Historical tours of the Ellis Island Museum are offered to groups, organizations and individuals, including New York harbor, Castle Garden, Ellis Island, and museum orientation. Also find up-to-date information on genealogical resources, exhibits and related activities.
Your host and guide will be Tom Bernardin, whose association with Ellis Island began in 1978 as a National Park Service ranger, giving tours of pre-restoration Ellis Island. His slide-lecture presentation, Ellis Island-The Golden Door led to the publication of his book.
Tom is a licensed New York City tour guide and a thirty year resident of Manhattan, originally hailing from Lawrence (Immigrant City), Massachusetts. His goal is to provide visitors to Ellis Island and New York with a memorable, interesting, fun, comfortable and informative time as we look back to our enlightening past.
1. How long has the business been operating and how did it start?
Tom Bernardin gave his first tour of Ellis Island as a National Park Service ranger in pre-restoration Ellis in 1978,79, and 80. His experience led him to compile and publish The Ellis Island Immigrant Cookbook. In 20 years, it has sold 100,000 copies.
2. What is your company's mission?
To provide each visitor with a complete understanding of Ellis Island and why it is such an important place.
3. What does your company specialize in?
Tour of Ellis Island, lower Manhattan, Greenwich Village and Manhattan Overview tours.
4. Who is the founder or owner of the company and briefly describe his/her past activities?
5. What is your most popular travel package and why?
I like to combine a visit to Ellis with a visit to the Lower Ease Side Tenement Museum, with perhaps lunch at the famous Katz's Deli.
6. What is the best compliment you received from a client?
The best compliment I receive is when, at the end of the tour, near the Wall of Honor at Ellis, I manage to get folks all teary eyed as they remember and honor their immigrant ancestors. As for a recent quote in a thank you letter, I sure liked this one: "You are an extraordinary man. Thank you for what you did for your group. It was simply unbelievable and everyone is still talking about it..." RLD, June 17, 2011
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