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“Bannerman Island” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Bannerman Cruise & Walking Tour

Bannerman Cruise & Walking Tour
Front Street, Newburgh, NY 12550
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Owner description: Pollepel Bannerman Island Cruise and WalkingTours. Explore the mystery and enjoy the history of Bannerman Island! Board the Pollepel for a 30 minute trip to the island, where you get a guided tour. May 1 - October 31. Saturdays, Sundays, and Selected Fridays. Call or visit web for full schedule.
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Bannerman Island”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2012

Cruise was ontime and enjoyable; volunteer guides on the island were very knowledgeable.

Visited July 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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23 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Poughkeepsie, New York
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“See Bannerman Castle Before It Crumbles Away!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2012

We took a boat from Beacon, NY, which was enclosed and kept us out of the scorching sun on this hot July Sunday afternoon. The windows were open and the breezes were refreshing. On the half hour trips to and from the island, the director kept us entertained by describing points of interest as we passed them, and showed a short video. After landing, we climbed seventy-two steps, then followed dirt paths around the island, so wear your walking shoes. The walking tour lasted about an hour and a half. Basically, there are two structures --the ruins of a residence and the ruins of three warehouses (warehouses all connected to each other) built of brick & mortar in the early 1900s. Beautiful ruins that keep falling down a little more each year. Therefore, it's not safe to get too close, so you are not allowed to. The structures were built to resemble Scottish castles. There was a fire in the 70s that burned the entire island for three days. After that, the island was left alone and became overgrown with vines, weeds and trees. Awhile ago they started beating back the brush, clearing paths, and re-establishing gardens so this beautiful site can be enjoyed once again. Ruins of a Scottish castle on an island in the middle of the Hudson is something you should see it before it crumbles away!

Visited July 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Lovely, short trip to a unique site.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2012

This tour is a nice way to spend a few hours visiting a unique spot on the Hudson River. The boat trip over has an informative video on the history of the island and the "castle" but would REALLY BENEFIT from the ability to sit on the boat deck. It would make the ride and the overall visit that much more pleasurable and memorable if you were able to fully see the Hudson, the shorelines, etc. I think this is a Pride of Hudson company matter, but nonetheless, something they should look into.

Our guide, Thom, provided the walking tour of the island and he was funny and well-informed. Clearly, he and many other volunteers have a great love for the history of the place and a dedication to it's upkeep.

Interesting to see the ruins and I hope they get the residence repaired. On one hand, I would have liked to walk more around the (very hilly) island but there is very dense brush and lots of poison ivy.

Overall, well worth the visit if you enjoy local history.

Visited May 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
East Hartford, Connecticut
Top Contributor
265 reviews 265 reviews
71 attraction reviews
Reviews in 96 cities Reviews in 96 cities
134 helpful votes 134 helpful votes
“Something different to do. Unique site to see.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2011

My family took the cruise and walking tour from Newburgh (it also leaves from Beacon). It is the same boat and the same experience regardless of which location you leave from. The Bannerman Castle website and the boat company website (Pride of the Hudson) offer a good summary of what is involved. My few other notes:
- They say you need hard hats, but we weren't required to wear them. Unfortunately, due to a collapse of a major part of the structure in fall 2010, you can't get as close to the factory building as you once could. You can get close enough to get good pictures and see the structure well, but you aren't going to walk inside or around the base of the walls.
- There were parts of the walk that would be difficult if you have trouble walking. One part of the tour( which you weren't required to take), takes you down to the shoreline and the gardens. No problem at all for my family, but a few others in the tour group didn't try it.
- The boat is fully enclosed. It has very comfortable seats (like those on an airplane). However, you aren't allowed to stand on the deck (which is really small anyway). If you have a window seat, you have a nice view. This didn't take away from the castle experience, but if you expect to be on deck enjoying the Hudson and the fresh air - you won't be able to. The trip is about 30 min each way.
- It isn't a cheap trip - $30/person for the four of us. However, a part of that goes to the upkeep of the site.

My advice -
1) Go in the autumn. It would be absolutely beautiful and not as hot as August.
2) See this now before the rest of the castle collapses. The Trust that supports the site doesn't have the money to stabilize the castle building, so another bad winter or two and a couple more walls may collapse. They Trust is working on restoring the family home building.

Visited August 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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