We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Want the lowest hotel prices? You're in the right place. We check 200+ sites for you.

Essex Steam Train and Riverboat

Certificate of Excellence
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Sponsored by:
Get directions
Address: 1 Railroad Ave, Essex, CT 06426-1516
Phone Number:
+1 860-767-0103

Take one or both tours in combination for a delightful sightseeing...

Take one or both tours in combination for a delightful sightseeing excursion through some of the most scenic areas of Connecticut: scenic train ride in restored railroad cars pulled by a coal-fired locomotive and a ride up the Connecticut River by riverboat.

read more

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 476 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 257
  • 149
    Very good
  • 45
  • 6
  • 14
Train & Riverboat all in one.

New England States in the Autumn. Yes we did all 6 in August that year in ((1995 not 2016)). Wonderful vacation but we should have done only 3 that year then came back another... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 3 weeks ago
Kelseyville, California
Add Photo Write a Review

476 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
  • More
Showing 471: English reviews
Kelseyville, California
Level Contributor
82 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

New England States in the Autumn. Yes we did all 6 in August that year in ((1995 not 2016)). Wonderful vacation but we should have done only 3 that year then came back another year for the rest of the states. All of them needed time to take everything in and not be rushed. This review will be State #31... More 

Thank jaduckcoin
Level Contributor
414 reviews
211 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

We did not ride the train. However we seen it was at the staton and curiosity got the better of us so we pulled into a busy parking lot. They were getting loaded up for their next North Pole adventure. Everyone we passed was quick to greet us and ask if we needed help finding our way. It was a... More 

Thank Thedevelopingimage
Wethersfield, Connecticut
Level Contributor
73 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

The Santa Train was a big hit for the second year in a row. The characters, Santa, Mrs Clause, Rudolph, elves were great fun and even the bell ornaments handed out were different from last year. Great fun!!

Thank giaabruzzi
Bridgeport, Connecticut
Level Contributor
162 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 8, 2017 via mobile

The Essex Steam Train as the Polar Express was a great family experience for both the children and us the parents, the Train Station was decorated beautifully for Christmas and the train absolutely awesome! The conductors were all dressed up as different characters, we had Raggedy Ann and she sang song that we all sang along too and they served... More 

Thank Bridgeporter
Whittier, California
Level Contributor
93 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 26, 2016

has a Christmas Present to my wife and I My son and daughter in law treated us to the Santa Express Train ride today as a fan of old trains and having 2 grandsons what more could you ask for ? the boys were wide eyed with joy Trip is well worth it , look forward to summer and the... More 

Thank s3production
Level Contributor
35 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 15, 2016

Visited this place approx 6 months ago for the Thomas the Train Spectacular...yes, it was awesome. Went this time to the Santa Express. Loved it. The kids (3 years old) loved the train ride and the decorations (nicely displayed lights and Christmas decor). Had lunch there - food was ok. prices fair. Should have brought our our snacks for the... More 

Thank Pauline L
Trumbull, Connecticut
Level Contributor
59 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 14, 2016 via mobile

My wife and I took our two children on the Essex steam train Polar Express. The experience was absolutely phenomenal, and definitely something we will look to do again in the future. Our elf was Manny, and he was phenomenal. My daughter is 2 1/2 and she didn't stop smiling during the entire trip. Santa was great as well, taking... More 

Thank Anthony G
Level Contributor
37 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 11, 2016 via mobile

The crew really does a nice job. Our first polar express was awesome. Car was decorated nice and clean and plenty of room for a big family. Only complaint is that they allow smoking on the property. Not on the trains but when you step off you and your kids are blasted with smoke. Go smoke free and this becomes... More 

Thank squashman24
Level Contributor
26 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 7, 2016

What a beautiful experience for the kids and adults alike for the holidays. It can easily be turned out into a family tradition. Went with my sister's children who lives in CT and my two teen girls. We were only an hour away. They really enjoyed the hour trip in the train where they were entertained by all the characters.... More 

Thank Artisanie
Canton Center, Connecticut
Level Contributor
123 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 5, 2016 via mobile

Well organized fun for little ones with a constant parade of characters coming thru the cars. Each spends time with every child and poses for all the pics you want. Hard to get great pics with all the folks in the background however. It's a big operation with 9 to 10 cars on each train, but it all runs smoothly.... More 

Thank rkw321

Travelers who viewed Essex Steam Train and Riverboat also viewed


Been to Essex Steam Train and Riverboat? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Essex Steam Train and Riverboat and other visitors
6 questions
Ask a question
New Haven, Connecticut
5 months ago
over a year ago
New Haven, Connecticut
over a year ago

See all questions (6)

Questions? Get answers from Essex Steam Train and Riverboat staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Will you pick up and drop off at my hotel?
  • I have a family of 7. Can your tour accommodate all of us together?
  • How should I dress for this tour?