Who wouldn’t want to stand in front of a gigantic, 300-foot-in-the-air painted copper statue of the Greco-Roman goddess of Liberty turned icon of American freedom? Ask any American, “Would you like to see the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island, NY, before you die?,” and virtually 100% of the answers will be a resounding, “Yes!”
To learn how to book your passage ahead of time online to visit Miss Liberty on her home turf, visit libertycruise.nyc. For seven helpful tips to make your Liberty Tour experience as pleasant as possible, keep reading below.
1. Bundle Your Tickets With a Bus Tour
Often, you can get free or at least highly discounted Liberty Cruise tickets included in other tours you book. Double decker bus tours are a great way to explore New York’s most famous sites in only a day or two, and bus tours frequently offer the Liberty Cruise as part of some of their packages. Definitely look into it, so you can save and have a complete NYC experience, even with limited touring time.
2. Book Ahead Online and Arrive Early at The Battery
Buying your tickets on-site at Battery Park (“The Battery”) will mean waiting in long lines and making last-minute decisions on what kind of tickets to buy. It will potentially create stress and could have you waiting hours till the a boat becomes available, during the busiest periods. Avoid all that by booking ahead online; but still arrive at least half an hour ahead of time to be safe. Arrive even earlier if you want a chance to explore Battery Park before departure.
3. Choose the Timing Carefully
You can get a ticket for anywhere between 9am and 3:30pm, at half-hour intervals, for most days. Choose morning hours to avoid the crowds (shorter lines and more room on the boat are the benefits.) Also choose the off season, fall and winter, to get a less crowded experience.
4. Be Prepared for a Security Check
Expect the kind of security you’d see at an airport when visiting the Statue of Liberty. The security clearance before getting off the dock and onto the ferry is strict. You can’t bring anything that could be used as a weapon, not even a cigarette lighter, a plastic bottle with water in it, or a razor for shaving. Be prepared for this to reduce delays.
5. Enjoy the View on the Way Over
Get a spot on the Statue-facing boat side quick, so you won’t miss the view (especially if it’s crowded on the boat.) The ride is only twenty minutes or so long, so you can afford to stand the whole time in order to catch unforgettable glimpses of the New York skyline and harbor shore. And watch as Miss Liberty’s towering figure gets closer and closer: the ferry ride is an essential part of the experience.
6. Plan Ahead to See Inside the Statue
You can usually get regular tickets anytime to see the statue, but to get pedestal tickets (that let you inside), you need to plan a month or more in advance. Only 3,000 per day can get inside the pedestal (it’s free, but you have to book your spot.) And to get in the crown for a look over the harbor, you may need to reserve your spot 3 to 6 months ahead of time.
7. Don’t Skip Ellis
You can stop by Ellis Island and see the amazingly interesting immigration museum there direct from Liberty Island and on the same ferry. There is not good reason to skip this historic site, which was once the busiest point of entry to the US for immigrants in the country. But note you have to get a Liberty Cruise ticket that departs before 2pm (1:30pm or earlier) to get Ellis Island included.