Ferry Service to Governors Island Starts Saturday

A free ferry service from Fulton Ferry Landing, at the foot of Old Fulton Street, to Governors Island, will begin this Saturday, June 6, at 11:00 A.M. State Senator Daniel Squadron and other community leaders will be present for the inaugural ceremony. The ferry will run only on Saturdays when events are scheduled on Governor’s Island. It will also stop at Battery Park, in Manhattan. This Saturday, it will depart Fulton Landing every hour at fifteen minutes past the hour, beginning at 11:15 A.M. with the last departure at 4:15 P.M. Departures from Governors Island will be every hour on the hour, beginning at 12:00 noon with the last departure at 6:00 P.M. The Schedule may vary from week to week; updates will be posted at the Governors Island website.

Update: Reader Neighborhood Observer checked the Governors Island website this morning, discovered that the schedule for this Saturday has been changed, and added a helpful note concerning bikes:

Saturday: departures every 20 min starting at 11:20 A until 5 P; returns every 20 min starting at 11:30 A until 5:50 P. … BTW – bikes are allowed on the Ferry and there are 5 miles of bike paths on GI.

Thanks, N.O.

Second update: A reader has kindly informed me that “Governors Island” has no apostrophe. I’ve amended the post accordingly.

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  • ABC

    this is awesome.

    also, jenn or whoever was planning a wedding, I recently heard you can hold your wedding on governors island too. for not much money. I’m sorry, but hells yeah!

  • alex

    Overdue but exciting!

    I hope there’s a good turnout Saturday so the powers that be are encouraged to schedule ferries at least somewhat regularly…

  • adam

    I agree that this is fantastic. Now I know what I will be doing Saturday. Gov’s Islans is a great treat. I hear a giant ferris wheel like the london eye -really- is going to be buit on the island. the views will be to die. Can’t wait.

  • Neighborhood Observer

    Many thanks for bringing this lovely possibility to the neighborhood’s attention. However, a quick check of the GI website indicates a different Fulton Ferry to GI schedule. Saturday: departures every 20 min starting at 11:20 A until 5 P; returns every 20 min starting at 11:30 A until 5:50 P. Sunday: schedule is sparser – every hour on the hour starting at 10 A and return every hour on the half hour, except the last ferry to Brooklyn at 7 P. BTW – bikes are allowed on the Ferry and there are 5 miles of bike paths on GI.

  • alex

    @Neighborhood Observer

    The schedule you’re referring to for Sunday is actually only for service from Manhattan.

    Currently, the only Brooklyn shuttle scheduled is for this Saturday, so we need to all go to convince them there’s enough interest for the Brooklyn ferry to be a regular service!

  • Neighborhood Observer

    Alex – Thanks for further clarification…once my eye caught the Brooklyn schedule I thought “Brooklyn” for the rest of the schedule. Would be terrible to be standing there on Sunday!

  • T.K. Small

    I am wondering if anybody took the ferry this weekend? If so, do you have any idea whether it is wheelchair accessible? Governors Island would be a great place to go for a roll!

  • http://selfabsorbedboomer.blogspot.com Claude Scales

    TK: I’m sorry to say there was a big step from the boarding ramp to the deck at the Fulton Ferry dock. I don’t recall if there was a similar problem on the Governors Island side. This is a shame, as the Island, which I’d never visited before, would be a delightful place to roll around. Maybe the ferry carries a portable ramp for wheelchair access. Alternatively, crew members might be available to lift you and your chair. This is worth looking into.

  • T.K. Small

    Claude, Thanks for the heads up. I called Sen. squadron’s office and they immediately called GIPEC and was assured the ferry was accessible, but I had my reservations. If I am around next weekend, I will go down and look into the possibility of a ramp.

  • davoyager

    We went and Brooklyn needs to rediscover it’s long lost sister. This is an extraordinary place and decisions with regard to it’s future are being made today.
    I would love daily ferry service and I think every bike riding and walking person would instantly start going when they could. The ride is so fast I would go everyday. They just need to get rid of the gas powered minicars used by staff and replace them with electric and the air would be a wonder with the absolute best views in all of NYC.

  • bornhere

    I haven’t been to Governors Island, I don’t think, since the 80s, when we considered it a great, no-brainer day trip when my son was little. Castle Williams always spooked me for some reason, but it was thunderously interesting, and the grounds and some of the architecture were spectacular. Maybe it’s time for some more visits.

  • No One Of Consequence

    “with the absolute best views in all of NYC”

    …silly me, I thought that views meant nothing to you…

  • doglover

    Are you allowed to bring dogs on the ferry and onto GI?

  • T.K. Small

    Certainly, as long as they do need to use a wheelchair.

  • soulman

    last year I inquired about dogs and they said none were allowed.

  • LS

    According to their website, no pets are allowed. http://www.govisland.com/Visit_the_Island/rules.asp

    The article states that the Brooklyn ferry only operates when there is an event on the Island. I would check their website before heading out each week for a schedule.

  • hoppy

    Just a heads up…According to the website, the free Governors Island Ferry is running from Fulton Ferry this Sunday, 6/14/09—(last week it was only on Saturday). I’m definitely grabbing my bike and a light picnic lunch for tomorrow…


  • http://www.portsidenewyork.org Carolina Salguero

    Bikes are limited to 15 per ferry; so if there is a crowd, you could end up waiting a long time.

    During City of Water Day I ended up leaving my bike in Brooklyn, so as to get on the island — that after waiting one hour.

    It is hugely unfair that Brooklyn doesn’t get regular ferry service to the Island which is treated as a Manhattan amenity.

    I have tried for years with helpful suggestions, then firm prods to get better Brooklyn ferry service. I now suggest hard core lobbying of elected officials (city council, NYS Senator Daniel Squadron, and Borough President’s office) to have this imbalance corrected.