Flushing Meadows International Food Excursion• Spirits on Foot - Beer, Spirits and Wine Crawls• Taste of NY: Chinatown Pork Bun (by Museum of Chinese in America)• Taste of NY: Bagel & Cream Cheese from Davidovich Bakery• Taste of NY: Beer at Brooklyn Brewery Attractions and tours are subject to change. Please check the included guidebook or The New York Pass website for an up to date list of included experiences.

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New York: Pier 36 Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island Cruise

9. New York: Pier 36 Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island Cruise

Enjoy views of famous landmarks on the Manhattan skyline during a 60-minute roundtrip sightseeing cruise by boat. Depart from Pier 36 right under the Brooklyn Bridge then travel toward South Street Seaport and Battery Park. Get up close to within 100 feet of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island for the most incredible photos opportunities. Admire views of One World Trade Center, the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, Battery Park and more. Make the most of the full cash bar with snacks and drinks available to purchase onboard. From now until January 2, 2022, hot chocolate, cookies, and a photo with Santa are available for purchase.

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New York: Go City Explorer Pass with 95+ Tours & Attractions

10. New York: Go City Explorer Pass with 95+ Tours & Attractions

Go City offers you a selection of over 95 must-see NYC attractions, museums, and tours for one low pre-paid price. Save up to 45% compared to buying separate attraction tickets, and see New York's most popular attractions with one easy-to-use digital pass. Choices include the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island Ferry, 9/11 Museum and Memorial, Empire State Building, NY Waterways Tours, MoMA, and many more! There's no need to decide in advance, and you can take up to 60 days after using the pass to make your first visit. Your Explorer Pass also features special perks including gift shop discounts or a free audio guide at selected attractions, helping you make the most of your New York trip and save even more along the way. The New York attractions you can select include:  MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES• American Museum of Natural History• The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) • The MET Museum• 9/11 Memorial and Museum• Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum and Space Shuttle• Guggenheim Museum • Museum of Sex • New York Historical Society Museum • The Whitney Museum of American Art• Brooklyn Museum and Botanic Garden Combo• The Met Cloisters• Museum of the City of New York• Museum of Ice Cream• Museum of Jewish Heritage• Fotografiska New York EXPERIENCES• Top of the Rock Observatory• Empire State Building• Edge• One World Observatory• The Vessel at Hudson Yards• Hop-On Hop-Off Big Bus New York• Statue of Liberty Ferry and Ellis Island Immigration Museum• Central Park Bike Rental• The Downtown Experience by The RIDE• Ground Zero Museum Workshop: Hands-On 9/11 Tour• Brooklyn Bridge Full-Day Bike Rental• Hudson River Full-Day Bike Rental• New York Botanical Garden• Madame Tussauds Times Square New York• Spyscape• LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester• LEGOLAND Discovery Center at American Dream• Welcome to Harlem: Harlem Jazz Series• Queens Experience On Foot• RiseNY• Perfect Picnic• Masters of the Camera NYC Rooftop Photoshoot• Surrey Bike Rental on Governors Island (2 hours)• SEA LIFE at American Dream• Escape Virtuality TOURS• 9/11 Tribute Center and Walking Tour• Central Park Walking Tour• Night Tour by Big Bus New York• Yankee Stadium Tour• The TOUR• Woodbury Common Bus Tour (Round Trip + VIP Coupon Booklet)• Rockefeller Center Tour• Radio City Stage Door Tour• Central Park Bike Tour• Brooklyn Bridge Bike Tour• Madison Square Garden: All Access Tour• Central Park TV and Movie Sites Walking Tour• When Harry Met Seinfeld Bus Tour • NYC TV and Movie Bus Tour • Gossip Girl Sites Bus Tour (choice of 1 tour)• Brooklyn Bridge and DUMBO Walking Tour• Hamilton Happy Hour Tour• Catacombs by Candlelight Tour• Harlem Gospel Tour (Sunday Service)• High Line, Chelsea, Meatpacking District Neighborhood Walking Tour• Top Dog Tours NYC Marvel & DC Superheroes• Holiday Market & Christmas Lights Walking Tour (seasonal)• City Rambler: Walk Through History Tour• A Walk in the Park Tour by City Rambler• Ghosts of Greenwich Village Tour• New York City Sketching Art Tour• Top of the Highline and Vessel Tour• Fashion Windows Walking Tour• Pride Walking Tour• NYC Slavery & Underground Railroad Walking Tour• St. Patrick's Cathedral Tour with Express Entry• Best of Brooklyn Walking Tour in Williamsburg• Greenwich Village Walking Tour• Broadway & Times Square Walking Tour• Graffiti & Street Art Walking Tour in Brooklyn• Secrets of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island - Walking Tour• SoHo – Little Italy – Chinatown Neighborhood Walking Tour FOOD AND DRINK• Spirits On Foot: Beer, Spirits and Wine Crawls• Food On Foot Tours• Queens-Flushing Meadows International Food Excursion CRUISES• Lady Liberty Cruise: Circle Line Sightseeing• Harbor Lights Cruise: Circle Line Sightseeing (Upgrade fee applies)• Best of NYC Cruise: Circle Line Sightseeing (Upgrade fee applies)• Landmarks Cruise: Circle Line Sightseeing• 1929 Shearwater at North Cove: Daytime Statue Sail or City Lights Sail (seasonal)• Clipper City Tall Ship Sail - Daytime Statue or Harbor Lights (Seasonal) Customers save an average of 45% when buying the New York Explorer Pass versus buying tickets at the gate. Savings percentage based on most popular customer itineraries. Attractions and tours are subject to change. Please check the included guide for an up-to-date list of included experiences.

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Planning Your Visit

  • How to get there?

    You can get to Ellis Island by taking a ferry operated by Statue Cruises from either Communipaw Terminal in Liberty State Park or Battery Park on the southern tip of Manhattan in New York City. Reserving your tickets ahead of time is recommended.

  • How long does it take?

    Generally you won’t need more than a couple hours to take in these sights, but you can set your own pace visiting Ellis Island and Liberty Island - the ferries depart every 20 minutes.

  • How much does it cost?

    The $18 ferry ticket grants access to both of the islands.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    Hours vary based on time of year:
    March-May, Open daily, 8:30 AM-5:15 PM
    June-August, Open daily, 8:30 AM-7:00 PM
    September-October, Open daily, 8:30 AM-6:00 PM
    Holiday hours may vary
  • Is it expensive?
    Adult tickets start at just $18 and go upwards depending on tour packages and perks.
  • Will I need a guide?
    A guide is a great idea to help you understand the historical context of this iconic American monument.
  • How to get there
    Public transportation to the ferry departure points at Battery Park and Liberty State Park is recommended!
  • Additional information

    • Visitors and their belongings are subject to screening before boarding the ferry.

    • A limited number of wheelchairs are available to borrow for the visit on a first come, first service basis.

Other Sightseeing Options in Ellis Island

Want to discover all there is to do in Ellis Island? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Ellis Island

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 11,321 reviews

It was flawless.. first time to Ellis island and the Statue of Liberty had a wonderful time the experience was unique and very educational.

Christian was a wonderful guide. We were greeted immediately at the meeting point and given clear directions throughout the tour.

Everything worked as the details in the document we got. I highly recommend it so we can save a good amount of money!

The tour guide was very nice and especially down to earth person easy to speak with, friendy

Plenty of good information and tips on what else to see and do. Fun Santa was present then.