Alec Baldwin says he fell for a “scam” Statue of Liberty tour, prompting New York City's mayor to announce expanded enforcement efforts against tour operators that mislead tourists.
The actor shared his experience on Instagram Sunday. He says he and wife Hilaria Baldwin ("two sharp, savvy NYers") bought $40 tickets for a boat tour of the Statue of Liberty for his family. But instead of embarking on a ferry ride from New York, they were told to board a shuttle bus headed to New Jersey.
Baldwin said it wasn't until after paying they read the tickets, which said, "See NY from the water," that they realized the Tours R Us boat actually departs from Liberty Park, New Jersey, which lies across the Hudson River from Liberty Island and Ellis Island.
"No one ever mentioned (expletive) New Jersey," Baldwin wrote. "This is a scam."
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So, we head to South Ferry. Me and @hilariabaldwin Two sharp, savvy NYers. Kids in tow. We buy the tickets for the “boat tour” of the Statue of Liberty. We are escorted to a shuttle bus. To New Jersey! I kid you not. We paid. Then we read the tickets. NO ON EVER MENTIONED NEW F***ING JERSEY!!! This is a scam. Take the SI Ferry. It’s the best ride in NY.
Tours R Us, which apparently sold Baldwin the tickets, did not respond to a request for comment from the Associated Press.
The New York Daily News reports the company's shuttle bus transports passengers from downtown New York through the Holland Tunnel to New Jersey, where they board the Queen of Hearts, a boat that offers views of the Statue of Liberty but doesn't actually stop there.
According to its website, Statue Cruises is the official ferry service provider for the Statue of Liberty and the only company that takes visitors to Liberty Island.
Baldwin says his family ultimately wound up taking the Staten Island Ferry, which leaves from Manhattan, is free and passes the Statue of Liberty. Baldwin recommended the ferry to his Instagram followers, calling it "the best ride in NY."
The National Park Service includes a warning on the Statue of Liberty website about third-party ticket vendors.
"There are many aggressive, unauthorized ticket sellers who will try to sell tickets to the Statue of Liberty near Battery Park in NYC. These individuals will often try to scam people through misrepresentation and over-charging," it says, warning people to "avoid these scammers selling overpriced and/or fake tickets."
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday that enforcement efforts would be stepped up against companies that mislead tourists and operate buses without permits.
Contributing: The Associated Press