• Discover the island’s early history, from Henry Hudson to the Dutch settlement of New Amsterdam. Governors Island was actually the first true New Amsterdam!
  • Find out how the Dutch used the island in the 1600’s and the complications encountered with the natives.
  • Explore the geology of the Island by visiting an art exhibit containing actual cores of the earth and rock taken from as deep as a 100 feet under the surface.
  • Learn the military history of the Island’s 3 forts, military housing and administration buildings. Governors Island was the longest running military base in U.S. history, from 1794 to 1996. Fort Jay and Castle Williams specifically hold many secrets that will be revealed on this tour!
  • See the present and future of the Island while traversing the beautiful gardens cared for by the Trust for Governors Island and learning about the sustainable efforts of new organizations that call the 172-acre park home.
  • Explore the Hills! The Hills were designed by a Dutch firm in 2016 and provide sweeping views of New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty, and lower Manhattan.


Price: $380 for up to 10 guests, $38 for each additional guest. Price includes round trip ferry tickets.
What to wear: Bring comfortable shoes
What to know: The tour is 2 hours long; please consult with the MTA for weekend subway schedules and routing changes. This tour is only available between May 1 to October 31st, due to the Governors Island ferry schedule.


The history of Governors Island spans from the days of early European explorers, through Dutch colonial times and the twentieth century to the present day. This tour begins as soon as you meet your guide at the Battery Maritime building where you will learn about the harbor’s natural and Dutch history. Aboard the top deck of the ferry you will take in views of Lower Manhattan and New York harbor. Once on the island, the extensive military history of the site will be revealed while visiting the National Monument, Fort Jay, Nolan Park and the former houses of commanding officers along with Castle Williams which was built as a fort for the war of 1812 and also served as a confederate prison. As the tour winds southward, the focus shifts from the past to the future. The southern half of Governors Island is constructed on landfill and therefore newer than the rest of the island. Here you will visit Urban Farm and Earth Matter to learn about sustainability, farming, composting, and habitats and enjoy the gardens, hammocks, and pathways built by the Trust for Governors Island. The tour will end at the Hills which was completed in 2016 and consists of demolished military housing. The Hills offer some of the best views of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty and are the perfect place to reflect on the past, present, and future of Governors Island.


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