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Top sights in New York City
Ellis Island was the most active American immigration inspection station from 1892 to 1954 making it the first piece of land millions of immigrants set foot on in their new home. Today it remains a landmark where that hope for a better tomorrow remains.
Getting there is half the fun! A $18 ticket will take you on a humbling cruise through the Upper New York Bay to both Ellis Island and Liberty Island.
Bonus: head to the information desk for a complimentary tour at the top of the hour for a guided tour, no ticket required.
Take the ferry a little further north to visit Liberty Island and experience the nation’s symbol of freedom, the Statue of Liberty, up close and personal.
Dive deeper into the experience of arriving at Ellis Island with a 90-minute hard hat tour of the Hospital Complex. Purchase tickets in advance.
Did you know, for example, that a 1998 ruling by the Supreme Court determined that most of the island belongs to New Jersey, not New York?
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.
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.
The $18 ferry ticket grants access to both of the islands.
- 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.
What people are saying about Ellis Island
Today was my daughter's 16th birthday. It was a challenge to find something to do or somewhere to go. The choice was easy for her. Lady Liberty. I begin with this to stress the importance of having a good day for her. Our tour guide was an amazing man named Ceasar. He didn't to to us. He spoke WITH us. He shared information so genuinely with my family. When we made it back home, we talked about the tour and what it would have been like without him, if we had just walked around on our own. From incredible facts to the best seat on the ferry, Ceasar was too notch. The fact that he made a genuine connection made our tour an event. He created a memory for us. We are forever grateful. He is an asset to the company, the city, and humanity. It was a great tour lead by a great man.
Booked my tickets online, skipped the line and went straight to security check line. Then first stop is statue of liberty, the views are just amazing. Then spent some there and then went on to Ellis Island and then came back to NYC. The whole staff was friendly and helpful. Even the captain came out and thanked everyone. Will definitely recommend this affordable trip to anyone.
This was the BEST tour Ever! Eva and her crew took care of my mother for her 72th birthday! My mom has an electric scooter; and I didn't think it would be able to get on the boat; but Eva's crew made sure it got in the boat with absolutely no problem at all! I highly recommend this cruise! It is very informative of NYC!
We took the Ferry from the New Jersey side. The information we received was a great help. Be sure that you are aware of what you have in your handbag. I had a small heart shaped precious stone that my best friend from 7th grade gave me and it was confiscated.
It was an amazing experience!! Incredible view that you'll never forget. I recommend to bring your own food, because the restaurant at Liberty Island is expensive. And there's free wifi.