Ellis Island

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Ellis Island: Our most recommended tours and activities

NYC: 1-Hour Cruise Around Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island

1. NYC: 1-Hour Cruise Around 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. 

Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island: Ticket Options with Ferry

2. 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, bypass the ticket line 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.

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

3. New York CityPASS®: Save 40% at 5 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. 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.

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

4. 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 40% compared to buying separate attraction tickets, and see New York's most popular attractions with one easy-to-use digital pass. Options include the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island Ferry, 9/11 Museum and Memorial, Empire State Building, Edge, MoMA, American Museum of Natural History, and many more. Pick between a 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 10-choice pass, browse the included digital guide to check entry requirements for each attraction, and plan your itinerary. Scanning your pass at the gate or ticket office of an attraction (or tour) for the first time will activate it. You can then take up to 60 days to use the remaining number of choices purchased. 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 choose include:  Museums and Galleries• American Museum of Natural History • The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) • 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• Museum of the City of New York• Museum of Jewish Heritage• Fotografiska New York Experiences• Top of the Rock Observatory• Empire State Building• One World Observatory• Edge• 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• RiseNY• 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• Yankee Stadium Tour• The TOUR• Woodbury Common Bus Tour (Round Trip + VIP Coupon Booklet)• Rockefeller Center Tour• Central Park Bike Tour• Brooklyn Bridge Bike Tour• Central Park TV and Movie Sites Walking Tour• When Harry Met Seinfeld Bus Tour • NYC TV and Movie Bus 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)• 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 Drinks• 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• Clipper City Tall Ship Sail - Daytime Statue or Harbor Lights (Seasonal) Customers save an average of 40% 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. Certain attractions or tours require advanced reservations. Make sure to follow the instructions included on the digital guide and place reservations well in advance where needed, as well as follow the top tips to ensure the best sightseeing experience with your Explorer Pass.

NYC: Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island First Tour of the Day

5. NYC: Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island First Tour of the Day

Be the first of the day to discover two of New York’s most iconic monuments with exclusive first ferry tour departure to Liberty Island, including a visit to the Statue of Liberty Museum and Ellis Island. Watch American history come to life with the only tour operator that runs ferries this early. Arrive at the grounds just under the watchful eye of Lady Liberty, where great views across NYC's skyline, Lower Manhattan, and the Big Apple await. Then, board the city's earliest ferry to Ellis Island (early morning tour only), ensuring you avoid the swelling afternoon crowds. Follow in the footsteps of some 12 million immigrants and learn about the process those hopeful individuals went through to settle in America. View and walk the Stairs of Separation, growing to understand the Island's two very unique names - "The Island of Hope" and "The Island of Tears". After your guide has explained to you the history, they will give you the option to continue your exploration of Ellis Island on your own with the audio guide (included) or return to The Battery on the ferry with them. If you wish, feel free to stay on Ellis Island a bit longer to explore your personal heritage and find all the unique and interesting sights in the special location.

NYC: Statue of Liberty Express Skip-the-Box-Office Cruise

6. NYC: Statue of Liberty Express Skip-the-Box-Office Cruise

Departing from Downtown Manhattan in Battery Park, this 50-minute express cruise is the fastest way to get up close and personal with the Statue of Liberty. The best views are definitely from the water and you'll enjoy the insights of your fun, onboard tour guide with live narration. Begin your cruise experience at Battery Park's Slip 6. Get your souvenir photo with Lady Liberty in the background while you wait.  Board the vessel, sit back, and set sail on your round-trip sightseeing cruise. Bask in the panoramic view of downtown New York's celebrated towers, memorials, and Landmarks while you relax on board the state-of-the-art boat.  Cruise right over to see the Statue of Liberty, one of the most iconic symbols in the world. On your way to Lady Liberty, you’ll sail past and learn about Ellis Island, once home to the United States’ busiest immigration station, where approximately 12 million immigrants came through.  You will also see Governors Island, a former military base that has since been redeveloped with a beautiful park for the public to enjoy.

