The Statue of Liberty symbolizes freedom, inspiration, and hope and is one of the most recognizable figures in the world.
Every year more than four million board the Statue of Liberty ferries to reach Liberty Island and see the iconic figure from up close.
In the second part of their trip, they hop back on the ferry to Ellis Island to learn about the intriguing history of immigration to America, which took place between 1892 and 1954.
The statue’s pedestal houses a museum, and visitors can also climb to the top to take in panoramic views of New York City and its surroundings.
This article explains everything you need to know before you buy your Statue of Liberty tickets.
Table of contents
- What to expect at Statue of Liberty
- Statue of Liberty Ferry
- Types of Statue of Liberty tickets
- Statue of Liberty tickets
- Statue of Liberty cruises
- How to reach the Statue of Liberty
- Statue of Liberty hours
- Best time to visit Statue of Liberty
- Statue of Liberty Museum
- Statue of Liberty audio tour
- Visiting at night
- Security at Statue of Liberty
- Food at Statue of Liberty
What to expect at Statue of Liberty
Because of the pandemic, visitors can’t go up to the statue’s pedestal or the crown.
However, you can book a Grounds Only ticket and see the Statue of Liberty from up close.
If you prefer a local guide to take you around (and rush you to your ferry seat through the fast lane!), check out this guided tour of the Statue of Liberty.
Fancy something luxurious? How about a three-hour dinner while cruising the New York harbor?
Statue of Liberty Ferry
Statue City Cruises operates the Statue of Liberty ferries.
Statue of Liberty ferry routes
The ferries start from Battery Park in New York and Liberty State Park, New Jersey.
Depending on where you take the Statue of Liberty ferry, here is the route the ferries take and the stops they make.
All Liberty Cruises which sail from Battery Park in New York first go to Liberty Island, where the Statue of Liberty stands in all its glory.
Then they sail to Ellis Island and finally back to Battery Park.
All Statue of Liberty boats that sail from Liberty State Park in New Jersey first go to Ellis Island with the Immigration Museum.
Then they sail to Liberty Island so the tourists can see the majestic Statue of Liberty, and finally, they return to Liberty State Park.
Statue of Liberty ferry tickets
You don’t need to buy separate ferry tickets to the Statue of Liberty. Or to Ellis Island.
The Statue of Liberty tickets you will buy online (or from the ticketing office in New York or New Jersey) includes access to Liberty ferries.
Statue of Liberty ferry schedule
From Battery Park and Liberty State Park in New Jersey, a ferry starts every 20 to 25 minutes to Liberty Island.
The ferry times from Battery Park and Liberty State Park are the same.
|Tourist Season||First ferry||Last ferry|
|Mid-March to Late May||9 am||3.30 pm|
|Late May to Early September||9 am||3.30 pm|
|Early September to Mid October||8.30 am||4 pm|
|Mid October to Mid March||9 am||3.30 pm|
Last ferry departing Liberty Island
Timings of the last Statue Cruises ferry departing the Statue of Liberty Island also depends on the season.
|Tourist Season||Last ferry from Liberty Island|
|Mid-March to Late May||4 pm|
|Late May to Early September||6.45 pm|
|Early September to Mid October||5.45 pm|
|Mid October to Mid March||5 pm|
When you book your Statue of Liberty tickets, you can choose the time of departure.
You can check the current schedule here.
Last ferry departures – things to know
It is better to avoid the last boat from Battery Park or Liberty State Park because you only get to experience half the tour.
The last departure from Battery Park doesn’t stop at Ellis Island, which means you can only see the Statue of Liberty but not the Immigration Museum.
Tourists on the last ferry from Liberty State Park can choose which attraction they want to visit – Statue of Liberty or Ellis Island Immigration Museum. They can’t see both.
Liberty Island starts closing thirty minutes before the last ferry back to the mainland to allow those on the Island to reach the dock.
For more details on the Statue of Liberty ferry, follow the link.
Types of Statue of Liberty tickets
Before we proceed any further, you need to know the types of Statue of Liberty experiences you can book.
Depending on access
Depending on the access to the different parts of the Statue of Liberty, you can book three types of tickets.
Grounds Only ticket
Grounds Only tickets are the most popular and widely available tickets, also known as the ‘Reserve tickets.’
This ticket gives you access to Liberty Island and the Statue of Liberty Museum.
You won’t be able to climb up to the Pedestal or the Crown of the Statue.
Reserve tickets are available as both timed tickets and flexible tickets.
Pedestal tickets gives you access up to the top of the Pedestal, including the Statue of Liberty Museum.
A limited number of Pedestal tickets are sold per day.
