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Blog · New York · Statue of Liberty Ticket Options
August 19, 2018

Statue of Liberty Ticket Options

By Gabby Hammond
takespace

Visiting the Statue of Liberty is a must when you visit New York. No other monument encapsulates the city so well. For over 130 years she has stood, gazing over the harbor, as an official welcome to all that visit. There are a variety of ways to go about visiting the Statue of Liberty in person. Sure, you can choose to just skip the island and pass by on a boat. But there is really no experience that compares to seeing her up close, standing below and admiring her height and grandeur. For that reason, we here at New York Tour1 are determined to help you find the best possible way to see the Statue of Liberty up close!

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While there are multiple ways to view the Statue, the only way to get to the island is via Statue Cruises.  You must have a Statue Cruises ticket and take a Statue Cruises ferry in order to reach Liberty Island. You should be wary of street vendors, as they are not selling genuine tickets.

That being said, Statue Cruises offers a variety of purchase options. So much so that it can seem overwhelming or difficult to choose. This breakdown is meant to help find the best option for you!

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Guided Tour

Generally, the most worthwhile experience at the Statue of Liberty is with a professional tour guide. We here at New York Tour 1 offer a 4 hour guided tour of both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The tour includes Pedestal Reserve ferry tickets, an expert English-speaking guide, and access to the Statue grounds, the Pedestal Museum and the National Museum of Immigration. The tour is offered 3 separate times throughout the day: 8:30, 9:30 & 12:30. The earlier you go the better chance you have of avoiding the crowds.

Pros:

  • The opportunity to experience the Statue of Liberty more in-depth, learn to appreciate her history and significance.
  • With the ability to purchase online up to 24 hours in advance, joining a tour is a great option for those who wish to visit the pedestal but missed the opportunity to purchase pedestal tickets on the date they desire.
  • Insider tips from an expert. Find out where to get the best pictures, when to board the ferry- information that will be crucial to your visit and any other info that could pertain to anything NYC.
  • Priority entry into the security screening facility, which lessens the waiting time at the departure point.
  • Access to the Pedestal and the Statue of Liberty Museum.
  • Wonderful views of the city and the harbor from the top of the pedestal.

Cons:

  • The cost of the tour also includes the cost of the guide, which means it is pricier than some of the standard options.
  • Joining a tour means following very specific timing. If you’re on a tight schedule, perhaps it’s better to do things at your own pace.
  • No crown access.
  • You will have to go through a second security screening in order to be given access to the inside of the pedestal.
  • No backpacks are allowed inside the pedestal. No food or drink as well, other than water in a plastic container. Guests with any of those items will be required to store them in a locker.

FLEX Ticket

FLEX Tickets can be bought the day of your trip, as soon as you arrive to board the boat. They allow you to enter the security screening at any time and give you access to the grounds at Liberty Island, as well the grounds and museum at Ellis Island. Unlike the other options, this is the only ticket that is not available to be purchased online.

Pros:

  • Flexibility. You can choose when you wish to leave without needing to decide ahead of time.
  • Will always be available same day. Never sold out.
  • Audio tour included.

Cons:

  • Unless you arrive first thing in the morning, chances are you will need to wait in the security line longer.
  • No pedestal/crown access.

Grounds Only/Reserve Ticket

Reserve Tickets, otherwise known as Grounds Only, can be purchased online and, occasionally, on the day of. Reserve Tickets are almost exactly like FLEX Tickets. Both give you access to the grounds at Liberty & Ellis Island. The difference is, FLEX Tickets allow you to enter the security screening whenever, Reserve Tickets have a timed entry. Timed entry means less of a wait. There are a limited number of reserve tickets sold each day, so if you prefer to avoid FLEX, be sure to arrive as early as you can or purchase ahead of time online. Pre-purchased tickets can be sent as an email or picked up at will call.

Pros:

  • Priority entry into the security screening facility, which lessens the waiting time at the departure point.
  • Less planning involved than a pedestal or crown ticket.
  • Audio tour included.

