Take in the sights exactly like early American immigrants would have – without all the stress of moving house and country. This experience takes you on a boat cruise to Liberty and Ellis Island, including access to the Ellis Island National Immigration Museum. Think of this as a profoundly moving meditation on the nature of American ideals... plus a boat ride!
Sent over the Atlantic avec amour in 1886, Lady Liberty towers over New York Harbor. Marvel at this monument as you sail over from Battery Park.
Once you touch ground on the three-acre Liberty Island, you'll have the chance to walk around the entire statue and listen to the audio guide telling you the history of this monument. (Tickets to enter the Statue of Liberty itself are not included).
From the island you'll be able to see that the towering monument is actually in mid-stride, breaking free of her chains. France, in fact, sent the gift over the year after the abolition of slavery in the US. Look up at her imposing figure, look down at the broken shackles by her feet, and see if you're not moved by the power of the gesture.
Ellis Island, a short boat ride away, goes further in charting the story of America's past, detailing the lengthy process refugees and immigrants went through to come to the land of opportunity in the early 20th century.
It's estimated that nearly half of Americans can trace at least one family member who passed through Ellis Island. Many of the exhibits are geared towards children – including an audio guide designed for children ages 6-10 – so the whole family can get an insight into the immigrant experience. Afterwards, you'll grab another boat back to Battery Park.
See these landmarks up close and think on the inscription in Lady Liberty's book: "Give me your tired, your poor / Your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free..."
You'll be grateful for the freedoms and opportunities that you enjoy – and you'll also be glad that you made the choice to come visit.
Ellis Island is one place where you don't want to miss the gift shop. There's a book containing all the last names of refugees who went through the Immigration Inspection Center between 1892-1954. It's neat to see whether your family passed through there. Mine did!