Ferry Across to Jersey

A stroll in Manhattan along the Hudson River offers great views of the shoreline in New Jersey, and surely many souvenir photographs of a New York City vacation end up showing more of the Jersey skyline than the New York one. And for residents of Manhattan, a jog or a stroll along the waterfront may end in reveries about the beauteous landmarks across the river - the Colgate Clock in Jersey Center (seen here, built in 1924 to market the company’s then headquarters) or the Erie-Lackawanna ferry landing in Hoboken.

The Colgate Clock on the waterfront in Paulus Hook, Jersey City, New Jersey.

Of course, one motivation to take the ferry to New Jersey is to get nice pictures of Manhattan.

So, let’s go there.   

One of the best views of Lower Manhattan is from the Paulus Hook Ferry Terminal in New Jersey. 

Commuters going back and forth from New York and New Jersey mostly use the NY Waterway ferries, but curiosity seekers and pursuers of fun on both sides of the Hudson River may use them, too. NY Waterway has recently pitched more incentives for cross-river adventures on the weekend, including a $5 one-way ticket from Paulus Hook in Jersey City, New Jersey to Brookfield Place (former World Financial Center) in Lower Manhattan. 

A ferry boat near the Battery Park City ferry terminal with the Jersey City skyline on the far shore.

To get several more close-ups of the New Jersey shoreline, take a NY Waterway ferry at its W. 39th Street terminal in Midtown West and ride the ferry down to Paulus Hook. The ferry makes several stops. One highlight of the ride is pulling into the old Erie-Lackawanna Railroad and Ferry Terminal (Hoboken Terminal), a gorgeous 1907 structure that is particularly beautiful at dusk.

A murky view of Hoboken Terminal seen from a ferry window.

For the best views of Lower Manhattan, spend some time at the pier in Paulus Hook. The 42-story Goldman Sachs Tower at 30 Hudson Street dominates the surrounding area. The building, designed by architect C├ęsar Pelli and completed in 2004, is obvious from very far away. On a weekend, the corporate surroundings are quiet and tidy, especially compared to what’s happening in Manhattan.

The pristine waterfront walkway in Paulus Hook

After seeing the Colgate Clock, consider hopping on the nearby Hudson-Bergen Light Rail for a few stops to visit Liberty State Park or the giant planetarium at the Liberty Science Center.   

From Paulus Hook, take the short ferry ride to Brookfield Place/Battery Park City. The terminal is almost directly across the river, and during the weekday, Goldman Sachs employees shuttle back and forth between their NJ and NY buildings.

The ferry route is an old one. In July 1764, ferry service began from Paulus Hook in New Jersey to Mesier's dock near Cortland Street (now the location of the Battery Park Ferry Service) in Lower Manhattan, and in 1812 the first steam ferry service in the world began between Paulus Hook and Manhattan.

Returning to Lower Manhattan via ferry

NY Waterway ferries passengers to other stops, including Wall Street/Pier 11 on the weekdays. Weekday times are designed for commuters, with most scheduled departures during the morning and evening rush hours. Weekend ferries run more regularly, but typically start late morning and end in the early evening.

In addition, NY Waterway operates two useful ferries up river - Ossining/Haverstraw and Beacon/Newburgh.

Check the NY Waterway website for complete schedules, fares, and service alerts.

Recently, a man dressed in full office attire was seen paddle boarding this same route. A woman on board a NY Waterway ferry commuting to Jersey City happened to catch the action and posted the story on social media. The man was late for an important meeting, so he hopped on his paddleboard to try to get there as fast as possible.  (Story on NBC New York.)

Images by Sailing Off the Big Apple from Sunday, June 24, 2018.