Celebrate Thames River Taxi Launch July 3

New London, CT – The Board of Directors of the newly established Thames River Heritage Park Foundation (TRHPF) will host a ceremony to celebrate the launch of Water Taxi Service on the Thames River Sunday July 3 at Pier 7, Fort Trumbull State Park, from 3:00 to 4:00 PM.  The taxi service will be operated by The Thames River Water Taxi LLC of Voluntown, CT using two surplus US Navy launches acquired by the City of Groton, with structural and cosmetic work provided by Crocker’s Boat Yard in New London.  

The boats are undergoing testing by the US Coast Guard in preparation for the start of service in early July. 

The planned daily schedule will begin with a 10am departure of the water taxi from Fort Trumbull State Park. Once launched, the taxi will operate on an hourly loop schedule, Friday through Sunday, until mid-September, from Fort Trumbull, with landings at City Pier in New London and the City of Groton Pier/Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park.  The final trip of the day will depart Groton at 8:40pm.  The basic charge for a round trip ticket (allowing disembarkation at each stop) will be $10 for adults and $5 for children 4-12 years of age and active Military members with ID.   All day and season passes are also available. Children three and under will ride for free.

The July 3 ceremony will celebrate the inauguration of long-anticipated water taxi service uniting the historic waterfronts of Groton and New London.  The party will also celebrate the “Opening” of the Thames River Heritage Park, the first heritage park in Connecticut, which will connect, via the river, the many historic sites and museums in both cities.  Fort Trumbull and Fort Griswold and the smaller museums, including the Custom House Maritime Museum, Shaw Mansion, Nathan Hale Schoolhouse, Avery-Copp House, Ebenezer Avery House and Hempstead Houses are all encompassed by the Thames River Heritage Park, and together tell residents and visitors the stories of the past, present and future that link these historic communities. 

The water taxi will provide visitors and residents an easy car-less opportunity, not only to visit historic sites and museums, but also to dine and shop on both sides of the river.  Planned expansion of the service includes a stop at the USS Nautilus and Submarine Force Museum in Groton where a new dock will be installed. The landing at City Pier in New London will provide direct access to the National Coast Guard Museum scheduled to open in 2020. 

All are welcome to attend the launch party on July 3 and the official ribbon cutting for this exciting new venture that adds a rich dimension to tourism and economic development in Southeastern Connecticut.  For more information, visit the Thames River Heritage Park web site at http://www.thamesriverheritagepark.org.