NYC: Macy's July 4th Fireworks Viewing Cruise from Brooklyn

7. NYC: Macy's July 4th Fireworks Viewing Cruise from Brooklyn

Celebrate Independence Day New York style with a harbor excursion on a 2-story boat with an outdoor deck area. Enjoy a live DJ and dancing. Admire views of the Manhattan skyline, the Statue of Liberty, and Brooklyn Bridge being lit up by Macy’s annual 4th of July fireworks. Depart from Greenpoint Terminal Market on the East River in Brooklyn and pass under the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges with views of City Hall, the Woolworth Building, South Street Seaport, the Lower Manhattan Skyline, and Wall Street. The cruise also floats by the districts of DUMBO and Brooklyn Heights, before heading out into the harbor for views of Ellis Island, Liberty Island, the Statue of Liberty, and One World Observatory. Pause to enjoy the best views of the Macy's fireworks as they light up the city. The boat offers a cash bar with non-alcoholic beverages available for purchase. There will also be chicken fingers, hot dogs, pizza, french fries, and other snack foods to buy if you wish. Guests are welcome to bring their own food, but there is no guaranteed table seating, so finger foods are advised.

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

8. 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.

New York Pass: Access to 100+ Attractions and Tours in NYC

9. New York Pass: Access to 100+ Attractions and Tours in NYC

Use The New York Pass on your phone for cash-free entry to over 100 New York City tourist attractions. See the best that the Big Apple has to offer with access to any of the attractions covered. Activate your pass at the first attraction or service you go to. Once activated, your pass records when and where you first used it and how long it will remain valid. Your New York Pass is then valid for the number of consecutive days that you've purchased. Activities include: 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 • MoMA - Museum of Modern Art • Intrepid Sea Air and Space Museum • Museum of Sex • Whitney Museum of American Art • Fotografiska New York • Museum of the City of New York • New York Historical Society • Museum of Arts and Design • Museum of Jewish Heritage • Skyscraper Museum • Fraunces Tavern Museum • New York Hall of Science • Brooklyn Museum of Art • Museum at Eldridge Street • International Center of Photography • MOMA PS 1 • 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 • Yankee Stadium Tour • LEGOLAND® Discovery Center, Westchester • Staten Island Zoo • LEGOLAND® Discovery Center New Jersey • Staten Island Children’s Museum • Bike Rentals 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 TOURS & CRUISES • Central Park TV & Movie Sites Walking Tour • Rockefeller Center Tour • The Official Chinatown Walking Tour • How Money Was Made: Wall Street Walking Tour • Circle Line: Harbor Lights Cruise • Circle Line: Landmark Cruise • SoHo - Little Italy - Chinatown Walking Tour by NY Tours 1 • Manhattan by Sail: Clipper City Tall Ships Cruise • The Official Little Italy Walking Tour • Hamilton Tour • Colonial New York Retold Walking Tour • New York City News Media Tour • Brooklyn Bridge & DUMBO Neighborhood Walking Tour by Inside Out Tours • Brooklyn Bridge Bike Tours Attractions and tours are subject to change. Check the digital guide for an up-to-date attraction line-up including opening times and instructions on how to access each attraction before you go. Some tours and attractions require advance reservations.

New York City: Sunset Boat Cruise to Statue of Liberty

10. New York City: Sunset Boat Cruise to Statue of Liberty

Embark on a scenic boat cruise at sunset around the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and Brooklyn Bridge. Feel the wind in your hair and watch the colors of the sunset take over the dusk sky as you cruise on the calm waters around Manhattan, marveling at the city views from your unique perspective. First, choose a seat either on the outdoor or indoor decks, then sit back and relax as you travel to see the Statue of Liberty. Continue towards Ellis Island, where you have the opportunity to take photos of the famous entry point to New York City with the sunset in the background. Take in views of the Manhattan skyline and its famous skyscrapers, including the One World Trade Center, as you cruise along the east and west side of Lower Manhattan. Listen to your guide as they share information about these iconic sites, including the history of the Empire State Building, Manhattan Bridge, Governor's Island, and more.

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 11,479 reviews

Our guide Russell gave us information about the Statue and Ellis Island that you just don’t find in the books. Since this was our first time and we wanted knowledge and not just the experience of looking a guided tour with Russell was enjoyable, educational and an experience we will remember forever!

Very easy and everything went smoothly . Easy to find the venue . Enjoyable boat ride , everyone practiced safety .

It was great experience! Must-do list in New York! Service was very nice too. We will do it again.

Long queue for security and the ferry. But a great experience once you arrive on the island.

This trip is absolutely amazing! Loved every second