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Ellis Island Tours

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28 Reviews
New York City’s Ellis Island was America’s busiest immigrant inspection station for more than 60 years, from 1892 to 1954. As the gateway for over 12 million immigrants to the United States, it processed more than 50 percent of the nation’s current ancestors. Today the island’s restored main building houses the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, part of the adjacent Statue of Liberty National Monument. The museum honors the US’s immigrant heritage, chronicles the island’s role in immigration history, and gives voice to the immigrants themselves.

The Basics
The Ellis Island immigration station’s original wooden building burned in 1897. Following its restoration in the 1980s, the red-brick building was redone in the French Renaissance style and reopened as the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. A 45-minute self-guided audio tour leads visitors through exhibits including photos, films, archive material, and recordings. Additional audio tour options describe exhibits in more detail via in-depth interviews with historians, architects, and archaeologists. Visitors can book a private tour of Ellis Island to maximize their experience and understanding of the sight, or a combo tour of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • The 45-minute audio tour is available in nine languages and included in the cost of a ferry ticket. 
  • An audio tour for kids aged 6 to 10 is also available in five languages. 
  • Pro tip: Ellis Island can be seen up close, for free, from the deck of the Staten Island commuter ferry (though passengers can’t get off at Ellis Island).
  • Ellis Island and ferries to it are fully accessible.

How to Get There
Ellis Island lies off the southwest tip of Manhattan. To visit Ellis Island from New York City, catch a Statue Cruises ferry from Battery Park in Lower Manhattan. The first ferry stop is the Statue of Liberty, followed by Ellis Island. The closest subway stations to Battery Park are South Ferry (1 train), Whitehall Street (R train), or Bowling Green (4 or 5 train); the M5, M15, and M20 buses stop as South Ferry as well.

When to Get There
Weather permitting, Ellis Island is open every day of the year except December 25. Ferries run from 9:30am to 3:30pm, with later departures in the summer and around holidays. Once on the island, you can stay until the last ferry departs, which changes seasonally. 

Portraits at the Museum
Ellis Island hosts a number of temporary exhibits. Past highlights include New Americans: Photographs by Jill Enfield, featuring 30 wet collodion photographic prints of contemporary immigrant portraits. There is also a small glass house of immigrant portraits made from antique windows that Ellis Island visitors can enter.
Address: Ellis Island, 10004, USA
Hours: Open every day except Dec 25. Visiting hours are dependent on ferry schedules.
Admission: Entrance is free, although visitors must purchase ferry tickets.
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121 Tours and Activities to Experience Ellis Island

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NYC Statue of Liberty Tall Ship Sailing CruiseDay Cruises

NYC Statue of Liberty Tall Ship Sailing Cruise

star-4.5
Admire New York City's famous skyline from the water on this afternoon cruise. Choose from two departure times and set sail around New York Harbor on-board a historic sailboat. Enjoy incredible views of Manhattan and spot landmarks such as One World Trade Center, the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island. While on-board, help raise the sails or even take a turn navigating the ship.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$45.00 
From  
$45.00 
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
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  • Taking safety measures

Statue of Liberty Bateaux Lunch CruiseDay Cruises

Statue of Liberty Bateaux Lunch Cruise

star-4.5
Forget trying to snag a reservation at New York's hot restaurant du jour. Don't wait in line at a popular eatery, either. Instead, indulge in a delicious lunch during this 2-hour cruise on an all-glass boat around New York City that offers you an up-close look at the Statue of Liberty. As a live pianist plays relaxing music for you, take in the immense view of one of the world's great cities and enjoy a delicious pre-set lunch by the on-board executive chef.
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  • 2 hours
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  • Taking safety measures
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New York Helicopter Tour: Ultimate Manhattan SightseeingPrivate and Luxury

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New York Helicopter Tour: Ultimate Manhattan Sightseeing

