Health & Safety Update: As of August 17, 2021, indoor spaces offering public programs and galleries on Governors Island require proof of COVID-19 vaccination in accordance with Key to NYC, the mandatory City-wide requirement that visitors to indoor entertainment venues, including museums, cultural institutions and galleries must show proof of vaccination against COVID-19.
Proof of vaccination can include a photo or hard copy of your CDC vaccination card, the NYC COVID Safe App, the Excelsior Pass or another official vaccine record for approved vaccines when entering indoor spaces. Children younger than 12 years old (not currently eligible for vaccination) must be accompanied by a vaccinated person. NYC will begin enforcement on September 13.
Please note, the Key to NYC policy only applies when entering indoor spaces on Governors Island.
Governors Island is a 172-acre island in the heart of New York Harbor nestled between Lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn waterfront. Eight minutes from the energy and excitement of the City, the Island is a popular seasonal destination. An award-winning new park is complemented by dozens of unique historic buildings, environmental educational facilities, a rich arts and culture program and a 22-acre National Monument managed by the National Park Service. Unlike anywhere else in New York, Governors Island offers peaceful settings with sweeping views of the Harbor, Lower Manhattan skyline and Statue of Liberty. Looking ahead, the Island will be activated year-round with expanded educational, commercial and non-profit uses.
Governors Island is open to the public daily between May 1-October 31, and is only accessible by ferry.
- Manhattan ferries run daily from the Battery Maritime Building at 10 South St.
- Brooklyn ferries run Saturdays and Sundays from both Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park and Atlantic Basin in Red Hook for the entirety of the 2021 season.
To reserve a ferry ticket, please click here.
Health & Safety Protocols
The health and safety of our visitors, staff, tenants, vendors and community of cultural organizations is our top priority, and we are committed to supporting the City’s efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19.
In line with the latest guidance from the CDC, New York State and New York City that indicates face coverings must be worn on public transit, face coverings are still required at all times while queuing, boarding, riding and disembarking Governors Island ferries. Face coverings are also required at all times in indoor spaces on the Island.
For the health and safety of all, The Trust for Governors Island is implementing the following protocols in accordance with local, state and federal guidelines:
- Ticket reservations to Governors Island are required to manage capacity and ensure social distancing on ferries. As of July 1, 2021, visitors no longer need to choose a return time when booking ferry tickets. You may leave the Island on any ferry you choose, no reservation required.
- Visitors are required to wear face coverings while queuing, boarding, riding, and disembarking Governors Island ferries, and on the Island whenever social distancing is not possible.
- In accordance with Key to NYC, indoor spaces offering public programs and galleries on Governors Island require proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter. Proof can include a photo or hard copy of your CDC vaccination card, the NYC COVID Safe App, the Excelsior Pass or another official vaccine record for approved vaccines.
- All indoor programs will be subject to limited capacity. All visitors will be required to wear face coverings while indoors.
- Increased cleaning procedures and schedules are in place for all restrooms, aboard ferries, and in high-touch, high-traffic areas across the Island.
- Enhanced health and safety protocols are in place for all food and drink vending locations.
- Hand sanitizer and hand washing stations are located throughout the Island.
- Gatherings and events will be limited based on the latest local, state and federal guidelines. All events will require a permit.
- Indoor arts and cultural programs will have varied schedules, with many organizations hosting artist residencies only. A limited number of public indoor programs will occur, and will be subject to capacity limitations. More info and program schedules is available here.
- The Governors Island National Monument, including Fort Jay and Castle Williams, are currently only open for self-guided tours.
- In person tours will be subject to capacity limitations.
Groups visiting Governors Island are encouraged to limit themselves to 50 individuals or fewer. Those wishing to visit with more than 50 people are requested to email firstname.lastname@example.org at least two weeks in advance of their visit.
The Trust for Governors Island offers special waived fares for non-profit community-based organizations, youth camps, and senior centers throughout New York City, subject to availability. To inquire about special group visits, organizations may email email@example.com at least two weeks in advance of their requested visit date.
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Governors Island is accessible by ferry every day of the week during the public season.
Food and Drink
Visitors are welcome to bring their own food and eat at one of the many picnic tables scattered throughout the Island. Visitors may not bring alcohol onto the island but can purchase and consume it in designated areas here. A wide range of food vendors can be found throughout the Island, with the lineup available here. All Governors Island vendors will comply with the latest food service guidelines and adhere to health and safety plans that minimize person-to-person contact, emphasize hygiene, and allow for social distancing in serving areas.
Hours are weather dependent and are subject to change.
Services for Non-English Speakers
Governors Island's website can be translated via Google Translate. Visitor maps are available in Chinese, Russian, French and Spanish.
Indoor restrooms are located inside the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Arts Center at Governors Island near Soissons Landing. Trailer restrooms are available at Yankee Pier, the south end of Nolan Park, the west end of Liggett Terrace and near Slide Hill. Hand washing and sanitizing stations are also available across the Island. Increased cleaning procedures and schedules will be implemented for all amenities.
All ferries going to and from Governors Island, as well as the grounds of the island itself, are accessible to those in wheelchairs. Not all buildings on the island are wheelchair-accessible. Building 110, located next to Soissons Landing, is wheelchair accessible. Wheelchair-accessible portable toilets are located throughout the grounds.
The Welcome Center at Soissons Landing will be open Saturdays and Sundays for visitors to get directions and pick up a complimentary face covering from a Visitor Services team member. Additionally, look for Visitor Services team members in blue shirts across the Island!
Free, one-hour walking tours of the Island led by Friends of Governors Island volunteer tour guides begin at the Welcome Center at Soissons Landing. All tours are weather permitting and have a limited capacity of 10 individuals max on a first-come, first-served basis.
Tours leave from Soissons Landing at 11:00AM, 1:00PM and 3:00PM on Saturdays and Sundays.
Zero Waste Island
The Trust for Governors Island continues its dedication to environmental stewardship through its Zero Waste Island initiative. In partnership with Earth Matter NY, Inc. the Trust aims to reduce the amount of waste from the Island going to landfills by:
- Ensuring all recycling stations on the Island include a color-coded, clearly labeled compost bin.
- Mandating that serviceware from all vendors and events on the Island is compostable.
- Composting all organics collected on the Island at Earth Matter’s Compost Learning Center and returning the finished product to the Island’s landscapes.
- Prohibiting plastic straws, plastic bags, and Styrofoam.
- Creating a community of Island tenants, partners, vendors and events that are committed to composting and recycling.
Visitors can participate in the Zero Waste Initiative by practicing “Think Before You Throw” when putting waste in a bin. Visitors can see the composting process in action at Earth Matter’s Compost Learning Center and can appreciate the results by enjoying the Island’s vibrant landscapes that thrive on nutrients from Island-made compost.