We chose the only snowy day in a long time to visit Liberty island, but in a way this was a good thing as it wasn’t particularly busy. We picked up our tickets and headed straight for the boat.
We were guests of Statue Cruises for this adventure. All opinions are definitely our own.
First we had to go through security. This was a bit like at the airport and we had to put all our bags and coats through an x-ray machine and walk through metal detectors. We had just missed a boat so didn’t need to queue for this although I noticed that towards the time the next boat was leaving it got busier.
We went through the doors into the waiting area. This was open to outside so a little cold. We were allowed to wait inside but phones weren’t allowed near the security check so in order to use phones whilst waiting you had to wait outside. There weren’t seats but we sat on some concrete blocks to wait.
When our boat arrived, we headed towards the door and boarded. The boat was surprisingly big. We entered through the downstairs room with benches around the edge and a kiosk in the middle selling drinks, snacks and small souvenirs. Upstairs we found more seating and another kiosk. We could of carried on up another level onto the roof for better views but as it was blizzard like conditions we opted for sitting on this middle level and popping in and out of the door to the front of the boat to take pictures as we approached Liberty Island. We couldn’t see the Manhattan skyline well due to the weather.
When we arrived at the island, we disembarked and made our way towards the Statue of Liberty. We had Pedestal access tickets. They were closing up early for the day due to inclement weather so we were the last people allowed in. To access the pedestal we had to leave our back pack in a locker. A lovely security lady lent me a quarter dollar for the locker and then rushed us through security, locking the doors behind us. This also meant we were the only members of the public inside.
We were taken up a lift into the base of the statue. We came out in a small room, where we could look up into the statue. Inside it resembled very much the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The reasoning for this was explained to me, it was designed by the same person!
There were doors from this room onto the pedestal around the base of the statue. It was like stepping into a blizzard out there as it was so exposed but an amazing experience. We walked right the way round the statue, looking at the views and also upwards at the statue. Then we headed back inside and down the lift before being directed outside to the front of the statue so we could take photos.
We made our way back to the boat and didn’t have to wait long before we boarded and travelled back to Manhattan. We could have stayed longer on the island if we wanted and visited the cafe but we chose not to. On the way back to Manhattan the boat also stopped at Ellis Island to pick up more passengers. We were too late to get off here but if we had been on an earlier trip, we could have disembarked to visit the museum of immigration.
We really enjoyed our trip with Statue Cruises and it was amazing to see the Statue of Liberty close up. You can watch our adventure over on the vlog!
Visiting Liberty Island on Statue Cruises with an autistic child?
My son really enjoyed this trip, as do a lot of autistic children. Statue Cruises have recognised this and reach out to schools for autistic children to offer them trips.
The waiting area for the boat wasn’t too crowded, it was easy to move to the side or back of the room.
I would suggest getting on the boat first or last to avoid embarking with a lot of people. There are many areas on the boat to sit and it didn’t feel crowded on board.
There are restrooms, food and drink available.
The doors to outside on the boat were very heavy so couldn’t be opened easily.
Inside the boat it is enclosed.
When weather is bad it is quieter.
There are facilities available on the island.
On the pedestal, the walls round the edge are sufficiently high.
It is necessary to go through security on the way to the boat and again on the way into the statue. You can’t take backpacks into the statue, you must leave them in a locker.
Statue Cruises have departures daily from both New York and New Jersey. They offer cruises to the Statue of Liberty and also to the Ellis Island National Immigration Museum.
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