June 27, 2019

That Time I Went on a Ferry...

Parking in New York is expensive, but sometimes you need to embark on a cruise there! I have personally cruised on Carnival and Norwegian from New York, and I believe Regent, Aida and some other lines do too. Royal Caribbean leaves from somewhere else in NJ. 

You can park at the cruise terminal for $40/day, or you can save nearly half your money by parking in New Jersey and getting a bonus boat ride - on a ferry!...
The ferry is located in Weehawken, NJ at Port Imperial.

It takes you across the Hudson River to about 4 blocks from the NY cruise terminal, costs $9/person and parking is $20/day.

First, you have to park. 
There are two parking decks with indoor parking with a daily rate of $20.

Then it's just a short walk to the ferry terminal.

To save time, you can download the NY Waterway app and buy your tickets through it ahead of time. If you don't want to do the app, you can buy tickets at the terminal. 

Inside, you can buy your tickets at the kiosk...
Or at the counter, if you're not sure what you need, or just want to make sure you don't mess it up.
Tell them you need to go to the cruise terminal and they'll hook you up. 

If you want to use the kiosk, or if there's a line you don't want to wait in, you'll want a ticket to "Midtown." I recommend buying just a one-way ticket to ensure you don't misplace your return ticket during your cruise. It will cost the same but may add some time to your trek home after the cruise. 

Once you have your tickets, there will be screens with the next departures and location for the ferry you need. 
You got me, I took this on my return trip...
If you have a lot of time, they have a bar and restaurant where you can have lunch.

If you have a bit of time and are thirsty, there is a convenience store.

Once it's time to leave, you find the gangway for the Slip indicated on the screen, and head to boat.

This sign actually looks pretty permanent, now that I think about it, so I'm guessing you'd always use Slips 1& 2 for getting to a cruise.

A guy will take your tickets and just rip them if you're heading into New York (more on that later). If you use the app, just show it to him. On the way back they just take your ticket, and hopefully recycle them.

There is both upstairs and downstairs seating, and the upper deck has both covered and uncovered seating.
It's a short ride, so it's not that important to find a seat, but if you have heavy about-to-go-on-a-cruise suitcases, you probably want to stick to the lower deck.
You'll get across the river in 8 minutes and then you'll be about four blocks away from the terminal. If you're able, it's definitely walkable, or it's a very short Uber ride.

Alternatively, you could try out their free shuttles! I haven't actually tried this out, and it looks like if there is a stop right by where you'd need to go - it's the longest possible route - but it's free with your ferry ticket. 
You just need the ripped stub you now have (told you I'd get to it!), or your ticket in the app, and show it to the driver. That's all I know as of now, as I just learned about the shuttle upon my return to the 39th St. ferry terminal, so I didn't get a chance to try it.

I can't recommend the shuttle yet, but I can recommend trying it and telling me how it goes ;) Probably download the app first and see if it clears any of the mystery up such as: what bus you'd be getting on and if the bus actually stops on 12th street.

So instead, I walked, and made it quickly to my ship!

The return trip was just as easy. I bought my tickets, followed the signs, and was returned to New Jersey. There is a pay station at the ferry terminal and also in the parking garage.
That ticket you want to make sure not to lose, though not sure what happens if you did lose it. 


  1. I've never been on a cruise before, though I am sure I would love one! Since vacations can be so expensive it is always nice to save money where you can.

  2. This ferry is like the one I took when I went to Ellis Island. I like that it gets you there quickly.

  3. I love the idea of saving money and getting a bonus boat ride in the process. Even when not doing a cruise, I would consider parking in NJ and taking the ferry, and using Uber to get around while visiting NYC.

  4. I love anything having to do with water so I'm sure I would love this. But wow, parking is EXPENSIVE!

  5. Great suggestion! We have gone in from Jersey City, but I will have to look into this ferry. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Sounds like a great alternative! I haven't been on a ferry in a long time but I will definitely go on again when traveling :)

  7. I don't live that far from NYC and this looks like fun. I have not been on any of the cruises in the city yet. Maybe I will take the kids.

  8. Tiffany La Forge-GrauJuly 8, 2019 at 9:00 AM

    They can be pretty pricey sometimes. This is a great way to enjoy yourself and safe some money!

  9. Yes parking is expensive in New York, getting public transportation is always best thing there.

  10. Taking the ferry is always an adventure because you get to see things from a different perspective. Vicky