NY Waterway

Paulus Hook/Hoboken south/bpt loop Route

As you probably read in my last review, NY Waterway, the main ferry provider on the Hudson River, operates two loop routes. One is the subject of my previous review, running from Midtown to Hoboken North (14th Street) and Weehawken (Lincoln Harbor). This is the second one, running from Paulus Hook, near Exchange Place in Jersey City, via Hoboken Terminal, to Brookfield Place Terminal in Lower Manhattan. This route is a combination of two routes that run on weekdays - the Hoboken to Brookfield Place route and the Paulus Hook to Brookfield Place route, which uses fancy luxury catamarans owned by Goldman Sachs on weekdays. On weekends, this route uses regular NY Waterway boats, and seems to be much less oriented towards commuters, and mainly focused on tourists. This review will cover the route from Paulus Hook to BPT, via Hoboken Terminal. So, without any further ado, let's get started with the review!

I bought a mobile ticket for this journey, although you can buy paper tickets with cash or cards in the ticket office at Paulus Hook. Tickets to any point on this route are $6 - keep in mind on weekdays, the fare is $7 for both individual routes. The ferry pulled into slip 7, and I boarded and headed to the top deck.

The slip number and weekend schedule

Our vessel today, the Empire State

The top deck has a covered section towards the front of the boat, with staircases at both the front and back. There are seats along both sides, as well as seats in middle rows. Anyway, we soon pulled out of Paulus Hook, and headed up the Hudson.

The top deck of Empire State


We soon slowed down as we approached Hoboken Terminal, which appeared to be used as a storage location for boats on weekends. We pulled into the historic station, let some people on and off, then backed out, and headed southeast.

Hoboken Terminal

The West Midtown skyline!

Unlike on my other review, where I rode the Robert A. Roe, a new boat, the Empire State is an older boat, and this seems to have a positive impact on speed, as we were really hustling to cross the Hudson. This route also has the advantage of being simultaneously far enough north to see the Midtown skyline, while also far enough south to see the Lower Manhattan skyline, so the views are amazing!

Another Midtown skyline shot

Some buildings in Tribeca

Same photo from the beginning, because BPT is REALLY hard to take photos at!

Route: NY Waterway Paulus Hook/Hoboken South/BPT Loop Route

Ridership: 2400 riders per day, according to a 2014 study - I'm fairly sure these are weekday numbers, however, so the actual number may be lower.

Pros: It is really scenic, and if the loop schedules work out in your favor (they switch at about 3 PM), then it can be faster than PATH. Also, compared to some other ferries (cough cough), $6 isn't bad.

Cons: This is only faster than PATH if you are going from BPT to Hoboken in the mornings. Otherwise, it is just a scenic ride. To be fair, it is WAY cheaper than any tourist cruise, but if you want to actually get across the Hudson fast, take PATH.

Nearby and Noteworthy: Jersey City's Waterfront is mostly full of offices, but there are a few nice businesses along it. In addition, the Morris Canal Park is right nearby Paulus Hook, and Essex Street Station on the HBLR provides great picture opportunities!

Final Verdict: 8/10

From an actual useful transit perspective, I'd give this a 6, and from an experience perspective, I'd give it a 10, so if you average the two, that gives it an 8.