|One of the newer ferries|
We got to the terminal just as a ferry began to load, so we joined the queue. Actually there wasn't really a queue, just a mass of humanity funnelling itself into a couple of select openings to make their way onto the boat. Fortunately each ferry holds about 4,000 people, so we had no problem getting on the boat. On the other hand, there only seems to be seats for about 1/2 of those 4,000 people, so on our way out we weren't able to get seats. That's OK, since the real fun of the ferry is to be outside where you can see everything, but here's where we learned something we didn't know about the Staten Island Ferries.
There are two different kinds of Staten Island Ferries, and if your goal is to have a good view of the Statue of Liberty, you only want to be on one of them. The older two ferries, built in 1981, don't have outside areas on the side of the boat. This means that the outside areas on the ends of the boat can get quite crowded. In fact we couldn't even get outside on our trip out, and our kids first views of the Statue of Liberty were through a window that looked like the FBI had been using it to record fingerprints. Not quite the experience I hoped for, but I had a plan.
|Old Ferry - No outside seating|
The ride back was exactly what we had hoped for. The kids got a chance to get a good look at the Statue of Liberty, and as an added bonus the views of Manhattan as you pull back into the city are amazing. Of course the best part (free) was the time that we got to spend together as a family (free) experiencing one of New York's most famous (free) attractions. At least that was my favorite part. My kids were probably far more concerned with how much it cost.
|Skyline from Ferry|