Season Opens on CT Open House Day Saturday, June 12th
Our water taxi service will get underway Saturday, June 12, 2021 with new programs and a renewed sense of purpose to promote history and heritage sites on the Thames, Amy Perry, the Thames River Heritage Park’s executive director announced today.
“It’s fitting that we’ll be launching our harbor cruises and boat tours on CT Open House Day which was created to enhance awareness and interest in the state’s tourism assets,” she said. In celebration of CT Open House Day the Park will be offering $5 rides on the hop-on hop-off harbor cruise running 11:40 am to 6:20 pm. Those passengers who show proof of being fully vaccinated may ride for free. Schedules, landing sites, tickets, season pass information and details can be found here.
Harbor cruises will operate Saturday, Sundays, and holidays. For a limited time Chelsea Groton Bank is donating $50 for every season pass sold up to $1,000. Season passes provide unlimited rides all season.
The Park has added two new historic narrated boat tours to its lineup. In addition to the popular “Submarines, Battlefields, & Betrayers. Military Life on the Thames” and “Suffragettes, Puppeteers & Patriot. Women of the Thames”, the new tours include “Blowholes, Blubber, and Breaches. Whaling Tales on the Thames” and “Water, Wampum, and Medicine Wheels. Mohegan Life on the Thames.” The latter was developed in collaboration with the Mohegan Tribe and will be led by Mohegan Tribe members. The tours will run Fridays at 6:15 pm, Saturdays at 4:30 pm and 6:15 pm, and Sundays at 4:30 pm. The tours will originate at City Pier. Tickets are $25 for adults, $18 for children under 12 who are accompanied by an adult. Tickets are available here.
Organized group tours will be available this year. Tickets include lunch, a guide for the duration of the tour and admissions to park sites that are included in the three themed tours. Go to Group Tours.
The park has renewed its contract with Vixen Ledge Marine LLC to operate the water taxi. The company is owned by Scott Arsenault who served under the previous operator as a captain from 2016 to 2018 and has served as operator since 2019.
Call for interactive interpreters
Thames River Heritage Park seeks interpreters for its public and group tours during the 2021 tour season. The season begins on Friday, July 2 and ends on Sunday, September 12, 2021. Interpreters must be excellent storytellers, enjoy and care about people, and possess superior communication skills and enthusiasm for the Park’s partner heritage sites and the history of the Thames River estuary. Interpreters also need to be able to create a warm and welcoming environment for guests, capture their attention, and make them feel like they are part of the ongoing story of the heritage of the Thames River.
A stipend of $40 for 1 tour per day and $70 for 2 back-to-back tours per day will be made available to non-volunteer tour interpreters. Tours run for 75 minutes.
In support of the Park, TRHP Foundation operates 2 refurbished surplus U.S. Navy “liberty” utility boats that were used to shuttle sailors to shore from larger ships for liberty or free time. While the boats are interchangeable, during the season one boat typically serves as a water taxi and the other boat is used for regularly scheduled public narrated tours. The Park also offers private (group, chartered) narrated tours.
INTERPRETIVE PUBLIC BOAT TOURS:
Interpretive TRHP Public Boat Tours: During the summer season, the Park will offer 4 rotating interpretive tour options (see below). The tours will be on Fridays @ 6:30 PM; Saturdays @ 4:30 PM and 6:30 PM; and Sundays @ 4:30 PM.
- Suffragettes, Puppeteers, and Patriots – Women of the Thames
- Submarines, Battlefields, and Betrayers – Military Stories on the Thames
- New London – The Whaling City on the Thames (title and tour outlines in development)
- The River Lives – Stories of the Mohegans of Massapequotuck (title and tour outlines in development)
Interpretive TRHP Special Boat Tours: The Park also plans to offer a couple of special tours in conjunction with the 240th Anniversary of the Battle of Groton Heights:
- Revolutionary Ghost Stories, which will be narrated by a member of the Seaside Shadows team.
- Battle of Groton Heights and the Burning of New London (title, tour outline, and guides TBD)
INTERPRETIVE TRHP PRIVATE GROUP (CHARTER) BOAT TOURS: In addition to the public tours, TRHP offers private group tours during the weekdays for which interpreters are needed. The tours include, but are not limited to, the following:
- In Defense of Our Country – Military Stories on the Thames
- The Well-Heeled and the Wannabees – Summering on the Thames in the Gilded Age
- From Pioneers to Playwrights – Three Centuries of Daily Life Along the Thames
Our interpreters’ creative talent and artistic interpretation of our local history and heritage add greatly to guests’ experience of Thames River Heritage Park, its partners, and our region.
For more information contact:
Group Tour and Waterfront Coordinator
Thames River Heritage Park
Watch it below or at any of these times on SEC-TV
Mondays 1:30 pm
Wednesdays 6 pm
Fridays 7 pm
Sundays 8 pm
The Park is pleased to introduce a new member of the team. Catherine Foley has joined us as our Waterfront and Tour Coordinator effective immediately. A longtime New London resident, Catherine brings more than 30 years as an event and conference planner and non-profit executive experience having served respectively as CEO and Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Club of SECT and Covenant Shelter. She has also run her own meeting planning business. Catherine will be coordinating TRHP programming including boat and walking tours, charters, water taxi operations, site partner coordination, and, hopefully —sooner than later—, bringing back our Group Tour Business which was sidelined during the pandemic.