Plan Your Visit to - Statue Of Liberty US National Monument -

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Plan Your Visit to - Statue Of Liberty US National Monument -
07 June 2015

No visit to the New York City area is complete without a trip the world’s most famous landmarks – the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Statue Cruises offers departures throughout the day from both New York and New Jersey for the convenience of out-of-town visitors and local residents alike. Get your Statue of Liberty tickets here at the guaranteed lowest price.

Visiting the Statue of Liberty National Monument and limited access of Ellis Island featuring the Wall of Honor is a memorable experience for people from all over the world.

The Statue of Liberty (Liberty Enlightening the World; French: La Liberté éclairant le monde) is a colossal neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island in New York Harbor in New York City, in the United States. The copper statue, designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, a French sculptor, and dedicated on October 28, 1886, was a gift to the United States from the people of France. The statue is of a robed female figure representing Libertas, the Roman goddess, who bears a torch and a tabula ansata (a tablet evoking the law) upon which is inscribed the date of the American Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776. A broken chain lies at her feet. The statue is an icon of freedom and of the United States: a welcoming signal to immigrants arriving from abroad.

Bartholdi was inspired by French law professor and politician Édouard René de Laboulaye, who is said to have commented in 1865 that any monument raised to American independence would properly be a joint project of the French and American peoples. He may have been minded to honor the Union victory in the American Civil War and the end of slavery. Due to the troubled political situation in France, work on the statue did not commence until the early 1870s. In 1875, Laboulaye proposed that the French finance the statue and the Americans provide the site and build the pedestal. Bartholdi completed the head and the torch-bearing arm before the statue was fully designed, and these pieces were exhibited for publicity at international expositions.

The torch-bearing arm was displayed at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876, and in Madison Square Park in Manhattan from 1876 to 1882. Fundraising proved difficult, especially for the Americans, and by 1885 work on the pedestal was threatened due to lack of funds. Publisher Joseph Pulitzer of the New York World started a drive for donations to complete the project that attracted more than 120,000 contributors, most of whom gave less than a dollar. The statue was constructed in France, shipped overseas in crates, and assembled on the completed pedestal on what was then called Bedloe's Island. The statue's completion was marked by New York's first ticker-tape parade and a dedication ceremony presided over by President Grover Cleveland.

The statue was administered by the United States Lighthouse Board until 1901 and then by the Department of War; since 1933 it has been maintained by the National Park Service. The statue was closed for renovation for much of 1938. In the early 1980s, it was found to have deteriorated to such an extent that a major restoration was required. While the statue was closed from 1984 to 1986, the torch and a large part of the internal structure were replaced. After the September 11 attacks in 2001, it was closed for reasons of safety and security; the pedestal reopened in 2004 and the statue in 2009, with limits on the number of visitors allowed to ascend to the crown. The statue, including the pedestal and base, was closed for a year until October 28, 2012, so that a secondary staircase and other safety features could be installed; Liberty Island remained open. However, one day after the reopening, Liberty Island closed due to the effects of Hurricane Sandy in New York; the statue and island opened again on July 4, 2013. Public access to the balcony surrounding the torch has been barred for safety reasons since 1916.

Things to Know Before Your Visit

Purchasing tickets
Depending on the time of year, tickets can sell out months in advance. Especially those that allow the visitor access inside the Statue of Liberty Monument or Crown. You may purchase advance tickets online before they sell out. BUY NOW to avoid the long lines for day of tours and the chance that your preferred travel date may already be in limited supply.

Tour Duration
Tours are self-guided, and can last between three to five hours, depending on your pace when you visit both Ellis and Liberty Island.

Food & Beverages
There are concession stands on all the boats which sell healthy snacks and beverages, as well as merchandise. There are also concession stands and gift stores on both Liberty and Ellis Island.

You can take your own food to the island, but large coolers will not be permitted past security.

Park Programs
The Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island often have ongoing special exhibits, as well as special programs and tours, that may be offered on the day you visit. Please be sure to check with rangers on Liberty and Ellis Island for the programs that are available on the day of your visit. For park program information online, please visit www.nps.gov/stli.

What to Wear
Dress for the season when you visit the Statue of Liberty National Monument and the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. During the summer months temperatures can rise to the high 90's with high humidity. In the winter temperatures are chilly. Be sure to dress in layers in case conditions change suddenly.

Be sure to wear comfortable shoes as you will be walking a great deal during your visit.

Accessibility
All vessels are wheelchair accessible. Statue Cruises personnel are available to assist visitors that require the use of a wheelchair. Upon arrival at either Battery Park or Liberty State Park visitors that require the use of a wheelchair should ask to speak to the Ticket Office Manager, who will then coordinate the personnel that will assist with entry inside the screening facility as well as boarding the Statue Cruises vessel. Once the visitor is on either Ellis or Liberty Island our personnel will assist with boarding the vessels.

Security
Visitors to the Park are required to submit to airport style security screening before boarding vessels departing from Ellis Island. Visitors to the Monument undergo additional security screening.

Bags & Backpacks
Large bags are not allowed on Liberty or Ellis Islands. There are no locker facilities at the New York and New Jersey embarkation points. Backpacks, strollers and large umbrellas are not permitted in the Monument.


Steps to Visiting the Statue of Liberty

Step 1: Arrive at your point of departure, Battery Park NY or Liberty State Park NJ.

Step 2: If you printed your e-tickets you can go straight to the security check in line. If you need to go to will-call, follow signs to the pre-paid (will-call) window and pick up your tickets.

Step 3: The line to the ferry goes through a security check point.

Step 4: After going through the security check point, proceed to board the ferry. (There are three levels on the ferry). All ferry levels have sitting and standing room, but the best views are from the open third level, which can get extremely crowded (arrive early and stay in line). The first level is where you board and depart from the ferry. The first and second levels have concession stands where you can purchase food/drinks. The first level also has restrooms for both ladies and men. 

Step 5: Arrive at the Statue of Liberty. If you are not going to the Statue of Liberty and are going to Ellis Island, then do not exit the Ferry at this point as the next stop is Ellis Island (see Ellis Island Tour).

Step 6: Exit ferry and proceed across the wooden pier.

Step 7: After crossing the pier, to the left is a visitors information building and to the right is a refreshments building with seating. 

Step 8: At the Visitors Information Building, you may sign up for one of the Ranger Guided Tours of the park. This is a very informative tour, where the guide goes in depth on the history of the island and the individuals responsible of bringing it to life. There are numerous small statues/plaques in which to familiarize yourself with the history behind the Statue of Liberty. It is also a wonderful opportunity to take photographs. Please note that this tour is for areas outside of the Statue and is FREE and is optional. At the Visitors Information Building, you may also pick up your audio phones for the Audio Tour. You may also pick up the headphones at Castle Clinton.

Step 9: At the Refreshments/Gift Shop Building, you have another opportunity to use the restroom.

Step 10: You may bypass the Ranger Guided Tour of the Statue of Liberty if you choose and be your own guide. Everything you can do with a guide you can do on your own. Walk the grounds of the Statue of Liberty, read all of the plaques, take pictures, and enjoy the incredible view of Manhattan.

First ferry from mainland – 8:30am
Last ferry from mainland – 5:00pm
Closing Ferry – from Liberty Island 6:45pm**
*Visitors on last mainland ferry will only be able to visit one island.
**Liberty Island closes 15 minutes prior to final departure of 6:45pm.