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See New York City’s breathtaking skyline and the many iconic sights of the city on this helicopter flight. Soar over the Big Apple with an exclusive sightseeing tour of the Manhattan skyline and beyond, including the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, One World Trade Center and Central Park, to name just a few, plus Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty and much more. Then continue up the Hudson River to see even more of Manhattan. A variety of departure times are available throughout the day to fit into almost any schedule.
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  • 17 to 20 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
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$284.00
$39.76 savings
From  
$244.24 
$284.00
$39.76 savings
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  • 17 to 20 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Skip the Line Statue of Liberty Express Optional Pedestal TicketAttraction Tickets

Skip the Line Statue of Liberty Express Optional Pedestal Ticket

star-3.5
Save precious time by prepurchasing reserve-line tickets for the ferry to Liberty and Ellis islands. Get familiar with boarding procedures during a 30-minute orientation tour with a guide, then enjoy priority boarding, bypassing the oft-lengthy flex ticket general line. Explore the grounds of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Museum with the aid of an audio guide, and upgrade for access to Lady Liberty’s pedestal.
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  • 3 to 5 hours
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Statue of Liberty Pedestal ExpressCultural Tours

Statue of Liberty Pedestal Express

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Visit the iconic Statue of Liberty, and spend time on Ellis Island—a historic gateway for many immigrants arriving in America—on this seamless, half-day landmarks tour. Your ticket includes guaranteed entry to the Statue of Liberty's pedestal observation deck (which offers panoramic views of the New York skyline), an audio guide in nine languages, and round-trip ferry transit. You can even upgrade to explore Liberty Island or both destinations in the company of a guide.
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  • 3 to 6 hours
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From  
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  • 3 to 6 hours
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  • Taking safety measures

Spirit of New York City Buffet Lunch CruiseDay Cruises

Spirit of New York City Buffet Lunch Cruise

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Relax on a comfortable boat as it cruises around New York Harbor and Manhattan on this relaxing 2-hour afternoon cruise that includes an all-you-can-eat buffet and DJ'ed music. Get great views and a different perspective on the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, One World Trade Center and the Empire State Building. And indulge in the delicious buffet lunch wile doing it. Upgrade the afternoon to receive a welcome glass of champagne in a souvenir glass, a table for your party size, and access to a platinum open bar.
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  • 2 hours
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From  
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  • 2 hours
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NYC's Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building Tour From NJHelicopter Tours

NYC's Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building Tour From NJ

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See New York City from the sky during a scenic helicopter flight that lasts up to 15 minutes. Enjoy incredible photo ops of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Staten Island, and listen to live commentary from your pilot as you fly past landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty, One World Trade Center, and the Brooklyn Bridge. Select the optional upgrade to include transfers by private SUV from a central location in Midtown Manhattan.
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  • 15 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$169.00 
From  
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New York Sightseeing Day Pass: 100+ Attractions including One World ObservatorySightseeing Passes

New York Sightseeing Day Pass: 100+ Attractions including One World Observatory

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Visit more than 100 NYC attractions with the money-saving Sightseeing Pass, which allows you to customize your sightseeing itinerary. Choose from a 1-, 2-, 3-, 4-, 5-, 6-, 7-, or 10-day pass to suit your schedule. Enjoy free entry to One World Observatory, Top of the Rock, Statue of Liberty, plus many more, and enjoy unlimited access to CitySightseeing hop-on hop-off buses for the duration of your pass. 
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  • 1 to 10 days
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$139.00 
From  
$139.00 
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  • 1 to 10 days
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New York City Sunset SailDay Cruises

New York City Sunset Sail

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Enjoy a New York City evening on the water during this 2-hour twilight cruise. Take in views of the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan skyline while the sun sets, and order drinks from the on-board bar (own expense). This is a great way to start a night out in the Big Apple.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
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From  
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

NYC Statue of Liberty CruiseDay Cruises

NYC Statue of Liberty Cruise

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See New York City from the water with a sightseeing cruise from a bustling East River Pier. Navigate the New York Harbor for stunning views of the Statue of Liberty, watch for the iconic shape of the World Financial Center, and capture unforgettable images of the city skyline. See Ellis Island and the Brooklyn Bridge, then watch the Big Apple’s shoreline unfurl as you take it in from the deck of a comfortable sightseeing vessel.
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  • 1 hour 15 minutes
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From  
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  • 1 hour 15 minutes

