Tours to New London Ledge Light are quick, easy, and now, a little more personal.
Visitors can land by boat at the historic lighthouse at the mouth of the Thames River and explore inside all the way up to the lantern.
New London Maritime Society is offering the new fun-sized, six person boat trips all summer long.
The two-hour excursions leave from the Custom House Maritime Museum at 150 Bank Street in New London.
Matt Lynch with Water Transit Services pulls away from the Custom House Dock most every day – depending on weather.
His passengers enjoy the sights on and along the Thames River like the historic Fort Trumbull, but it’s their destination for which most are onboard.
“We get a little a little bit of everybody coming out here,” said Lynch. “We got folks that just want to get out on the water and enjoy a boat ride and then we have the other side of the extreme lighthouse enthusiasts.”
The trips to New London Ledge Light are offered a couple of times a day but they may navigate the Thames River waters more depending on demand.
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The times of the tours are dependent on the tide. They have to have go at near high tide because, otherwise, when the boat pulls up to the lighthouse, it will be too low for people to step up onto the landing and there are jagged bolts sticking out of the base which they don’t want hitting the boat.
“Certainly not a nice smooth dock so we got big fenders and it’s been working out pretty well,” said Lynch.
The trips provide public access to the historic light.
“We’ve had a number of Coast Guard members that have been stationed here and they all have interesting stories Ernie stories,” said Bruce Buckley, president of the Ledge Light Foundation.
Ernie the lighthouse keeper is long gone but many say his ghost continues to cause mischief.
“It’s a pleasure to watch folks come out here,” said Buckley who leads many of the tours.
For many, it’s an unforgettable view from the top which is just a boat ride away.
“This is a substantial part of the history of the whole area,” said Buckley.
Those interested in the tour can register 24/7 online at brownpapertickets.com/event/3466901.
Fees are $60, $50 NLMS members & children ages 7 to 18.
The schedule is dictated by the tides and weather. There are daily updates online.
They also offer Sunset and Full-Moon Lighthouse Tours on an intimate 6-person boat.