Since Staten Island is the only island of New York City’s five boroughs (divisions), the ferry is a means of mass transport to this borough that isn’t connected to the New York Subway system. The island is about 150 km² compared to Jamaica’s 10,991 km², just to give you an idea of its size. However, the focus isn’t really Staten Island right now, it’s more about the 5 mile cruise to get there. Yes, there is the Verrazano bridge, but I’d dub this one the favourite of most visitors, especially since this 25-minute ferry ride and the views that come with it are entirely free.
The Staten Island Ferry leaves the Manhattan dock and coasts towards the island at 30-minute intervals. Boarding always looked never ending but it actually did not feel crowded once we were on and settled. The different floors of the ferry included seats, washrooms and (surprisingly) outlets. Don’t know why, but I’m always on the look out for outlets when I’m out lol. The seating areas led out onto decks that run along the sides of the ferry. Naturally, that’s exactly where most patrons, myself included, headed. As we drifted, New York City’s signature buildings and harbour came into view.
In all honesty, the ferry didn’t pass as close to the Statue of Liberty as I thought it would. I later learnt that you can get really close to the statue or even gain access to the property using tours such as Statue Cruises and Statue of Liberty Tickets.
So here’s an idea! Try taking the ferry in the late evening. Why? What had happened was, we ventured out in the late evening to avoid the summer’s midday sun. We all know how that is. Turned out that the trip back to Manhattan was during the sunset. Everything then had a tint of orange which made the experience feel surreal, and a bit romantic. I preferred the second trip because of that new aura. It was also my favourite because the trip back was where all the unwinding happened. All the anticipation from the newness of the ferry, had already left and finally everything was sinking in.
During the stop in Staten Island, we had pizza on the roof of the St George terminal. Our stomachs were full and there was good music, so why not dance right?? Eventually a fellow visitor joined our little dance party so that we could show her a thing or two.
Overall, the ferry ride is a really relaxing venture if you’re in the mood for the wind in your hair and panoramic seascape.
How to get to the Staten Island Ferry:
•Trains: 1, R, N
•Buses: M5, M15, M15 SBS, M20
Don’t be afraid to ask questions or share your experience! 😊