Cons:

  • Could potentially sell out ahead of time.
  • No pedestal/crown access.
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Pedestal Reserve Ticket

A Pedestal Reserve Ticket is a standard reserve ticket with access to the pedestal of the statue. Like Reserve Tickets, there is a timed entry. The pedestal of the statue features a 360º outdoor balcony just below the feet of the Statue of Liberty, with views of Manhattan, Brooklyn, New Jersey and New York Harbor. Access to the pedestal also includes access to the Statue of Liberty Museum, which tells the narrative of the Liberty’s creation and the people who brought her to life. Pedestal tickets are even more limited than general Reserve Tickets, so be sure to book online a couple days or weeks in advance if you want to ensure access. More often than not, pedestal tickets will be sold out the day of. Pedestal and General Reserve cost the same at $18.50.

Pros:

  • Priority entry into the security screening facility, which lessens the waiting time at the departure point.
  • Access to the Pedestal and the Statue of Liberty Museum.
  • Wonderful views of the city and the harbor from the top of the pedestal.
  • Audio tour included.

Cons:

  • Must purchase days/week ahead of time to ensure availability.
  • No crown access.
  • You will have to go through a second security screening in order to be given access to the inside of the pedestal.
  • No backpacks are allowed inside the pedestal. No food or drink as well, other than water in a plastic container. Guests with any of those items will be required to store them in a locker.

Crown Reserve Ticket

The Crown Reserve Tickets are very rare and difficult to book. There will definitely be no Crown Tickets available same day, as only a few hundred people per day are given access. So it is imperative to plan ahead. Often times the Crown Tickets are sold out months in advance, so if you are absolutely set on visiting, definitely be sure to try and book at least 6 months ahead of time. Included in the ticket is access to the Crown of the Statue of Liberty, the Pedestal, the Museum and the grounds of both islands. To visit the crown only costs an additional $3.00.

Pros:

  • Priority entry into the security screening facility, which lessens the waiting time at the departure point.
  • Access to the Crown, the Pedestal and the Statue of Liberty Museum.
  • Wonderful views of the city and the harbor from the top of the pedestal and within the crown.
  • Unique views of the inner structure and body of the Statue of Liberty as you climb to the top of her head.
  • Audio tour included.

Cons:

  • Must be purchased months in advance.
  • Always sold out on the day of.
  • Can not be purchased if you have a group bigger than 10 people.
  • You will have to go through a second security screening in order to be given access to the inside of the pedestal/crown.
  • No bags of any kind are allowed inside the crown. No food or drink as well, other than water in a plastic container. Guests with any of those items will be required to store them in a locker.

Hard Hat Reserve Ticket

Hard Hat Reserve Tickets are just like general Reserve Tickets, but with the inclusion of a 90 minute tour at the abandoned Hospital Complex on Ellis Island. Closed in 1954 with the remainder of the island, the hospital and it’s adjoining buildings remain frozen in time, giving a unique perspective of the history and the day-to-day proceedings at Ellis. Please note, you can choose to purchase any of the above options and purchase the Hard Hat tour separately, in person at Ellis Island.

Pros:

  • Priority entry into the security screening facility, which lessens the waiting time at the departure point.
  • Access to the abandoned hospital complex at Ellis Island.
  • Audio tour included.

Cons:

  • Must be bought ahead of time.
  • No pedestal access.
  • Sandals and open toe shoes are not permitted on the Hard Hat tour.
Statue Cruises Ferry Boat in New York Harbor in front of the Statue of Liberty
Photo Courtesy of Noconatom

Know Before You Go

Visiting both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island is an incredible experience. But in order to make the trip less stressful and more enjoyable there are a few tips you should know beforehand.

  • Departure points are located both in New York and New Jersey. If in New York, you will depart from Battery Park. Those in New Jersey will depart from Liberty State Park.
  • If you have opted to buy a reserve ticket, it is recommended to arrive about 30 minutes before your scheduled time.
  • The time on your ticket is not the departure time of your boat, but rather the time in which you can enter the security tent.
  • Before you board the boat, it is mandatory to go through an airport style security screening. Weapons will be confiscated. If you are unsure of an item, be sure to check the Statue Cruises website for limitations.
  • There is concessions and bathrooms aboard every single ferry boat.
  • The lockers at Liberty Island are cash only. Be sure to bring cash if you’d like to avoid ATM fees.
  • All the boats are wheelchair accessible. The pedestal of the statue is also wheelchair accessible, however once you reach the top, it is impossible to exit onto the actual balcony, unless you have the ability to transfer.
  • Authorized guide and service animals are welcome, but all other pets are forbidden aboard the ferry or within the park.
  • Be sure to dress accordingly. Check the weather in order to ensure a comfortable trip. You will be both inside and outside, so be prepared for both.