What is the best time to visit the islands?
The best time is in the morning. The Statue of Liberty is one of NYC’s most popular attractions (if not the most popular) and a very large number of visitors visit both islands every day. The earlier you get there, the less likely it will be you will have to stand in line for too long at the security checkpoint but also at the different ferry departure points. Please note that, in the winter, the ferry schedule is limited in the afternoon.
Do standard tickets give me access to the Crown of the Statue of Liberty?
No, you need a specific ticket to access the Crown.
There are four types of tickets available for purchase: Reserve, Pedestal, Crown & Hard Hat.
a) With a Reserve ticket, you will have access to the grounds of Liberty Island and Ellis Island but you will not be able to go inside the statue.
b) With a Pedestal ticket, you will have access to the Ford Wood section of the Pedestal of the Statue of Liberty (from the ground to the Lady Liberty’s feet) and Ellis Island. Although not as hard to get as Crown tickets, Pedestal tickets are sold in limited quantity and during busy seasons, tickets can sell out weeks in advance.
c) With a Crown ticket, you will have access to the Crown of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Same day crown tickets are not available and there is no waitlist available. You can reserve a maximum of four tickets per transaction and the credit card holder must be present to pick up the tickets. Tickets are to be picked up the day of your visit at Castle Clinton (Battery Park).
Please note that crown tickets are sold in very limited quantity for each day and are usually sold out months in advance.
If, upon reserving your trip, crown tickets are available and you are interested in purchasing them, please keep in mind that the climb to the crown is a strenuous journey with 393 steps (the height of a 27-story building). There is no elevator from the top of the pedestal to the crown. Children have to be at least 4-feet tall to climb the crown on their own.
d) With an Ellis Island Hard Hat Tour ticket comes a 90-minute guided public tour of the unrestored Ellis Island Immigration Hospital Complex. It will also give you limited access to the Ellis Island Immigration Museum and the grounds of Liberty Island. This ticket allows you priority entry to the Boarding Queue which saves you time at the departure point.
Please note that guests must be 13 years of age or older to participate in the Ellis Island Hard Hat tour and that it is not wheelchair-accessible.
Is the time on my ticket the ferry’s departure time?
No, the time on your ticket is the time you are scheduled to go through security before accessing the ferry pier.
Where does the ferry stop first?
If you are departing from Battery Park in New York City, the ferry will first stop at Liberty Island, then Ellis Island and will then return to Battery Park.
If you are departing from Liberty State Park in New Jersey, the ferry will first stop at Ellis Island, then Liberty Island and will then return to Liberty State Park.
What if I’m not interested in stopping on both islands?
If you are not interested in visiting one of the islands, you can stay on the ferry while the other visitors disembark at that stop. Once the other visitors disembark, the ferry will take you to the next stop. It is important to note that your ticket is only valid for one round trip so if you decide to stay on the ferry and skip one of the islands, you will have to disembark upon your return to Battery Park (or Liberty State Park). You will not be able to go back to either of the islands at a later time.
Is the entrance to the Ellis Island Immigration Museum included in the cost of my ferry ticket?
Yes, Reserve, Pedestal, Crown and Hard Hat tickets all include access to the Ellis Island Immigration Museum.
Does my ticket give me access to the Hard Hat Tour?
The Ellis Island Hard Hat Tour is a 90-minute guided public tour that takes visitors to select areas of the 750-bed Ellis Island Hospital Complex. Reserve, Pedestal & Crown tickets DO NOT include the Ellis Island Hard Hat Tour. You will need a specific ticket for this tour (please see above details of the Hard Hat ticket).
Are the islands wheelchair accessible?
The information center, gift pavilion, bookstore, dining facilities and exterior grounds are wheelchair accessible. For those with pedestal tickets, wheelchair access is provided with several elevators to the museum, the exterior of Fort Wood, and to the top of the pedestal. The outdoor observation deck balcony is not wheelchair accessible, but visitors still have access to the New York City skyline view.
Are there restaurants on the islands?
There is a cafe on each island.