Should I Get on Island for the Full Experience on a Liberty Cruise?

When planning a first-time trip to New York City, it is a given that you will also want to visit Lady Liberty, the Statue of Liberty. This iconic statue has been greeting millions of visitors since she came to our shores in 1885. Just viewing her from a distant shore is interesting but certainly won’t give you the full experience and the thrill of meeting her up close and personal.

Get Your Tickets Early

There are many things you can do in New York City on the spur of the moment. Getting tickets to take the full tour of the Statue of Liberty is not one of them. The best tickets—the ones that allow you to go all the way to the crown—are often sold out six months in advance. So, if you even think you are going to NYC several months from now, get your tickets! It’s better to lose a few dollars if your plans are upset than to miss out on the thrill of a lifetime of actually seeing Lady Liberty from the inside out.

See More with Fewer Tickets

There are several levels of tickets that you can get for a combined trip to Ellis Island, Liberty Island, and the statue. The basic one will take you on the ferry to the island where you can walk all around and view the Statue from the ground. If you haven’t gotten tickets in advance, this is likely all you will end up with. However, you will be able to visit Ellis Island with the grounds-only ticket. You will also enjoy national park ranger-led tours of the island. Don’t miss the well-stocked gift shop for souvenirs of your trip.

Get the Best Tickets

The next level of ticket will take you up into the pedestal, which is approximately half as high as the statue itself. You may use the elevator for most of the distance up in the pedestal. The top-level ticket takes you up through the inside of the statue clear into her head and crown. This last leg is not for the faint of heart, as it involves climbing 162 steps that can be narrow and cramped. The good news is that limited numbers of people go at a time, and there is adequate opportunity for all the photos you can take. And the view from the top is simply spectacular and well worth the effort, so if at all possible, go for it!