Historic Group Tours
Our themed tours are a fun, informative, and a scenic way to spend the day. All three take advantage of the rich history few have here on both land and water. The tours include a hop-on guide, three-course lunch, admission to park sites included in each tour and a narrated boat ride on the Thames River in an authentic navy utility boat.
Submarines, Battlefields, and Betrayers
Military Stories on the Thames
Start your day at Fort Trumbull State Park where the Visitor Center exhibits depict and explain over 225 years of CT military history; see patriot Nathan Hale’s New London Schoolhouse on route to a three-course sit down lunch followed by a cruise along the Thames River in an authentic navy utility boat to view key historic military sites. Then visit Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park site of the Battle of Groton Heights in 1781 — where the first obelisk was completed in the United States — and re-discover the betrayal of Benedict Arnold. End your day at the Submarine Force Museum and “USS Nautilus” — and tour the world’s first nuclear powered submarine.
Cost pp $49
Length of tour: Approximately 6 hours
Wednesdays and Thursdays
The Well-Heeled and the Wannabees
Summering on the Thames in the Gilded Age
In the late 19th century New London and Groton were favorite summer vacation spots for the growing middle class — both the wealthy and the comfortably well off. Among the families summering here was that of Louis Comfort Tiffany, whose career as artist, designer, and glassmaker is chronicled in a new exhibit at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum. A guided tour will walk you through his life and works, including stained-glass windows, lamps, and jewelry. Visit St. James Church with its beautiful Tiffany windows in their original settings. Enjoy a sit down luncheon and talk at the Thames Club, the oldest social club in Connecticut. Then board an historic navy utility boat with your local guide to see Eastern Point summer cottages in Groton, elegant homes of financier Morton Plant and publisher Theodore Bodenwein and hear stories of the vacationers from around the world who enjoyed the region in the late 1800s.
Cost pp $59
Length of Tour: Approximately 5.5 Hours
Ordinary People Leading Extraordinary Lives
Three Centuries of Daily Life Along the Thames
New London and Groton abound in stories of citizens who shaped the economic, cultural and political life of Connecticut from the 17th to 20th centuries. At the 1800 Avery-Copp House experience the lives of a local family, and their servants, from the Revolutionary War, through the Victorian Era, age of industrialization, mass immigration, Great Depression, and both World Wars. Then board our historic navy utility boat to view the landscape where Connecticut founders and their descendants built a flourishing industrial, residential and cultural society. Lunch and a tour will be included at the 1869 Thames Club, the haunt of local political leaders, artists and industrialists for 150 years. After lunch visit The Monte Cristo Cottage, Nobel Laureate playwright Eugene O’Neill’s summer home and the setting of two of his best-known plays. End your day at the 1678 and 1758 Hempsted Houses, whose residents included a founder of New London; his grandson, Connecticut’s notable 18th century diarist, single father of 9 and slave owner; and their 19th century abolitionist descendants.
Cost pp $59.
Tour Length: Approximately 6 Hours
Tuesdays and Thursdays
All tours include services of a knowledgeable local step-on guide, boat tour, admissions and tours of sites/museums as indicated, three-course seasonal luncheon including tax and gratuity. Alcoholic beverages available for purchase. The Thames River Heritage Park boat ride is not fully accessible. Please see our Accessibility Policy . Email us for details here. Minimum of 25 paying guests required. Group leader is complimentary. Tours run rain or shine and are subject to variation.
Tours run June, July and August. Later dates may be available. A $250 deposit is required to book a tour. Cancellation must be made at least 14 days before scheduled tour for a full refund. Cancellations between 6 and 13 days will receive a 50% refund. Cancellations of less than 6 days will not be refunded. Full payment is due 30 days in advance of tour date for the minimum guests required. Final passenger count and meal choices are due 7 days in advance of tour date.