The Staten Island ferry, which departs every 30 minutes around the clock and it’s a nice and smooth way to see the Statue of Liberty. No planning or bookings needed, you just show up at the ferry terminal, and the ferry ride is free of charge. This way to see the Statue of Liberty has become very popular among tourists, and the outside deck is always crowded. You therefore have to move quickly, if you want one of the spots near the rail, from which you get the best photos. On the way out (from Manhattan to Staten Island) you’ll want to be on the right side of the ferry, as this is the side facing The Statue Of Liberty, while it’s the left side that’s the place to be on the way back.
You don’t get in-your-face close to the Statue of Liberty, but you’re close enough to get some decent photos. The ride takes around 20 minutes, and you have to disembark the ferry, when you reach Staten Island. The Staten Island ferry departs from a big terminal just south west of Battery Park. If you take the subway to Bowling Green (4,5), Whitehall (N,R) or South Ferry Loop (1) you’re only a short walk from the terminal.
If you prefer to stay on dry land, you also have a decent view of The Statue Of Liberty from Battery Park. It is also from Battery Park that the dinner cruises and tour boats around The Statue Of Liberty departs.