The 2013 Public Access Season has concluded
The 2013 public access season on Governors Island has ended. Governors Island will re-open to the public Memorial Day Weekend, 2014.
Governors Island is located in New York Harbor, 1/2 mile from the southern tip of Manhattan and 400 yards west of the end of Brooklyn's Atlantic Avenue and Red Hook waterfront. It is accessible only via ferry.
Ferry from Manhattan - Free ferry service is provided from Battery Maritime Building at 10 South Street on the corner of South and Whitehall Streets in Lower Manhattan and next door to the Staten Island ferry terminal. For weekend service the first ferry to the island departs at 10 AM, then at 11 AM a ferry departs for the island every 30 minutes at the top [:00] and bottom [:30] of the hour until 5:30 PM. Ferries returning to Manhattan also run every 30 minutes, at the top and bottom of the hour, until 7 PM.
For weekday park ranger programs on the island, the ferry only runs hourly and departs at the top of the hour.
This ferry operates year round, providing service to the island's staff, contractors, students of the New York Harbor High School and those having official business with organizations on the island.
Brooklyn ferry service - Free ferry service is provided from Brooklyn Bridge Park's East River Pier 6 at the end of Atlantic Avenue. In 2013, this service starts May 25th and only operates weekends Memorial Day and Labor Day during the summer. It is best characterized as "load and leave" so while there is not a schedule, it generally runs every 20 minutes.
East River ferry service - Commercial ferry service provided by the East River Ferry from points in Manhattan, Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Fulton Ferry and Wall Street. In 2013, this service starts extends its runs to Governors Island (weekends only) on May 25th and goes until Labor Day. For more information on schedules, routes and costs, visit: http://www.nywaterway.com/erf-home.aspx
Getting to Governors Island:
Public transportation is the best way to get to the ferry to Governors Island. Check www.MTA.info for the status of weekend bus and subway service.
Subway - The R train from Queens or Brooklyn stops at Whitehall. Taking the Brooklyn-bound exit off the platform brings you to Whitehall Street. Continuing the same direction will bring you in view of the Battery Maritime Building 100 yards away.
Subway - The 1 train from the Bronx and the west side of Manhattan ends at South Ferry. Exits will bring you out in front of the Staten Island ferry terminal. The Battery Maritime Building is to the left, about 100 yards away. Service is slated to resume to the storm damaged South Ferry station in April 2013. Since the restored service will be using the old 1900s-era subway station with its very short platform, you need to be in the first five cars of the train or any car in front of the conductor.
Subway - The 4/5 train from the Bronx, the east side of Manhattan and Brooklyn stops at Bowling Green. Brooklyn-bound passengers exit on to State Street. Follow it to the Staten Island ferry terminal, the Battery Maritime Building is next door to the left
Taxi - Most taxi drivers will not know where Governors Island is located or how to get there. Direct them to drop you off at the Staten Island ferry at South and Whitehall Streets. The Battery Maritime Building is next door.
Brooklyn bus/subway - Pier 6 for the ferry from Brooklyn is located at the foot of Atlantic Avenue. The closest subway stop is Borough Hall, which is approximately a 15-minute walk away. The closest bus stop is Atlantic Avenue and Court Street on the B63 or B61 bus.
Driving to Lower Manhattan:
If you need to drive your vehicle to Lower Manhattan, directions are provided below. Cars are not permitted on Governors Island. If you would like to drive to Lower Manhattan in the vicinity of the Battery Maritime Building, you will need to park your car in either a parking garage or on the street.
Driving Directions from Lower Manhattan:
Did You Know?
Oliver Otis Howard (1830-1909), from Maine, graduated from West Point in 1856. During the Civil War, he fought at Manassas; Fair Oaks – where he lost his right arm; Antietam; Chancellorsville; Gettysburg; Chattanooga; Atlanta; and participated in the march across Georgia. In 1865 he headed the Freedmans’ Bureau, which resettled and enforced the rights of newly freed African-American slaves in the South. His interest in their education led him to establish Howard University in Washington, D.C. and Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee. From 1884 to the end of his Army career, he commanded the U.S. Army in the Eastern United States from Governors Island.