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Seaonal Excursions

Seasonal Excursions

Our Steam Train & Riverboat Excursion operates May through October. In addition, we’ve got unique events and programs planned year round!

Essex Clipper Dinner Train  – May through October
An elegant four-course meal served in beautifully restored 1920’s Pullman diners, pulled by a vintage diesel locomotive.

Chocolate and Wine Cruise – June 27, August 22, October 3
It’s a match made in heaven and we’re bringing it to you on Thursday, September 14th when we host the “Chocolate and Wine Cruise” (*designed for adults only) as one of the new line-up of events at Essex Steam Train and Riverboat.

Brats and Beer Cruise – August 1
Join us for our “three B” cruise! Beer, Bratwurst and Beautiful Fall Foliage on the Connecticut River.

Steam Train & Riverboat Lunch Excursion  – Weekday Operation, June through October
Enjoy a 3-course lunch aboard restored 1920’s Pullman dining cars as part of a 3.75 hour lunch, train and riverboat sightseeing excursion.

Sunset Cruise –  Saturday Evenings, end of June – August
A spectacular train and riverboat ride on the Connecticut River on Friday evenings. Swallow cruises in September and October!

Saybrook Special – First operating weekend, May through October
Board the 10:00 am Saybrook Special for a unique journey along the railroad from Essex to Old Saybrook, free for 11:00 am passengers.

Caboose Weekends – First operating weekend, May through October
Ride the Friends of the Valley Railroad caboose, extra charge donated to the Friends.

East Haddam Concert Express  – Monday Evenings July 8-August 12
Travel aboard vintage coach train cars on your way to enjoy the Music on the River series concerts on the South Lawn at Goodspeed Opera House.

Swallow Cruise  –  Saturday Evenings, September
Take the Becky Thatcher to a spectacular natural phenomenon as hundreds of thousands of Tree Swallows swarm as a beautifully choreographed flock over Goose Island each evening at sunset.

Haddam Special  – Weekends in October
A delightful fall foliage excursion, combining sight-seeing, shopping, dining, and culture in the towns of Haddam and East Haddam.

North Pole Express – Weekends and Weekdays, mid-November through December
Board our locomotive-powered sleigh…for a magical nighttime journey to the North Pole.

Santa Special – Weekends from Black Friday through December
A daytime holiday train ride, with special guests Santa and Mrs. Claus, and other North Pole visitors.

Eagle Flyer – February
A 2½-hour eco-excursion, with local station stops in Deep River, Chester, Eagle Landing State Park and Haddam.

Hand on the Throttle – Click for active dates
A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn about and actually operate a full size steam locomotive.

Day Out with Thomas End-April / Beginning-May
A real live train ride with Thomas the Tank Engine, plus tons of kid-friendly activities.

Day Out with Mom – May
A special outing for the special women in our lives. Treat Mom to a memorable Steam Train and Riverboat ride, complete with a complimentary potted Marigold plant for Mom to enjoy all summer long!

Neighbor Appreciation Weekend – May
Neighbor Appreciation weekend includes free Steam Train and Riverboat rides (coach seating) for residents in 6 towns along the Valley Railroad’s operating line – – Essex, Deep River, Chester, Haddam, East Haddam and Old Saybrook.

Sunset, Cigars & Whiskey Cruise September 5
A nostalgic ride while enjoying premium whiskeys, cigars, cuisine with your fellow cigar and whiskey enthusiasts.

Passengers from the Past – Weekends in June
The country’s most renowned character actors will personify legendary figures, including the Gillettes, Abraham Lincoln, Babe Ruth, & Mark Twain. No additional charge.