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Touring New York Harbor on Statue Cruises: A Day at Ellis Island with Statue of Liberty Views
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Touring New York Harbor on Statue Cruises: A Day at Ellis Island with Statue of Liberty Views

- On Location with Roberta: Sponsors and Testimonials


Statue Cruises
New York Harbor's Water Cruises
Ellis Island and Statue of Liberty
Theme Cruises and Charter Events
Two Departure Venues
Battery Park, NY and Liberty State Park, NJ
877.523.9849

Touring New York Harbor
on Statue Cruises Miss Liberty

(Statue Cruises Website)

A Day at Ellis Island
With Statue of Liberty Views
(Statue of Liberty Website)
(Statue of Liberty Ticket Website)
(Ellis Island Website)
(Ellis Island Ticket Website)

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
February 24, 2010


Rafael Abreu, Director of Sales & Marketing, Statue Cruises LLC, met me at Battery Park, in lower Manhattan, for my long-planned visit to Ellis Island. Statue Cruises has ferries called Miss Liberty and Miss Ellis Island, and it was very exhilarating to cruise on Miss Liberty today, with visitors from all over the globe, speaking many languages. They were all visiting New York, and Statue Cruises has the ferries that exclusively dock at Liberty Island and Ellis Island. I’ve cruised by Statue of Liberty many times, even flew over, by Liberty Helicopter recently, but I had never docked at the Statue, and it’s been years since I visited Ellis Island. The weather was cold, windy, and drizzly, but the boat was warm, cozy, and surrounded by the mystical imagery of the Manhattan skyline, New York Harbor traffic, and our historical destinations.

We stopped at the Statue for passengers to disembark to climb the Statue’s interior steps and for new passengers to board, bound for Ellis Island. Rafael and I stayed on Miss Liberty, while we gazed at Lady Liberty up close. At Ellis Island, I was in awe of the dramatic entryway, where over twelve million immigrants entered the United States from 1892 to 1954. Rafael oriented me within the entry and exhibits, and then I was on my own. I went immediately to the Ellis Island cafeteria, with friendly staff, for a hot coffee and early lunch. The cafeteria has fresh salads, wraps, sandwiches, and even health drinks, fruit, and juices. Warmed by the coffee, I explored the American Immigrant Wall of Honor, where many years ago I had arranged for both of my grandmothers’ names to be inscribed. It was difficult finding them, as I didn’t ask the Information Desk for help on the plaque number. I wanted to discover their names myself. I also needed a good walk. Finding both names, Sarah Weinrebe and Jennie Hoffman, was quite exciting. The names are in alphabetical order, but there are now numerous walls with numerous alphabetical lists.

Back inside the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, I proceeded to The American Family Immigration History Center, with its computers, multimedia, and historical documents, and I was personally assisted in finding the exact ships, ship manifests, date of arrival, and numerous details about my grandmothers’ voyages and settlement plans in Boston, Massachusetts. Tourists should arrive with as much information as possible, such as ancestors’ approximate names (in my case one was originally a Russian name), dates, ages, and additional family members on the ship or in the US at time of arrival. I had been sending out questions to cousins for over a year in preparation. Miraculously, in a brief half hour or less, the Site Manager in the History Center was able to find all the above details. Tourists are encouraged to use the History Center computers on their own, and there's also an online, Ellis Island Genealogy Search, where you can order the same documents I purchased: a photograph of the actual ship the ancestor traveled on and a photograph of the actual ship’s manifest. Most immigrants traveled in steerage, and my grandmothers arrived with just $4.50 (Sarah and child) and $25.00 (Jennie and mother). I also purchased beautiful document cases for home display.

Next, I spent a couple of hours wandering through and photographing the historical exhibits in the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. Instead of watching the 30 minute film, “Island of Hope, Island of Tears: The Story of Ellis Island”, I bought the DVD at the Gift Shop, so I could spend more time exploring these exhibits. There are no coat checks, and I recommend buying the gift shop items at the end of the trip, prior to the ferry departure. The photo and text exhibits are located at various points on two floors on either side of the Immigrant Reception Room. This Reception Room is where the immigrants were processed for their eventual entry into the United States. They were examined for diseases and mental health, with some sent back to their native lands, with a harrowing separation from their families. There are numerous enlarged photos in all displays, some of the luggage and baskets (actual immigrant luggage and baskets were also on view), some of the massive crowds of passengers sleeping in steerage or peering over the edge of the ships, and some of the fearful passengers arriving, with their fate in the hands of Ellis Island and US officials.

Additional displays include train company brochures to American cities, as passengers settled all over the land, as well as song sheet music covers, as many immigrants were talented musicians and performers. There are photographs of early settlements, such as New York, Boston, and Chicago, and there are photos of immigrant tailor shops and sausage delis, as each new American tried to succeed in a familiar or fashionable trade. After seeing all the exhibits, I wandered about the Gift Shop to purchase some educational paperback books for my nieces, in addition to all the documents, document cases, and Ellis Island DVD I had already collected. I highly recommend reserving tickets now, before the height of the tourist season, although Statue Cruises always has plenty of ferry tours scheduled each day. You can purchase daily or 3-day tickets right on the Statue Cruises Website, for the Harbor rides and admission to both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. It’s a fantastic experience, and weather is never an issue. My misty outdoor and historical indoor photos are below.




Approaching Liberty Island
on Miss Liberty Ferry
www.StatueCruises.com
Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower


Approaching Liberty Island
on Miss Liberty Ferry
www.StatueCruises.com
Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower


Miss Liberty Ferry
Docked at Ellis Island
www.StatueCruises.com
Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower


Miss Liberty Ferry
Docked at Ellis Island
www.StatueCruises.com
Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower


Ellis Island Museum
Main Entrance
Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower


Miss Liberty Ferry
Docked at Ellis Island
Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower


Ellis Island Museum Cafeteria
Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower


My grandmother, Jennie Hoffman,
on the Wall of Honor
Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower


Ellis Island Wall of Honor
Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower


View of New York Harbor
Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower


Ellis Island Museum
Rear Building View
Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower


My grandmother, Sarah Weinrebe,
on the Wall of Honor
Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower


Original Baggage of Early Immigrants
Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower


Ellis Island Museum Information Booth
Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower


Immigration History
Technology Center
Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower


Museum Gift Shop
Historical Memorabilia
Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower


Red Star Line Shipping Poster
Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower


The Immigrant Reception Room
at Ellis Island Museum
Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower


The Immigrant Reception Room
at Ellis Island Museum
Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower


Museum Display of
Immigrant Luggage and Photos
Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower


Immigrant Arrival Displays
Stories and Photo Images
Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower


Immigrant Arrival Displays
Stories and Photo Images
Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower


Immigrant Arrival Displays
Stories and Photo Images
Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower


Immigrant Arrival Displays
Stories and Photo Images
Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower


Ellis Island Outer Buildings
Museum Window View
Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower


Early Immigration Settlement Displays
and Urban - Rural Shops
Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower


Immigrant Mental Test
Health and Medical Displays
Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower


Early Ship Arrival
Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower


Original Immigration Passport
Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower


Original Immigration Passport
Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower


Original Train Brochures
to US Settlement Destinations
Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower


Original Boston Line Brochure
Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower


Early Immigrant Songwriters
Original Sheet Music
Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower


Early Immigrant Songwriters
Original Sheet Music
Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower


Miss Liberty Cruises in the Harbor
www.StatueCruises.com
Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower






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For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at zlokower@bestweb.net