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, with expert local guides and small groups of only 20 people or fewer.
Your 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! Then it’s back aboard the ferry 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. With 2 - 2.5 hours before the next leg of this Lower Manhattan journey, you'll 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 package) and getting lunch on your way to the meeting point for your afternoon activity – a complete 9/11 tour.
Rather than simply visiting the memorial and museum, we want to offer you a full picture of what happened on that terrible day from a local perspective. With a local guide on hand you’ll learn how it impacted the community (and the rest of the world), and how hard NYC fought to get back on its feet. With that in mind, you won't start at the 9/11 Memorial itself, but at St. Paul’s Chapel. This is where people gathered after the attack to await news of their loved ones, to mourn, pray and offer support. The walls here are still covered in touching handmade memorials, reminding visitors that 9/11 wasn’t just a huge global and political event, but a crippling personal tragedy for thousands of New Yorkers.
Next you’ll visit Brookfield Place (previously known as the World Financial Center) where you’ll learn about the massive economic effects that the 9/11 attacks had. You’ll get to see the Eleven Tears Memorial, a touching and personal memorial, which commemorates the 11 American Express employees that died in 9/11; plus the stunning Winter Garden atrium (until 1st of March 2018).
Your guide will take you next to the official 9/11 Memorial and the two Memorial Pools, each one built in the footprint of one of the towers and inscribed with the names of victims. You’ll visit the Fireman’s Memorial and learn of the endless courage of those who worked around the clock for days to save the victims of the attack – often at the cost of their own lives. The Survivor Tree is another poignant site you may have missed on your own. Don’t worry, with your expert local guides on hand, you won’t miss a beat.
The last site on your tour, the 9/11 Memorial Museum, is wonderfully curated, with artifacts salvaged from the attack and harrowing personal stories. It’s best to visit on your own, as the displays can be quite emotional, but there is a parting gift. Your tickets are pre-reserved so you don’t have to waste time waiting in lines here.
With all the details taken care of throughout the day, your Lower Manhattan Tour takes the hassle out of navigating NYC’s two busiest attractions. And with small groups and an expert local guide, you’re guaranteed to get so much more from these special experiences.
- Statue of Liberty Museum and Pedestal
- Ellis Island Museum
- Castle Clinton National Monument
- Pier A Harbor House (from exterior)
- American Merchant Mariner’s Memorial
- The Sphere
- New York Korean War Veterans Memorial
- St Paul's Chapel
- Brookfield Place (formerly known as World Financial Center) (until 1st of March 2018)
- American Express Eleven Tears Memorial (until 1st of March 2018)
- Winter Garden (until 1st of March 2018)
- 9/11 Memorial Museum (Museum is non-guided)
- 9/11 Memorial Pools
- Freedom Tower (from exterior)
- Fireman's Memorial
- Survivor Tree
- North Cove Marina