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Staten Island Ferry

Staten Island FerryThe Staten Island Ferry is probably the most wellknown ferry in the world and the largest in New York City. It travels between the boroughs of Manhattan and Staten Island on a 24 hour schedule, absolutely free for passengers and is operated by City of New York, Department Of Transportation.

The Ferry departs every 30 minutes during the day and every 1 hour at night. A one way trip from Manhattan to Staten Island is about 25 minutes long. The rush hour is from 7:30 - 8:30 and 5:30 - 6:30. At that time locals are using the ferry to go to / from work and it might be a bit crowded and not too convenient for tourists. It is much less crowded all other time and at the same time, the most impressive views are during the day, at the dawn and at night.

The Manhattan side terminal is called South Ferry terminal, located on the southern part of Manhattan, on Whitehall street. The 1 and R subway trains stop on the South Ferry / Whitehall street station, right next to the terminal. 4 and 5 trains also stop close to the terminal on the Bowling Green station but there is a 2-5 minutes walk between the station and the terminal.

Staten Island Ferry

Staten Island Ferry

The terminal itself is a new large glass building with air conditioners / heaters, cafes / gift shop and restrooms. There is also a terrace with a beautiful view of the harbor and the park around the terminal, Battery Park is also nearby so if there is time before the next ferry, there are plenty of things to do and see.

Staten Island Ferry

Staten Island Ferry

Staten Island Ferry

When ferry arrives, it first lets passengers out and then opens the doors for boarding. It usually takes around five minutes to unload and load passengers and as ferries are large, able to seat up to 6 000 people, even if there is a huge crowd in the terminal - everyone will get a seat.

Staten Island Ferry

Staten Island Ferry

There are several different types of ferries and in summer they usually tend to use those with open decks where you can enjoy the wind and views without windows while in the winter they more often use ferries without side decks which are warmer. These are also used in the summer sometimes, but if you get on such a ferry - you can still take nice pictures as all windows are always open or you can go to front or rear sides of the ferry which are also open.

Staten Island Ferry

The lower level of ferries is designed to transport bicycles. Passengers with bicycles must board the ferry from the ground floor of the terminal.

Staten Island Ferry

Unlike regular ships, ferries do not have a physical front and rear sides, they are symmetric, have 2 cabins and the front is where the ferry is heading to at the moment. If the ferry goes from Manhattan to Staten Island, the front is on Staten Island side and vice versa. Captain and the crew walk from one cabin to another after the ferry docks.

The floor on the ferries is covered with textured metal so that it is less slippery when wet.

Staten Island Ferry

The regularly used throughout the day ferries have 3 to 4 floors. Each ferry has restrooms, plenty of seating space and a snack bar (with an exception of a small 2 floor ferry used at very late hours).

Staten Island Ferry

Staten Island Ferry

Staten Island Ferry

When going from Manhattan to Staten Island, the best views of Manhattan and Jersey City if are from the back of the ferry. The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island are on the right side. When going back - Manhattan will be in the front and Statue of Liberty - on the left.

Staten Island Ferry

Staten Island Ferry

Staten Island Ferry

Staten Island Ferry

At the same time, on the opposite side of the ferry you will be able to see the Governors Island, Brooklyn and Brooklyn Bridge, Verrazano Narrows and Verrazano Bridge.

Staten Island Ferry

Governors Island is a former naval base but 2 years ago was transferred to the city and a park is being built there.

Staten Island Ferry

Verrazano bridge is one of the largest suspension bridges of the world. You can see that it is much higher than all trees or buildings in Brooklyn or Staten Island next to it.

Staten Island Ferry

Sometimes you can also see many other different ships - from small sail boats and reconstructed frigates to modern expensive yachts, huge and beautiful cruise liners like Queen Marry 2 or oceanic container carriers that look like floating mountains.

Staten Island Ferry

Staten Island Ferry

Staten Island Ferry

Closer to the Staten Island you can also see Bayonne Bridge, a former lighthouse and two strange objects in the water that are of unknown purpose. The lighthouse, called Robbins Reef Light Station. It might be converted to a public museum in the nearest future and is remarkable by the fact that for 33 years was operated by woman, Katie Walker who lived and raised here children there alone, taking them to the public school on Staten Island every day.

Staten Island Ferry

Staten Island Ferry

The docking process is also very interesting. Before locking up at the terminal, the ferry hits wooden walls causing scratches on them and sometimes producing sound similar to a roar or moan of an unknown creature.

Staten Island Ferry

Staten Island Ferry

Staten Island Ferry

When ferry arrives to Staten Island everyone must disembark even if you are planning to go back to Manhattan. If you do not want to stay on Staten Island, you can just walk around the terminal and board the same ferry, however both - the Staten Island itself or the St George Terminal have plenty of interesting things to see.

Staten Island Ferry

The St George Terminal has several cafes, two huge tanks with salt water and tropical fish and multiple information kiosks, that describe various Staten Island attractions and how to get there, including New York City's largest park - Greenbelt, Boardwalk and the beach, Staten Island Zoo, Staten Island Museum, 9/11 monument.

Staten Island Ferry

Staten Island Ferry

Staten Island Ferry

Staten Island Ferry

St. George Ferry Terminal is also a major transportation hub on the Staten Island. You can change to almost every Staten Island bus on the terminal or on a train of Staten Island Railroad, that uses the same trains as New York City subway and is operated by the same company - MTA. All trains are synchronized with ferries.

Staten Island Ferry

Staten Island Ferry

See more photos from the ferry at night.

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