New York City Sky Line and Statue of Liberty Sightseeing Cruise Pier 36Day Cruises

New York City Sky Line and Statue of Liberty Sightseeing Cruise Pier 36

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Cruise the New York Harbor in style—and enjoy a speedy and convenient way to see some of its highlights—on this seamless sightseeing cruise. Pick from multiple convenient departure times, make your own way to Pier 36, and hop aboard your vessel. Get comfortable indoors or on the outer decks, and keep your camera at the ready: you’ll glide past the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, Ellis Island, and more.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
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  • 1 hour
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Statue of Liberty and New York City Skyline Sightseeing CruiseDay Cruises

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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
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From  
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Cruise around Statue of Liberty & Manhattan Skyline Pier 36 Day Cruises

Cruise around Statue of Liberty & Manhattan Skyline Pier 36

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Statue of Liberty Pedestal and Ellis Island: Orientation & Skip-the-Line TicketsHalf-day Tours

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  • 3 hours
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Ellis Island, Statue of Liberty, and Battery Park with Ferry RideHalf-day Tours

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Private Downtown All Access One World Observatory 9/11 Memorial Statue of Liberty and Ellis IslandPrivate and Luxury

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  • 5 to 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
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From  
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  • Taking safety measures

Ellis Island and Statue of Liberty Tour with Skip-the-Line AccessHalf-day Tours

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Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty remain two of New York’s most significant landmarks—and on this seamless, half-day tour, you can visit both. Pre-booked ferry tickets and skip-the-line access grant you extra time to explore both sites, as well as the National Museum of Immigration. Plus, a guided tour enables history buffs to learn more about the important role these sites played in the nation’s history.
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From  
$85.32 
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  • 5 hours
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New York Helicopter Flight: Grand IslandAudio Guides

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  • 30 minutes
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  • Taking safety measures
From  
$363.00 
From  
$363.00 
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  • 30 minutes
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  • Taking safety measures

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From  
$56.52 
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation

New York City: Brooklyn Bridge & Waterfront Bike Tour (2 Hours)Mountain Bike Tours

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See New York City’s iconic attractions and diverse neighborhoods on a guided 2-wheeled tour. Cycle past skyscrapers and the Statue of Liberty on a tour of Battery Park and Wall Street, and enjoy the urban scenery along the Hudson River path. Bike across the Brooklyn Bridge for a quintessential Big Apple experience, and take in fantastic views of the Manhattan skyline.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$45.00 
From  
$45.00 
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

New York Helicopter Tour: Manhattan, Brooklyn and Staten IslandPrivate and Luxury

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New York Helicopter Tour: Manhattan, Brooklyn and Staten Island

star-5
See New York City’s breathtaking skyline and the many iconic sights of the city on this helicopter flight. Soar over the Big Apple with an exclusive sightseeing tour of the Manhattan skyline and beyond, including the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, One World Trade Center, and Central Park, to name just a few, plus Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty and much more. Then continue to see Brooklyn, Staten Island and more. A variety of departure times are available throughout the day to fit into almost any schedule.
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  • 25 to 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$336.60 
$374.00
$37.40 savings
From  
$336.60 
$374.00
$37.40 savings
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  • 25 to 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

New York Helicopter Tour: Manhattan HighlightsPrivate and Luxury

SPECIAL OFFER

New York Helicopter Tour: Manhattan Highlights

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See New York City’s breathtaking skyline and the many iconic sights of the city on this helicopter flight. Soar over the Big Apple with an exclusive sightseeing tour of the Manhattan skyline and beyond, including the Empire State Building and Central Park, plus the Statue of Liberty. A variety of departure times are available throughout the day to fit into almost any schedule.
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  • 12 to 15 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$194.22 
$234.00
$39.78 savings
From  
$194.22 
$234.00
$39.78 savings
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  • 12 to 15 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

New York City Tour with Driver-Guide and Separate Guide OptionDay Trips

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  • 6 hours
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  • Taking safety measures
From  
$849.00 
per group
From  
$849.00 
per group
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Craft Beer Sailing Cruise in New York CitySailing

Craft Beer Sailing Cruise in New York City

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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$89.52 
From  
$89.52 
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures