Have always been talking about taking the Essex Steam Train and Riverboat ride and finally did it!! Just so bummed I didn't do it when the children were younger - instead of in their late teens! But it did prove that this attraction is enjoyable for all ages!
We easily ordered tickets on-line and checked in at the ticket booth with ease when we arrived at the depot. The staff were all so friendly, welcoming and helpful. We opted for first class seats. Swivel, velour lounge type chairs with a little table for your drinks that can only be ordered in this first class parlor car. The seats are really more in pairs- there were 3 of us and it seemed whoever was on the end would get cut off from conversation if you swiveled the chair!
Tip: when you board the train try to sit on the left side of the train- that's where all the river views are! We boarded rather late and had to sit on the right side so missed some key views on the train journey.
All the cars look great and all offer great views. The tour guide was so knowledgeable. The train ride seemed so quick!
We boarded the Becky Thatcher at Deep River Landing for the 1 and 1/4 hour boat ride. There are 3 levels- the lower with a snack bar and seating, the middle level with plastic lawn chairs in tight rows for seating and then the upper level for 40 passengers to stand along the rail - no seats up there! Once again, the tour guide narrated a very interesting history of the area and pointed all the spots to see. It was a beautiful day so our journey was very pleasant!
We ordered hot dogs, pretzels, chips and soda for our ride. Average. I don't think you take this trip for the food! Noticed some people had brought their own lunches.
This trip is so worth it and if you have young kids it is such a fun adventure. The CT River and countryside is so beautiful! They offer lots of special trips to - everyone talks about the polar express, and the circus train. Take the time to take advantage of this attraction. Especially if you are a CT resident - experience what the state offers. You will not be disappointed!
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