Editor’s Note: During this period of social distancing, Group Tour magazine will continue to provide group travel inspiration. Many attractions and destinations are closed at this time; please contact them directly for updated information. 

Enjoy a two-hour Long Island Sound cruise aboard the comfortable, high-speed Sea Jet or the Cecelia Ann, thanks to Cross Sound Cruises.

The catamaran-style ships depart from the ferry docks at 2 Perry St. in New London, Connecticut. Cecelia Ann has two climate-controlled interior passenger cabins, while Sea Jet is equipped with modern airline-style seating on two enclosed air-conditioned passenger decks.

Cross Sound Cruises offers three different excursions that provide views of up to nine lighthouses, historical forts, and sights and mansions along the New York, Rhode Island and Connecticut shores. These cruises are narrated by local experts and historians who share tales of shipwrecks, hauntings and lighthouse history.

“Once, the lighthouses that dot the southern New England coast warned travelers to steer clear,” said Stan Mickus of Cross Sound Cruises. “Today, awash in the charm of yesteryear, these beautiful old structures lure visitors towards them.”

Cross Sound Cruises
New London Harbor Lighthouse, New London, Conn.
Credit: Cross Sound Cruises

The catamarans give passengers panoramic views from inside as well as from outdoor viewing decks. Both vessels offer snacks, beverages and gift shops.

Expert narrators provide entertainment and insight about the lighthouses and two historic forts — Griswold and Trumbull — in what was once the third-busiest whaling port in the world. The ride includes the historic waterfront along the route as well as the U.S. Naval Submarine Base and a stop at Bug Island, which is the pride of East End Seaport Museum.

Parking is available on-site for motorcoaches. The dock and terminal in New London are just minutes away from other popular attractions such as Mystic Seaport, Mystic Aquarium, Olde Mistick Village and the Essex Steam Train.

On Long Island, the terminal at Orient Point is in the heart of Long Island Wine Country and near the seacoast village of Greenport. Ferry service is also provided to both Block Island and Long Island, Mickus explained.

Tour groups are given a special discounted rate. Booklets are provided to the group tour leader in advance to highlight what passengers will see on the trip.

“We certainly hope each group will come away from the trip thoroughly entertained by the breathtaking sights and narrative of our coastal region and its rich history,” Mickus said.

Reservations are strongly recommended.

For more information on Cross Sound Cruises / Light House Cruises call 860-444-4620 or go to lighthouse.cruises.

Article by Pamela O’Meara