from Complete Lower Manhattan Tour: Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island and One World Observatory Tour
As home to two of NYC’s most important sites – the Statue of Liberty & the 9/11 Memorial and Museum – Lower Manhattan is high on the priority list of most visitors. Get the most from your time in the Big Apple on our full-day, Complete Lower Manhattan Tour, a combination of our 9/11 Tour and our Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island tour (but at a lower price), with expert local guides and small groups of only 20 people or fewer.
Our day starts early, at Battery Park. With priority boarding, you’ll be one of the first people aboard one of the first boats to Liberty Island. Snag the best seats for a stunning ride across the water and get to know your guide a little. Once docked, they’ll lead you on a tour of the island and on to the great lady of NYC – the Statue of Liberty. During your guided tour, you’ll enjoy special access to the statue pedestal, allowing you to get closer to the statue than general access visitors. All the better to admire her beauty!
It’s back aboard the ferry then for the short ride to Ellis Island. Here you’ll be particularly grateful for your expert guide as they lead you through the immigration process undergone by 12 million new arrivals. Walk the Stairs of Separation and get a feel for how it must have felt for lovers and families as they awaited their fate – and the start of a new life in the land of the free.
Your guide will walk you through the fantastic exhibits of the Ellis Island Museum, answering any questions you may have. This is where the first part of your tour ends, and with 2.5 – 3 hours before the next leg of our Lower Manhattan journey, you have plenty of time to spare. Spend a little while more on Ellis Island if you like, before hopping on the ferry back to Battery Park (included in the price) and getting lunch on your way to the meeting point for our afternoon activity – a complete One World Observatory & World Trade Center Tour.
Standing tall and proud on the site of the 9/11 attacks, One World Center is a testament to a city that was knocked down and got back up again. Get to the heart of that terrible tragedy and learn how NYC rebuilt itself bigger, better and stronger on our guided tour.
You’ll start out at St. Paul’s Chapel with a more personal insight into the drama that unfolded here. This was where families and friends came to pray, offer support and await news in the immediate aftermath of the attacks; as testified by the hand-drawn cards and memorials, personal memorabilia and photographs that still hang here.
On next to some sites you may have missed visiting on your own. With a local guide leading the way, you’ll see special spots away from the major landmarks. One such site is the American Express 11 Tears Memorial; a strikingly personal tribute to the 11 AmEx employees that lost their lives on September 11. Plus the beautiful Winter Garden, destroyed in the attack and now restored to its former glory.
At the 9/11 Memorial too, your guide will make your visit that bit more special. Together you’ll see the Twin Reflecting Pools, built in the footprints of the World Trade Center and engraved with the names of every victim. Learn the little nuances that make it more touching; like how staff place a single rose in the name of each victim on their birthday. Visit the Fireman’s Memorial to pay tribute to those brave men and women who worked around the clock after the attacks. See the Survivor’s Tree, a single tree which miraculously survived the attacks and was nursed back to health by New Yorkers, as a symbol of their enduring strength.
The highlight of your tour comes at the end with a visit to the brand new One World Observatory. With pre-reserved tickets your visit is guaranteed to go ahead regardless of the how large the crowds are. There’s not much explanation needed here so your guide will leave you for an independent visit.
Inside the lobby you’ll find videos about the production of this incredible structure - said to be the strongest in the world - and of the men and women who built it. Then board a ‘skypod’ to travel through time AND space. Created in association with Universal Studios, the special ‘skypod’ elevators are covered inside in LCD screens, on which you’ll watch the changing face of New York from the 1600s to today while ascending 102 floors in just 42 seconds. Disembark at the top of One World Observatory for incredible panoramic views over NYC. What better way to end a day of looking back with a glance into the future.
• This tour does not include the 9/11 Memorial Museum.
• Please note you will need to pass through airport style security to enter One World Observatory, and unavoidable lines can build up as people pass through security.
• Observatory entry is at 5pm. Average length of visit is 1 hour.
• Please note the ferry does not operate during heavy rain or other adverse weather conditions; when this occurs, an alternative option is provided.
• St Paul's Chapel is closed on Tuesdays & Thursdays for renovations for the foreseeable future and may also be closed on other dates. On the days when St. Paul's Chapel is closed, we will tour the grounds and substitute our inside visit for additional sites important to the events of 9/11 but not normally covered on the tour.