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NY Waterway, NY Water TAXI and NYC Ferry: a fun way to commute around Manhattan!

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When traveling to New York, we use the metro and taxi a few times, but we rarely think about using boats to get from one place to another. There are cruises that you can take to the Statue of Liberty or other places: New Jersey, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and even Governors Island.
These are the NY Waterway, NY Water Taxi and NYC Ferry!!!
I'll explain exactly what they are so you'll know which one to take, where and how, so you can easily compare the rates and services.

What is the NY Waterway?

It is a kind of floating bus that moves from one point to another.
It navigates on the Hudson River connecting Manhattan to New Jersey (NJ =)
The NY Waterway's primary function is to help local residents from New Jersey commute to New York.

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What is the NY Water Taxi?

It is a boat that connect many parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn, it’s mainly used by tourists.

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What is the NYC Ferry?

NYC Ferry is a new water commute option (May 2017) operated by Hornblowers' yachts and ferries. Hornblower is the company that already offers dining cruises and classic tours (Statue Cruises and Alcatraz Cruises).

Where are the terminals?

The NY Waterway "Hudson River Ferry" includes 10 terminals in New Jersey and 3 terminals in Manhattan:

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The NY Water Taxi has 12 terminals:
- 8 in Manhattan
- 3 in Brooklyn (Red Hook and DUMBO in Brooklyn Bridge Park)
- 1 in Harlem on Randall's Island

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The NYC Ferry provides 6 routes, mainly on the East River:
- RW (Rockaway): Rockaway, Sunset Park, Wall Street Pier 11
- SB (South Brooklyn): DUMBO, Atlantic Avenue, Governors Island (during summer), Red Hook, Sunset Park, Bay Ridge coming June 2017
- SV (Soundview): Soundview, East 90th St, East 62nd St, Wall St Pier 11 coming summer 2018
- AST (Astoria): Astoria, Roosevelt Island, Long Island City, East 34th St, Wall St Pier 11 coming August 2017
- LES (Lower East Side): Long Island City, East 34th St, Stuyvesant Town, Corlears Hook, Wall St Pier 11 coming summer 2018
- ER (East River): East 34th St, Hunters Point South, Greenpoint, North Williamsburg, South Williamsburg, DUMBO, Governors Island (during summer), Wall St Pier 11.

On this map you can locate the different terminals:

What are the rates for the NY Waterway and how to get tickets?

Prices vary depending on location and destination.
To be more precise, the NY Waterway Ferry Hudson River, is:
- $4 for children and $8 for an adult for a ride between Manhattan (39th Street) and Paulus Hook.
- $6 for children and $9 for an adult for a ride between Manhattan (39th Street) and Hoboken or Weehawken.
There are different offers so the best thing to do is to look directly at their site: nywaterway.com/FerryRoutesSchedules

Tickets can be purchased either online, at a kiosk, there are also vending machines available at the landings.

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What are the rates of the NY Water Taxi and how to get tickets?

The pricing for the water taxi is a little simpler it’s sold as a daily pass, it's $ 31 for an adult and $ 19 for children.
You can book your tickets today online.

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What are the rates of the NYC Ferry and how to get tickets?

NYC Ferry Provides affordable transit for daily commuters and tourists:
- $2.75 for an adult one-way (free for children under the height of 44 inches or 1.11m)
- $1 if you bring your bike
- $121 for a 30-day adult pass
- $141 for a 30-day adult pass with bike.

To buy a ticket you can download the NYC Ferry App, ask a ticket agent, use the ticket vending machines at the landings or through the official website.

What are the hours of operation for the NY Waterway?

Given that there are many terminals, schedules are very different.
For the nearest locations like Midtown / 39th St. and Hoboken / 14th St., there are boats running every 20 minutes between 10:50 p.m. 6:10 ET.
Then for more distant locations like Belford, ferries depart from 6.30 to 9.30 but only return 5 times a day from 14:30 to 18.45.

For the NY Waterway Ferry Hudson River, you would have to look up the times on their website or their app "NY Waterway".

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What are the hours of operation for the NY Water Taxi?

Since this ferry is devoted to tourists, its hours are between 10 and 6:10 p.m. (see image below.)

What are the hours of operation for the NYC Ferry?

Likewise the NY Waterway, schedules depend on the routes. The lines departing from Manhattan to nearest locations start by 6.30am with boats running every 20 to 30 minutes.
If you want to take the Rockaway route, the first ferry departs at 5.30am, and then every hour till 9.30pm.

How are they a good travel tip to visit New York City?

Besides being confortable you have different destinations available with these three types of ferries.

Here are some tips you should know:
- If you want to visit Red Hook in Brooklyn the NY Water Taxi will ultimately be the fastest transport if you leave from southern Manhattan. The metro does not access this neighborhood. You have to go by Subway to Downtown Brooklyn and take the bus (with the B57 or B61 lines) afterwards.
- You can also take the NYC Ferry, it lands at Red Hook too but at a different landing!

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- To enjoy dazzling views, the NYC Ferry is just awesome. Here are the views of Midtown and the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building and the United Nations.

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- To pass by the Statue of Liberty without going on Liberty Island and without taking the Staten Island Ferry, you can take the NY Water Taxi towards Red Hook from Pier 79 W39th St, you will pass right by Miss Liberty.

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- The NYC Ferry also goes up to Governors Island from May to September. On this island you could relax, have a picnic, rest on the beach, there are festivals, you can visit the castle, play mini-golf, go biking, there are endless activities... I'll soon post a new article about it!

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- If you plan to be in New York for several months (or years), you can go do your shopping at IKEA. The NY Water Taxi can get you there from Pier 11 for $ 5 or for free during weekends!

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Conclusion: what is the most interesting ferry?

I will not say there is a ferry more interesting than another because it really depends on what you want to do and where you want to go.
If you want to make several trips between waterfronts in one day, the NY Water Taxi will be good thanks to its daily pass (see here).
Or if you just want to get from point A to point B the NYC Ferry is perfect!
Whatever happens, now it's up to you. 🙂
One thing is sure, it's really nice to navigate on the Hudson River or the East River, and it allows you to see New York from a different perspective!!!

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