These tickets are also limited – approximately 500 Crown tickets are sold daily during the peak summer months.
Only 0.4% of the day’s tickets sold are Crown tickets.
This ticket gives you access to the Statue’s Crown, the Pedestal, and the Museum.
These tickets are difficult to get; during the summer, they get booked six months in advance.
Because of this lack of availability, many visitors feel that Reserve tickets are better than Crown tickets.
If you still want to go up the Crown, here is some information on last-minute Statue of Liberty Crown tickets.
All three types of Statue of Liberty tickets also include entry to the Immigration Museum on Ellis Island.
Because of the pandemic, the Statue of Liberty’s Pedestal and Crown are closed for visitors. However, tourists can buy Grounds Only tickets.
Flex tickets vs. Reserve tickets
There are two types of tickets depending on the time you must report for the security check to board the ferry.
A reserved ticket is for a specified time on a selected day.
If you have bought a Reserve ticket, you must enter the security line at the time mentioned on your ticket.
Since they want to regulate the number of visitors who go up the Pedestal and the Crown, both these tickets are ALWAYS Reserve tickets.
Advantage: Since Reserve Tickets have a time mentioned on them, the Reserve ticket holders are given priority access to the security screening and ferries.
Disadvantage: Since these tickets have time by when you must report for the security screening, you can’t be flexible with your timings.
A Statue of Liberty Flex Ticket doesn’t have a reserved time and can be used for a one-time entry anytime within three days.
The three-day period starts from the beginning of the day you specify at the time of purchase.
A Statue of Liberty Flex Ticket is a first-come-first-serve ticket, so it is better to reach there early to avoid waiting in long lines.
There are three ways to get a Statue of Liberty flex ticket.
You can visit the Statue Cruises ticket office in either Battery Park (NY) or Liberty State Park (NJ) early in the morning (as early as 5 am!).
Your third option to get a flexible Liberty ticket is to buy one discount card, such as New York City Explorer Pass.
The NYC Explorer Pass gets you free entry to the Statue of Liberty at the time of your choice.
Advantage: Flex tickets don’t have a time mentioned on them, so they offer a lot of flexibility to your day’s itinerary.
Disadvantage: Since the Statue of Liberty’s Flex Ticket is a first-come-first-serve ticket, the wait in the security screening line can exceed one hour during peak season.
Because of the pandemic, flex tickets aren’t being issued. All visitors must select a time before booking their Statue of Liberty tickets.
Statue of Liberty tickets
Statue of Liberty prices
The Statue of Liberty ticket costs $31 for all 13 to 61 years old visitors.
Kids aged between 4 to 12 years get an $13 discount on the adult ticket price and pay only $18.
Seniors 62 years and above qualify for a $7 reduction and pay only $24 for entry.
Kids below four years of age accompany for free.
Why buying online is better
Visitors can also purchase Statue of Liberty ferry tickets at the Statue Cruises ticket booths in Castle Clinton in Battery Park or at the ferry departure point in Liberty State Park in New Jersey.
But these tickets are in high demand, especially during the summer months, and there is no guarantee that you will get to buy same-day tickets.
Booking your tickets online (and in advance) ensures a guaranteed seat on the Statue of Liberty ferry on the day of your choice.
Besides, why wait in long ticket counter queues when you can avoid it?
What does the ticket include?
All Statue of Liberty tickets includes the following:
- A Ferry ride to Liberty Island, Ellis Island, and back to the Mainland
- Access to the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island
- Access to the Statue of Liberty Museum on Liberty Island
- Access to the National Museum of Immigration on Ellis Island
- Audio Guide*
*Visitors can pick up their audio guide tour at the Liberty and Ellis Islands booths.
All visitors must select a ‘starting time’ while booking their Liberty tickets.
The time on your ticket is to report for security screening and not to board a specific ferry.
After the purchase, when the Statue of Liberty ticket gets emailed to you, it will have this time.
‘Grounds Only’ Statue of Liberty ticket
These are the most popular and widely available tickets, also known as Reserve tickets.
Since these tickets can’t take you to the statue’s pedestal or the crown, you don’t go through many security checks.
However, it gets you a seat on the ferry, fascinating views of Lady Liberty, and entry into the immigration Museum on Ellis Island.
While booking this ticket, you must select where you will board the ferry from – Battery Park or Liberty State Park.
Adult ticket (13 to 61 years): $31
Seniors ticket (62+ years): $24
Child ticket (4 to 12 years): $18
Ticket with pre-ferry tour of Battery Park
This ticket gets you a 30-minute live guided tour of Battery Park and priority boarding.
