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


When traveling to New York, we use the subway and taxi a few times, but we rarely think about using boats to get from one place to another. There are cruises taking you to the Statue of Liberty for example, but also to New Jersey, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and even Governors Island.
These are the NY Waterway, NY Water Taxi and NYC Ferry!!!

I’ll describe the different ferry services so you’ll know which one to take, where and how.

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 =)
IN fact, the NY Waterway’s primary function is to help local residents from New Jersey commute to New York.


Where are the terminals?
The NY Waterway “Hudson River Ferry” includes 10 terminals in New Jersey and 3 terminals in Manhattan:


What are the rates for the NY Waterway and how to get tickets?
Rates vary depending on location and destination.
Therefore, the NY Waterway Ferry Hudson River, costs:
– $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 rates, so the best thing to do is to check on the website: nywaterway.com/FerryRoutesSchedules

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


Hours of operation
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 timetable on the website or app “NY Waterway“.


The NY Water Taxi

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


Where are the terminals?
The NY Water Taxi has 4 terminals:
– 3 in Manhattan: Midtown 42nd St, Downtown Battery Park and South Street Seaport
– 1 in Brooklyn: DUMBO.(Red Hook and DUMBO in Brooklyn Bridge Park)
+ the Ikea Ferry from Pier 11 (Manhattan) to Ikea Brooklyn

What are the rates of the NY Water Taxi and how to get tickets?
The pricing for the water taxi is a little simpler because it’s sold as a daily pass, it’s $ 31 for an adult and $ 19 for children.
You can book your tickets today online (try the coupon “save10”).


Hours of operation
Since this ferry is mainly for tourists, it operates between 10 and 6:10 p.m. (see images below.)

The NYC Ferry

NYC Ferry is the most recent ferry company (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 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
– SV (Soundview): Soundview, East 90th St, East 62nd St, Wall St Pier 11
– AST (Astoria): Astoria, Roosevelt Island, Long Island City, East 34th St, Wall St Pier 11
– LES (Lower East Side): Long Island City, East 34th St, Stuyvesant Town, Corlears Hook, Wall St Pier 11
– ER (East River): East 34th St, Hunters Point South, Greenpoint, North Williamsburg, South Williamsburg, DUMBO, Governors Island (during summer), Wall St Pier 11.

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 a 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 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.

Map of all the terminals

On this map you can locate the different terminals:

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

In addition of 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 doesn’t go to this neighborhood. In fact, you need to take the 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!


– 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.



– 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.


– The NYC Ferry also goes up to Governors Island from May to September. On this island you can 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…


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


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 in one day, then the NY Water Taxi will be good thanks to its daily pass (see here).
On the other hand, 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!!!



My fist trip to New York was in 2007 when I was working for an airline company. I was born in the US, I lived in Mexico, in Europe in between Belgium, Spain and France… Well, let’s say I know about travelling! I bring my experience of NYC to the blog, to provide the best travel tips you could imagine!

4 commentaires

  1. Ann says:

    can you stay on the NYC ferry for a round trip sight seeing “trip”?

    • Memo says:

      Once activated, the ticket is usable for up to 90 minutes for a single-ride (and transfers within the NYC Ferry System) in the same direction. Then you need another ticket to go back to where you board the ferry.

  2. Charlie says:

    Is there a ferry close to harrah’s casino

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