Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Isles of Shoals Steamship Company, Portsmouth, NH

The Isles of Shoals are a group of small islands about 6 miles off the coast of New Hampshire and Maine, situated in the Gulf of Maine in the Atlantic Ocean. The Isles of Shoals Steamship Company offers daily cruises to the Isles of Shoals aboard the M/V Thomas Laighton. 


Using our NHPTV MemberCard, my friend Amy and I got a lovely 2-for-1 deal on a 3-hour Isles of Shoals boat tour. 


The weather could not have been more perfect for a boat ride. The sun was shining and the seas were calm.


The ship leaves beautiful Portsmouth Harbor and sails under the Memorial Bridge. 


As you leave the harbor, you can see the Piscataqua River Bridge, which is the "big" bridge to the State of Maine. (It's the bridge in the back with the rounded top.) One of my favorite bridges in the world... you can't beat the feeling of going over that bridge and heading into Maine. Peaceful, wonderful Maine. (I grew up in Maine... so it might not feel that way for everyone!) 


The M/V Thomas Laighton took us past the nation's oldest naval shipyard. 


We also sailed past the "Alcatraz of the East"... which was once a naval prison. It has been closed since 1974. 


Also during the cruise, we sailed past 3 lighthouses. 


There was lots of activity on the water since it was such a beautiful summer day. 


This is Star Island, the biggest of the islands in the Isles of Shoals chain of islands. 


Star Island is home to the Oceanic Hotel and a replica fishing village, called "Gosport Harbor." This is where our ship stopped. There were options to get off the ship to stay on the island for several hours, or even for several days. We opted to stay on the boat.


After leaving Star Island, the steamship sailed past "White Island Light". Which was a beautiful lighthouse and a perfect "last shot" for our cruise.

The 3-hour tour that we took was $28, and we received a 2-for-1 discount. We saved $28 and it made the excursion a mere $14 for each of us. This was by far the best deal I've received using the MemberCard. And it was one of the best experiences too! My MemberCard savings total is now up to $267.10. 

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