Your local guide takes you around the Battery Cannon, Battery Oval, Coast Guard Memorial, Bosque Gardens, and the circular Bosque Fountain.
After the tour, the guide helps you with the various procedures to board the ferry for Liberty Island quickly.
Once on the ferry, you embark on a self-guided tour of Liberty Island and Ellis Island and return to base.
Adult ticket (12 to 64 years): $50
Seniors ticket (65+ years): $48
Child ticket (3 to 11 years): $46
Infant ticket (up to 2 years): $6
Guided tour of Statue of Liberty
An expert local guide meets you at Battery Park and helps you board the ferry via the Reserve Line, saving much of your time.
The guide stays with you throughout the trip to Liberty Island and Ellis Island and narrates the remarkable history of the Statue of Liberty and the Immigration Museum.
Statue of Liberty cruises
Some tourists prefer to avoid going through the five to six hours grueling Liberty visit and instead choose to cruise around the Statue of Liberty.
Many Statue of Liberty boat tours are available, offering different experiences.
These are also often referred to as Statue of Liberty Cruises.
These cruises are generally one hour long. Unless it is a Statue of Liberty dinner cruise, in which case, it can be three hours long.
Besides sailing within 100 feet of the Statue of Liberty, these cruises also take you to Ellis Island.
Day time Liberty cruise
There are many kinds of daytime Statue of Liberty cruises you can book.
The 60-minute daytime cruises start at 10.50 am, 12.20 pm, 2.20 pm, and 4.20 pm, and cost $36 per person.
The 90-minute Liberty Cruise, where you also see the grandeur of lower and midtown Manhattan, starts at 12.30 pm and 3 pm and costs $37 per person.
If you prefer luxury, check out this Statue and NYC Skyline Cruise aboard the Luxury Yacht Manhattan.
To cruise around the Statue of Liberty on this luxury 1920s-style yacht, you must shell out $64 per person.
Night time Liberty cruise
You can experience the Statue of Liberty in the dark in two ways.
The 60-minute Sunset Cruise starts at 4.30 pm and 6 pm and goes around the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the Brooklyn Bridge.
This cruise departs from Pier 36 right under the Brooklyn Bridge, costing $40 per person.
Or, if you prefer a more elaborate experience, you can opt for the luxury dinner cruise through New York Harbor, complete with live entertainment.
During both nighttime cruises, you see the stunning New York skyline.
How to reach the Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty is a massive monument on Liberty Island in New York Harbor in New York.
Initially, the island was called Bedloe Island, and in 1956 it was re-named Liberty Island.
Liberty Island is closer to New Jersey than New York.
Even though it resides in New Jersey’s waters, the Statue of Liberty has always been considered part of New York.
Only ferries organized by Statue City Cruises can take you to the Statue of Liberty.
Once you have seen the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Museum, you can return to Battery Park or Liberty State Park.
You don’t need to get back to the same place from where you started your tour.
Getting to Battery Park, New York
Most tourists board the ferry from Battery Park because it is easily accessible via public transportation, and they are already holidaying in New York.
Since parking lots are limited in Lower Manhattan, using public transport to reach Battery Park makes sense.
Many subway stations exist around Battery Park.
1 and R trains stop at South Ferry/Whitehall Street Station, a New York City Subway station complex in the Manhattan neighborhood.
4 and 5 trains stop at the Bowling Green Station
These subway stations are within five minutes of Castle Clinton, which houses the Statue City Cruises ticket office.
Get on to M5, M15, or M20 and get down at the South Ferry stop.
You can’t miss the sign for the Statue of Liberty ferries.
Getting to Liberty State Park, New Jersey
Because of the lack of good public transport options, fewer tourists board the Statue of Liberty ferry from Liberty State Park.
By Light Rail
This station is 1.6 km (1 mile) from the ferry location near CRRNJ Terminal, and since there is no public transport option, it is best to get an Uber.
You can take the Liberty Landing Ferry, a fast and efficient transport option across the Hudson.
You can get the Liberty Landing ferry from World Financial Terminal, New York, to Liberty Landing Marina within Liberty State Park, New Jersey.
Follow the link to learn about boarding the Statue of Liberty ferry from New Jersey.
Statue of Liberty hours
The Statue of Liberty opens at 9 am daily, but its closing time changes depending on the season.
Since the first ferry from Battery Park and Liberty State Park set sail at 8.30 am, taking 15 minutes to reach Liberty Island, you can be at the Statue of Liberty as early as 8.45 am.
