Statue of Liberty: Or Not?

Old Jan 25th, 2007, 08:33 AM
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Statue of Liberty: Or Not?

My boyfriend and I are going to NYC next weekend. We are taking advantage of some awesome new fares from JetBlue from Columbus(who knew you could get to NYC for under $100 roundtrip)? Anyway, we are staying downtown at the Exchange Hotel, which we got off Priceline for $81 (I know not ideal for tourists, but the place looks great)....

Anyway, to the question. This is my boyfriend's first trip to NYC (I have been about five times), and he expressed interest in going to the Statue of Liberty. We will be in NYC for the full days of Saturday February 3 and Sunday February 4. I know the weekend would be the worst time to go, but my question is: how long do you think the waits will be? I managed to get enough tips to wait 0 minutes at the Coliseum in Rome last June, 15 minutes at the Vatican, and 15 minutes at the Louvre last May, but I don't seem to know how to ease the process in my own country!!! Any advice on best times to go? I thought maybe try to get on the last few feries? We don't intend on it being our only focus of the day.

Another idea... can anyone recommend a boat tour where we could just see the Statue and some other sites? I am not sure how important to him that we actually set foot on the island. We are budget travellers...

Thanks for any help!
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Old Jan 25th, 2007, 08:38 AM
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Ride the Staten Island Ferry for awsome views of the Statue of Liberty and that way it will not eat up your whole day.

Personally I think downtown IS the best place to stay because the best place to stay because there is so much downtown.

www.DowntownNY.com

I stayed at The Exchange Hotel for the 2005 NYC Marathon and loved it. You'll really like this hotel. Fabulous.
 
Old Jan 25th, 2007, 08:38 AM
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No tips on how to speed up the process since we took a boat from New Jersey when we went, but I did want to comment on the visit itself. We did a combination Ellis Island and Statue of Liberty and although the Statue of Liberty was neat, since we didn't go inside, I thought that it would have been just as cool to ride by on a boat as it was to go onto the island. I have heard that you can do this on the Statan Island ferry. Ellis Island was really good though and I am very glad that we took the time to go.
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Old Jan 25th, 2007, 09:32 AM
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Agree with advice above. SI ferry for free roundtrip ride is best option for a view of both SOL and Ellis Island. IF you're going to invest the time in actually going TO the Statue, it's most worthwhile if you can get an advance booking for one of the tours that will get you inside the statue (altho you can't go up very hi) and/or add the visit Ellis Island which is on the same ferry and included in the price. General consensus is a visit to both is 4-6 hrs.

The first ferry of the morning is supposedly the fastest.

What's NOT worth the time and trouble is waiting in line etc. just to visit the outside of the statue on Liberty Island.

http://www.nycvisit.com/content/index.cfm?pagePkey=1155

At this time of year, I'm not sure how pleasant (or frequent) some of the other boat tours would be. NY waterway does a tour and there are discounts to be had with the promotion
http://www.nycvisit.com/PaintTownSea...?pagePkey=1626

seasonofsavings.com is another promotion going on right now.

You might be able to use the free bus shuttle downtown
http://www.downtownny.com/gettingaround/?sid=19

Have fun!
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Old Jan 25th, 2007, 09:48 AM
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Most of the Statue is closed for safety (not security but structural safety) reasons - so IMHO it's not really worth it to wait a long time (and it will be unless the weather is really bad) just to see the base.

Agree to either take the free Staten Island ferry for a fairly close view. (Ferry takes about 25 minutes each way.) Or - if you're going to the Ellis Island Immigration Museum the same ferry stops at Liberty Island (don;t get off - just take pix) since Ellis Island has tons more to see and do.
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Old Jan 25th, 2007, 10:34 AM
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I would like to take the family to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island on our visit in April. Is it best to order tickets online, and does that save a lot of time once you arrive at the port to get on the boat? If they say to arrive two hours ahead, how long does it take to get from Midtown to the departure point? Subway over taxi? I'm thinking there may still be rush hour traffic 2 hours ahead (8'ish).
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Old Jan 25th, 2007, 10:44 AM
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Yeah, I don't think we will be up for a 4-6 hour commitment.

