Essex Steam Train Sunset Cruise
The Essex Steam Train is more than just your typical antique steam-powered railroad, offering family-friendly train and longer evening dinner train trips from its historic 1892 station in Essex, CT. The railroad owns a vintage steamboat as well—the Becky Thatcher – which is perfect for a Saturday Night Sunset Cruise on the lovely Connecticut River.
The experience begins at 6:15, when a diesel-powered train takes you 15 minutes down the track to the Becky Thatcher’s launch in Deep River. From there it’s a 2-hour river cruise, with exquisite 360-degree views of some of Connecticut’s prettiest countryside – the coves, inlets, and wildlife of Selden Neck State Park, accessible only by boat. Food and beverages –including alcohol from a fully-stocked bar – are available from the snack bar aboard the boat.
The Sunset Cruise occurs every Saturday night in July from 6-9 pm, with tickets running $30 per person and advanced purchase recommended. (Because it’s a late evening event, the train discourages children under 10.) The railroad has a number of other options – including the fabulous (and regularly sold out) Hand on the Trottle, which allows train buffs (with a bit of training) to actually operate a steam engine – and a Dinner Train that serves up a surprisingly good 4-course dinner aboard beautifully restored 1920’s Pullman diners.