Today is Thursday, June 4, 2020 – The Water Taxi is not running.  


The Park adds another boat.

We accepted delivery of our third water taxi, a surplus navy craft yesterday. As the Park continues to grow so too must our fleet. The boat is planned to be in operation in 2021.

Marian Galbraith, president of the park’s board of directors, said the 40 footer, known popularly as a liberty launch, must first be adapted for it new role. She adds, “the Park has seen significant growth in the last couple years. Our ridership went form 6,600 in 2018 to over 11,000 in 2019. This additional boat will allow the Park to build on its record of success and provide additional programming and tours.” However, not unlike the two boats the Park currently operates, this new one will require exhaustive refurbishing to get it operational.

The craft, known formally as a Willard Utility boat, was last assigned to the sub tender USS Canopus (As-34) that was assigned to ports that would be familiar to veteran submariners in our area including Rota and Holy Loch, Spain; and Bremerton, Washington. The Canopus was decommissioned in 1994.

Executive Director Amy Perry says, “the new boat will allow the park to fulfill its mission of promoting and enhancing public access to local museums, parks, and historic sites. And, given that we are home to the Navy’s first nuclear submarine and Sub Base New London, it’s a nice touch that the launch was assigned to a sub tender.”

To get this boat operational as well as convert it into a comfortable riding craft the upgrades and repairs include aft covers for shade, sanding and painting, T-top cover to provide shade for the captain, handrails, life jackets, engine work, stability testing and a host of other repairs. At the appropriate time the Park will launch a fundraising campaign to cover these costs.

Water taxi service and historically themed boat tours offered by the Thames River Heritage Park begin a fifth year of operation on Memorial Day Weekend.

Meeting the boat at Crockers Boatyard are from left TRHP Executive Director Amy Perry, Water Taxi Captain Mark Jalbert, TRHP President, Board of Directors Marian Galbraith, TRHP Board member Bruce MacDonald.
The 508 mile journey from Cheatham Annex, VA comes to and end.

Groton Heights Waterfront Festival

Groton Bank Day, Inc. is a collaborative effort among historic and cultural institutions on Groton Bank to promote its historic and cultural resources. Its most notable collaborative effort is the Groton Heights Waterfront Festival (formerly known as Groton Bank Day). Held in conjunction with Connecticut Open House Day, the Groton Heights Waterfront Festival offers families the opportunity to tour for FREE historic and cultural organizations including the Avery-Copp House, the Monument House Museum, and the Bill Memorial Library. From Fort Griswold, the site of the Battle of Groton Heights in 1781, to the United States Submarine Veterans National Memorial which honors World War II submarine veterans and the more than 3,600 submariners who lost their lives during the conflict, our area is rich in history to be shared. The event hosts historic walking tours and also offers food, entertainment, and a marketplace.

Phone Number: (860) 381-0304

Ledge Lighthouse

At the mouth of the Thames River stands Ledge Lighthouse. This incredible structure was built in the Second Empire/Colonial Revival style in 1909 to address an increase in boat traffic. Its elegant three-story brick and granite design was heavily influenced by two prominent landowners in Waterford and Groton, Edward Harkness and Morton Plant, who wanted the lighthouse to be constructed in the style of their homes. Cross Sound Ferry’s Classic Cruise includes Ledge Light on its tour.



Message from the Executive Director:

THANK YOU, MOTHER NATURE, for one spectacular season. The water taxis that have been making their way between New London and Groton since Memorial Day have had record-level ridership and have become a popular family activity. As I write this our ridership is showing 50% growth over last year at this time. With our landing site at the Submarine Force Museum on schedule for 2020 these number are sure to explode. You’ll be hearing a lot more about this significant addition to the park experience over the coming months. Stay tuned!

A Paranormal Experience is here.

We’ve teamed up with Seaside Shadows for a truly haunting boat tour this Friday, the 6th. Check out the story, if you dare.

CT Maritime Heritage Festival

This annual celebration is September 12th – 15th. We have an express water taxi schedule and a new tour created exclusively for the Festival. For more information about both click here.

New Tours a Big Hit!
We have much to celebrate in 2019 in addition to hot and sunny summer weekends. Our Submarine, Battlefields, & Betrayers 90-minute boat tour was so well-received we sold out every tour. For those who missed it, don’t despair we have added five more dates to the schedule: Saturday, September 21st & 28th, Sunday, September 22nd & 29nd, and Saturday, October 5th. All tours leave from City Pier at 2 p.m.
For more information and to purchase tickets go here.

You don’t need a boat to get around the Park.

Our walking tours hosted by Gail MacDonald, David Rose, Tom Foley, and Abby Plungis were a welcome addition to the Park experience. Held at each of our three landing sites, park visitors were treated to our rich history from these local historians and experts. Expect to see them back next year with more tales from the Park.

Although Labor Day has come and gone — a traditional sign that summer is in the rearview mirror — there are still two more weekends to enjoy time on the river. If you haven’t hopped aboard (or even if you have) take a ride before the summer of 2019 is a memory.




Amy Perry
Executive Director

Purchase your tickets for Revolutionary War Ghosts on the Thames. If you dare…

Take a haunted history adventure on the Thames Friday, Sept. 6th at 6:45 PM. The tour will highlight the spirits and ghosts of the American Revolution. Taking place on the 238th anniversary of Benedict Arnold’s notorious attack on New London and Fort Griswold, we’ll travel the route of the Red Coats as we tell the haunting tales of 1781 and the spirits that roam the port cities to this day.

Revolutionary War Ghosts on the Thames departs City Pier in New London at 6:45 PM and runs for 90 minutes. Tickets are $25.