GoTravel -- thanks for the website!!! I haved stayed downtown before (again, off Priceline -- Club Quarters) and have been looking for some good restaurants in the area open weekends, so that is a big help! We are especially interested in Indian food and Lebanese... if you have any ideas!

If you stay on the same Staten Island Ferry, will it just turn around and go back, or do you need to get off and onto another boat? What I mean is could we just stay on the boat and make it an hour long round trip? Or is there anything we really should "see" in Staten Island at the expense of the b/f's first Manhattan adventure? It seems like a place better for having a car...
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Old Jan 25th, 2007, 11:03 AM
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Yes, the boat docks in Staten Island and reverses back to Manhattan. You don't get off the boat and it is very easy.

I liked the location of the Club Quarters a little better than the Exchange Hotel but both are good.

It is scary how many hotels I've stayed in in NYC.
 
Old Jan 25th, 2007, 11:09 AM
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Unless things have changed recently, you have to get off the ferry between trips. It's still very easy, but just be aware that you can't just stay on for the return trip.
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Old Jan 25th, 2007, 11:22 AM
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Howard, I've never gotten off the ferry.
 
Old Jan 25th, 2007, 11:49 AM
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We went on the SI ferry in October and everyone definitely DID have to get off and get on another one. Additionally, I was disappointed that we didn't get nearer the SoL. I was anticipating that the ferry sailed really close by but this is not the case. I am useless at estimating distances but the statue still looked very small!
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Old Jan 25th, 2007, 12:00 PM
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We've always had to get off the SI ferry and reboard. We even thought about hanging out in the bathroom, but saw an employee go into one when the boat docked(although he may have been just washing his hands!).

Its the same exact boat, you just get off, go around to the line and get on again. I guess they think that if crowds are really big the waiting people get the best spots??
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Old Jan 25th, 2007, 12:34 PM
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Many years ago you could just stay on the SI ferry, but in recent years ALL must exit and literally walk a loop in the terminal and get back on the same boat.

As others have said, there's no way to really "jump the line" for the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island since boat is involved. You can purchase your tickets online and avoid the ticket-buyers line. Some have said that the line to pick up online tickets was longer than the regular line recently.

The real delay is the actual line for the boat, which includes a security check. If you don't plan to stop at Ellis Island, a late-day ferry might be a good option.
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Old Jan 26th, 2007, 06:48 AM
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GoTravel, are you sure you weren't hiding somewhere on the ferry? When was the last time you experience the trip?
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Old Jan 26th, 2007, 06:52 AM
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LOL maybe!

Actually the last time I rode the Ferry was the summer of 2003. I used to ride it quite frequently.
 
Old Jan 26th, 2007, 08:11 AM
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That explains it, GoTravel. You just haven't ridden the ferry since passengers have been required to get off between trips!
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Old Jan 26th, 2007, 08:53 AM
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I love the Circle Line Ferry. They offer 2 and 3 hour tours of the island, and you go slowly right past Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. We got some fantastic photos. If you go towards the end of the day, around 4, you'll get to see the skyline and Statue in the daylight and then when it gets dark and everything is lit up.
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Old Jan 26th, 2007, 09:47 AM
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Sandiemac -

The Staten Island ferry is strictly for the tens of thousands of commuters who take it to and fro work in Manhattan - it has nothing to do with the Statue of Liberty. You get a view of it just becasue it happens to be there in the nmiddle of the harbor.

Anyone who wants a close up view of the Statue has to take the Ferry to Liberty Island (long lines and security) or one of the Circle Line boat tours - which s a committment of at least 2 or 3 hours.
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Old Jan 26th, 2007, 11:45 AM
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I'll have to disagree with nytraveler. Sure, the overwhelming majoring of riders on the Staten Island Ferry are commuters...but I would not use the term "strictly for the tens of thousands of commuters." It's also for the tens of thousands of visitors to New York City who are afforded a magnificent view of the Statue of Liberty and the lower Manhattan skyline....and it's free!
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Old Jan 26th, 2007, 04:32 PM
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Howard -

The poster was complaining that the Staten Island ferry didn;t go close enough to the Statue of Liberty for a good view.

I was just pointing out that it doesn;t - delibratly - since the purpose of the ferry is not sightseeing. It can certainly be used for that. But it's real objetive is to transport commuters - and so it WON'T go right up to the Statue - since that would slow down the movement of commuters.
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