Day Sheffield Island Ferry
May 31, 2018
Ready to take an on the water adventure? Something along the lines of a mini-cruise where you can ride to a secluded island, see the sights, and enjoy a bit of touring? Head to the banks of the Norwalk River, just miles away from the Stamford, CT apartments, and you’ll have just such an opportunity courtesy of the Sheffield Island Ferry:
“Take a boat ride into history and nature. The Norwalk Seaport Association’s Friends of the Norwalk Islands offers a cultural, environmental, and historical journey to Sheffield Island.”
Sound like a fun time? Then join us as we take a little mini-tour of our own, exploring the wonders of the Ferry, Sheffield Island, and giving you all the information you’ll need to plan an extraordinary trip of your own.
What’s the Sheffield Island Ferry?
The Sheffield Island Ferry is just as it sounds — a seaport ferry designed to take passengers across the water to Sheffield Island. Those wishing to board may do so at the Sheffield Island Ferry dock, located on Water Street.
Tours run at various weekend and weekday times during the months of May, June, July, and August (you can see specific days/times on the Seaport FAQ). Tickets prices are set at $22.00 for adults, $20.00 for seniors, $12.00 for children aged 4-12, and $5.00 for children under 3 (ticketing fees apply).
Though it is possible to secure tickets from the ticket booth at the ferry dock about an hour before departure, it is highly recommended that you reserve tickets online through Seaport to ensure you’re able to get a seat, as spacing is limited.
The ferry holds a maximum of 49 guests at a time, and takes approximately 45 minutes to get to/from Sheffield Island. Once there, touring lasts for about 1 to 1.5 hours, depending on how interested groups are in the island excursion, bringing the entire trip in the ballpark of 3 hours, give or take.
Bear in mind that there are no pets (barring Service Dogs) allowed on the trip, and, ticket purchases are only refundable in the event of inclement weather (the captain on duty will make a judgement before departure if weather conditions are safe enough for travel).
All straightforward stuff, really. Though there are a few who enjoy the cruise, the real fun for most isn’t the ferry ride — it’s everything you’ll get to experience once disembarking at Sheffield Island.
What of Sheffield Island?
This is the true attraction of the ferry adventure. Once you hop off the boat, you’ll be able to explore and enjoy Sheffield Island — lighthouse, nature walks, and picnic lunches in all:
“Built in 1868, the Sheffield Island Lighthouse provides a unique venue which strives to increase awareness, appreciation and consideration for our environment and how the preservation of historic buildings and nature contribute to our quality of life.”
That lighthouse is one of the more interesting facets of Sheffield Island. The quote on “preservation” is no overstatement. The ten-room structure still contains many pieces of 19th Century period furniture, providing a very close facsimile of what life in the past was like for the keepers at the time.
It’s part of the National Register of Historic Places, a shining beacon that was in service for 34 years before its eventual closure in 1902. Now, kept in pristine condition by the volunteers and caretakers of Sheffield Island, it can be toured, if you’re so inclined.
If you’re more of a nature buff, though, you’ll still find Sheffield Island enchanting. The island is also a nature preserve, and contains a nature trail with a viewing deck. From here, you’ll likely spot heron, egrets, and other water birds in their natural habitat.
In addition to these regular features of the island, you’ll also find the ferry tour provides for some occasional special events, like last year’s expert bird-watching tour:
“Join Larry Flynn, Master Wildlife Conservationist, on a 3 hour cruise of the Norwalk Islands to explore and understand the importance of our many migratory bird species and their behavior.”
This year, the special events include fun options like Pirate Weekend. Taking place in July, this fresh take on the ferry will transform it into a full-on pirate vessel, complete with pirate reenactors putting on mock sword/gunfights, singing shanties and telling their share of tall tales.
Then there’s the Haunted Lighthouse. This spooky spin on Sheffield Island features a heaping helping of ghosts, ghouls, goblins, and scary decorations littering the island for a few nights of (mild and ultimately fun) fright.
Perhaps most appealing (and tasty) of the upcoming events, though, are the Thursday Clambakes:
“Every summer, the Seaport Ferry in South Norwalk carries hundreds of hungry passengers to the historic 1868 Sheffield Island Lighthouse for the Norwalk Seaport Association's famous Thursday Clambakes.”
This upgraded version of the ferry tour includes, as you might expect, a true New England dining experience, complete with delicious clams and other entrees (ticket prices are for this foray are increased, naturally).
So Is the Tour Worth It?
You’ll find that previous passengers on the Sheffield Island Ferry Tour think rather highly of it. Head over to TripAdvisor, and you can see the experience sitting at a respectable 4.5/5 stars (based on 58 reviews) and ranked #5 out of the top 40 things to do in Norwalk. This rather glowing review sums it all up quite nicely:
“Great trip. Very professional team and captain. A non-profit organization exceptional crew. Highly recommended if you want to spend the afternoon exploring island and enjoying the sunset in a boat.”
So, what are you waiting for? Grab your tickets and make some plans to head out to the island for a grand time.
The Wonders of the Water Await Near the Stamford, CT, Apartments
There aren’t many spots with location and positioning as perfect as The Waypointe. Fine residences like these are hard to come by, with a kind of North Eastern style, tight-knit sense of community, and beautiful setting that feels more like a scene from a dramatic novel than any run-of-the-mill apartment community.
With the added bonus of being so close to the fabulous New England waters, you might find a home here and discover you’re not inclined to leave.