The New York Water Taxi may just be our new favorite thing to do in New York City. Let me start by saying it is such a fabulous way to see the Big Apple, and loads of fun! I ran into a friend recently who told me she had just taken the tour with her family and visitors from out of town, and highly recommended it.
I went onto their website to read more about it, and all I could think of was – how have we not done this before? With 6 different “hop on/hop off” stops throughout the city, and a tour through New York Harbor, it is a sure-fire way to see as much of New York as you can in one day, with spectacular skyline views along the way.
How the New York Water Taxi Works
This is how it works: the water taxi has 6 main ferry pier stops, where you can hop on or hop off. They are: Pier 79 at West 39th Street, Pier 45 at Christopher Street in the West Village, Slip 6 in Battery Park, Pier 11 at Wall Street, Pier 1 at Brooklyn Bridge Park in Dumbo, and Fairway Dock in Red Hook, Brooklyn. After Red Hook, the taxi takes you right in front of the Statue of Liberty, where you can gaze at Lady Liberty from a stand still and take those must-have pics. From there, the taxi continues back to the start at Pier 79. (Note, some taxis make two additional stops at South Street Seaport and Ikea in Red Hook – see the website to learn more).
Taxis depart approximately every 20 minutes from each stop, allowing you to get off and explore around the city at the stops you’d like, and get back on to continue the route. Along the way, cruising through the New York Harbor, you get all the iconic views, including the Empire State Building, One World Trade, and the Brooklyn Bridge. You can create your own itinerary and get off at as many or as few stops as you’d like, or simply take the boat ride around the harbor, which is a 90-minute ride.
What We did and Saw on the New York Water Taxi
This is what we did: we bought an All-Day Access Pass, which at $31 for adults and $19 for Children, is a good deal, considering all that you can see and have access to. We purchased them ahead online and were able to board each taxi by simply showing our tickets on our phone. I highly recommend purchasing ahead to avoid any confusion and unwanted lines.
We boarded the first taxi at Pier 79 at West 39th Street (in a very unassuming spot with not much signage, which we liked…it’s a bit under the radar) and took it to Christopher Street, but did not get off (though had we, we could have seen the Highline, Whitney Museum, Greenwich Village and more), and instead de-boarded at Battery Park. The kids really wanted to go to the SeaGlass Carousel , and from there we headed to the 9/11 Memorial. We ventured back and caught the taxi again and passed through Wall Street so that we could get off in Dumbo and explore around for a while.
We used to live in Brooklyn, so Brooklyn Bridge Park (where the pier is) is our old stomping ground. We went for a ride on the famous Jane’s Carousel, explored the park, ate ice cream at the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, caught incredible views of both the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges, and made our way through Dumbo to one of our favorite hole in the wall Mexican restaurants called Pedros. We eventually got back on the taxi again and did not get off at Red Hook (where next time we said we’d have to go to famed Brooklyn Crab), and then continued into the harbor in front of the Statue of Liberty.
One thing I have to mention is that the staff on the water taxi are truly great – very informative, fun and funny, with many anecdotal stories to go along with their guided tour. When we pulled up in front of the Statue, Neil Diamond’s “Coming to America” started blasting and it was just really hilarious and made everyone laugh. The water taxi itself has two floors, an upper deck outside from which to see all the phenomenal views, and an indoor downstairs with air conditioning, which turned out to be quite helpful as it was a scorcher the day we did it. All in all, it was a super adventurous way to see the city, great fun for the kids cruising around the harbor, and a totally unique way to see so many of New York’s sites and neighborhoods, both from the boat, and off.
New York Water Taxi. 212.742.1969. For more information, such as current schedule, tickets, etc. see New York Water Taxi’s website here.
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