As far as the closing times are concerned, there are two times to keep in mind –
1) Last entry into the monument, which affects only the Crown and Pedestal ticket holders
2) Closing of Statue of Liberty ground, which affects all visitors
|Days||Last Entry||Grounds Closure|
|1 Jan to 24 May||3.30 pm||4.20 pm|
|25 May to 2 Sep||5 pm||6.20 pm|
|3 Sep to 4 Oct||4 pm||5.20 pm|
|15 Oct to 27 Nov||3.30 pm||4.20 pm|
|29 Nov to 23 Dec||3.30 pm||4.20 pm|
|24 Dec||1.30 pm||2.20 pm|
|26 Dec to 31 Dec||3.30 pm||4.20 pm|
Statue of Liberty remains closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Recommended Reading: Statue of Liberty facts
Best time to visit Statue of Liberty
The best time to visit the Statue of Liberty is as soon as it opens at 9 am to 10.30 am because you get to avoid the crowd.
When you start early, you can explore the outdoors Liberty monument when the weather is pleasant and reach the Immigration Museum on Ellis Island as the temperatures go up.
Locals from the New York Metropolitan area visit on holidays and weekends, crowding the ferries.
Find out how long the Statue of Liberty takes.
Statue of Liberty Museum
Before May 2019, only holders of the Crown and Pedestal tickets could visit the Statue of Liberty Museum because it was inside the monument.
Ever since the new Liberty Museum has moved outside, even visitors with only Ground access tickets can get in and explore.
At the Statue of Liberty Museum, you get to understand how France and the USA worked together to make the Statue of Liberty what it is today – a symbol of freedom and liberty.
The museum’s centerpiece is the original torch Lady Liberty carried before it got replaced in the 1980s because of a leak.
The Museum also contains sculptor Bartholdi’s actual studio photos, with the statue’s colossal body parts scattered.
Yet another item not to be missed is a full-sized replica of Liberty’s foot, built in the 1980s.
Statue of Liberty audio tour
Audio tours of both Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island, Immigration Museum are included with every Statue of Liberty ticket sold.
The 45-minute self-guided audio tour helps visitors learn about the Statue while exploring the Liberty Island grounds.
The tour is suitable for both adults and kids.
The Ellis Island Museum’s audio tour is 45 to 60 minutes long and has been designed with both adults and kids in mind.
These audio guides are available in Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Russian, and Spanish.
Visiting at night
During peak summer, the last ferry to Liberty Island is at 5.30 pm; during non-peak months, it is as early as 4 pm.
After this, you can’t land on Liberty Island.
If you want to see the Statue of Liberty after dark, the only way is to book an evening cruise.
These cruises set sail from New York Harbor and help you see Lady Liberty up-close, personal, and well-lit. But they don’t land on Liberty Island.
Besides circling the Statue of Liberty at night, you can enjoy the well-lit New York skyline on such cruises.
We recommend the below given Night Cruises around the Statue of Liberty.
|Statue of Liberty Sunset Cruise||4.6/5||$25|
|Statue of Liberty Dinner Cruise||4.3/5||$205|
Security at Statue of Liberty
All visitors must subject themselves to the primary airport-type screening before boarding the Statue of Liberty ferries.
This screening happens at both the boarding points – Battery Park and Liberty State Park.
There are no locker storage areas at the screening facilities in both Battery Park or Liberty State Park.
Here are the items prohibited on the Statue of Liberty ferry –
- All weapons, including guns and knives
- Drones and similar remote-controlled vehicles
- Large suitcases, carry-on baggage, etc.
Visitors with Pedestal tickets or Crown must undergo one more screening before entering the Statue of Liberty Monument.
The screening process at the Monument is stricter, and visitors can’t take inside items such as food, drinks, backpacks, strollers, tripods, laptops, tablets, pocket knives, etc.
Locker facilities are available where you can keep these items just before entering the statue.
If climbing up to the Crown, you can only take four items: mobile, camera, water, and any medication you need.
Food at Statue of Liberty
Food and drink won’t be a problem during your Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island tour.
If you are hungry or thirsty on the ferry, look for concession stands that sell snacks and beverages (and merchandise!).
Get your food for a picnic
We recommend this because it will be healthier and cheaper.
Don’t pack a lot, and that too in large coolers because large packages don’t make it past the security.
Liberty Island and Ellis Island have many beautiful picnic spots to sit down and enjoy a meal with your family.
Keep the weather in mind when you plan the picnic.
Crown Cafe & Ellis Island Café
Liberty Island and Ellis Island have a Café serving healthy light snacks and full meals.
The prices are steep, but these restaurants are excellent alternatives if you haven’t packed anything.
Check out the menu here.
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