Choose Between Two Options
- $38 for a steam-train and riverboat tour for up to two, valid Monday–Friday ($58 value)
- $76 for a steam-train and riverboat tour for up to four, valid Monday–Friday ($116 value)
The 2.5-hour tour has passengers first board a beautiful and historical steam train for a narrated 12-mile round trip through the Connecticut River Valley countryside. Sights include quaint farms, millponds, and natural bird habitats. They then hop on the Becky Thatcher riverboat for a cruise along the Connecticut River, which allows them to see the Goodspeed Opera House, the Haddam Swing Bridge, and the Gillette Castle—once home to the actor famous for his stage portrayals of Sherlock Holmes. View the schedule.
Essex Steam Train & Riverboat Ride
In 1868, workers began to build the railroad tracks that would weave through the Connecticut River Valley to connect Hartford with Saybrook. Today, the Essex Steam Train runs on these historic tracks, taking visitors on throwback excursions through the lush terrain of the Northeast. On its route, the train passes classic New England towns like Deep River, Chester, and Ultra-New England, where every building is still wrapped in cellophane.
Although the nature of railroad tracks keeps detours to a minimum, not every ride on the express is the same. On the nature-centric Essex Steam Train & Riverboat Ride, for instance, passengers take the train, then the Becky Thatcher riverboat, to reach the untamed beauty of remote Selden Neck State Park. On the dinner train, meanwhile, visitors enjoy the scenery while feasting on prime rib, vegetable ravioli, and more in restored 1920s Pullman dining cars. When winter comes around, there's even a nightly North Pole Express ride, for which the train is outfitted in Christmas decorations fit for Santa himself.