If you’re planning a trip to New York, the Statue of Liberty is probably on your bucket list. Unfortunately, if you’re hoping to get tickets to the Crown, I am here to tell you that you must plan, as tickets typically sell out up to 2 months in advance.
Statue Cruises is the ONLY tour that can take you to the Statue of Liberty. Many companies offer tours that drive by, or up to, but ONLY Statue Cruises is allowed to dock on Liberty, so if you want a chance to see Lady L up close, you will have to book with them. You can check out their website at statuecruises.com.
If you buy a New York-style pass (either an NYC Pass or a C3, C6, etc), your pass includes access to the grounds (aka Liberty Island) but does not include access to the Monument (the museum inside) or the Crown.
I would recommend that you purchase your tickets directly from Statue Cruises as the price is right ($21.50 US Dollars for Crown tickets for a thorough 4-hour activity) and “save” one of your attractions on your pass for something pricier.
You will have to select your departure location ahead of time, either Manhattan or New Jersey.
As with most New York City attractions, there is airport-style security screening. I ordered our tickets online 4 months in advance to get tickets to the crown. They only allow a certain number of people through in a day, so be sure to order ahead of time to get the tickets you want. Tickets can be picked up at the will-call window inside Castle Clinton in Battery Park. These tickets will also allow you to skip the long security line and hop right into the blue RESERVED security line.
This tour will probably take 4 hours if you choose to visit the Ellis Island Museum (which is included in the price and which I would highly recommend), so I would bring snacks.
I brought a water bottle and our favorite KIND bars, which held us over until we could get back for lunch. There is a small concession stand on the ferry, but it sells only basics like pop or pretzels.
KEEP IN MIND: while you are allowed to have these things on the ferry, they are not allowed in the statute. Bring two dollar bills (not coins!) as you will need to rent a locker inside the crown. They are very strict about this, so don’t forget! Also, note that the locker is a quarter of the size of a regular locker, so a full backpack may not fit inside.
After making my way up the steps to the top, I could see why you were not allowed much more than your camera. There is barely enough room at the top for us tall people to stand up, and the stairs are STEEP. I could not even carry my jacket as I needed both hands to ensure that I didn’t fall on the way down. I would say that Crown Tickets are not for everyone. It is 352 steps to the top, and the stairs are very narrow.
WHAT SURPRISED ME
Ellis Island Immigration Museum was EXCELLENT. You do not have to get off here, but I would make the most of your $17.50 US dollars (or $21.50 US Dollar crown tickets) and stop off to have a look.
Originally considered to be the gateway to America, over 12 million immigrants were processed through Ellis Island in its 60 years of operation. It has since undergone a 160 million-dollar restoration after it declared a National Park in 1965. There are multiple sections in the museum that each focus on immigration during a particular period.
Although I originally considered it a “side” activity to the bucket list Statue of Liberty climbs, it was one of the best museums that I saw all week.
- Ensure that you are buying a ticket from Statue Cruises. They are the only tour that is allowed to take you there.
- Verify that your ticket is for the appropriate tour (grounds, monument or crown).
- Double-check your departure location and don’t miss the boat!
- Come prepared for a solid 4-hour tour. Wear appropriate clothing and bring water and snacks if you (or your travel-mates) tend to get hangry.
- Don’t forget the two dollar bills for the locker if you plan to go up to the Crown!
I traveled here in 2018. As always, stay safe by checking out your country’s travel advisories before booking any trips or excursions. You can check out the Canadian opinion here.