via Save The Bay
Save The Bay has kicked off its 2019 lighthouse tour season, offering Northern Bay, Southern Bay and Ultimate Tours, now through September. Each tour provides guests with exceptional views of Narragansett Bay’s breathtaking scenery and historic beacons, in addition to narration by Save The Bay captains and educators. Northern Bay Tours also offer foot-tours of the Pomham Rocks Lighthouse, while Southern Bay and Ultimate Tours offer foot-tours of the Rose Island Lighthouse and grounds.
Northern Bay Lighthouse Tours are 3.5-hour cruises that depart from the Bay Center at 100 Save The Bay Drive in Providence at 1 p.m. on Saturdays, July 20 and September 14. The cruise travels into the upper reaches of Narragansett Bay and the Providence River, offering views of 10 active and inactive lighthouses around Gaspee Point, Hog Island and Prudence Island, as well as a foot-tour of the Pomham Rocks Lighthouse and grounds. Other lights viewed from Northern Lighthouse Tours include:
- Bristol Ferry Light, just under the Mt. Hope Bridge, a privately-owned brick lighthouse that was operational from 1855 through 1927;
- Hog Island Shoal Light, whose “spark-plug,” or “coffee pot tower,” design served as the standard from the 1870s through the 1900s;
- Nayatt Point Light, originally built in 1828 to help guide transports in and out of the narrow river shoals toward Narragansett Bay, and later rebuilt to protect the entrance to the river further south;
- Prudence Island Light, Rhode Island’s oldest lighthouse, maintained today by the Prudence Island Conservancy;
- Warwick Light, the last cast-iron tower lighthouse remaining in New England, which is overseen by the U.S. Coast Guard and best seen by boat.
Save The Bay members can purchase Northern Bay Lighthouse Tour tickets for $50, and non-members can purchase tickets for $55.
Southern Lighthouse Tours are 3.5-hour cruises departing from Alofsin Pier at Fort Adams in Newport on Saturdays, July 13 and September 7 at 10 a.m. With stunning views of the Newport Pell Bridge, Prudence Island and historic Fort Adams, this tour also offers views of 11 active and inactive lighthouses, and a lunch stop on Rose Island, where passengers will tour the grounds and lighthouse tower. Other lighthouses viewed during Southern Lighthouse Tours are:
- Beavertail Light, established in 1749, the third oldest lighthouse in the American colonies;
- Castle Hill Light, a well-recognized Rhode Island lighthouse located at the westernmost point of Newport and at the entrance to the East Passage of Narragansett Bay;
- Conanicut Light, a wood-framed Gothic Revival lighthouse often recognized for its appearance in the 2012 movie, “Moonrise Kingdom”;
- Dutch Island Light, sited on a former Civil War military base called Fort Greble, is continuously powered by a solar-powered battery;
- Gull Rocks, the former site of a wooden A-Framed lighthouse built in 1887 that survived the devastating Hurricane of 1938, before being replaced by a skeleton tower in 1928 which was then demolished in 1970 for construction of the Newport Bridge;
- Lime Rock Light (Ida Lewis Yacht Club), kept, at one time, by Idawalley Zaradia Lewis, who reportedly saved 18-35 lives as its keeper;
- Newport Harbor Light at Goat Island, built in 1824 at the entrance to Newport Harbor and witness to Goat Island’s transformations from fort, to torpedo station, to barracks, to condos, and now the Gurney’s Newport Resort and Marina;
- Plum Beach Light, an example of “spark plug” design and a survivor of a collision with a loose construction barge, a tidal wave in one of Rhode Island’s worst hurricanes, a legal battle over ownership, and now restored by the Friends of Plum Beach Lighthouse;
- Poplar Point Light, Rhode Island’s oldest unaltered lighthouse in its original location and the oldest freestanding wooden lighthouse in the nation;
- Rose Island Light, built in 1798, south of the base of the Newport Pell Bridge and a favorite spot for overnight and weekend guest keepers;
- Wickford Harbor Light, originally built in 1882 to replace Poplar Point Light, this square wooden tower was replaced with a skeleton tower in 1930.
Save The Bay members can purchase Southern Bay Lighthouse Tour tickets for $65 and non-members can purchase tickets for $70.
Ultimate Lighthouse Tours are 7-hour cruises departing from the Bay Center at 100 Save The Bay Drive in Providence and motoring down Narragansett Bay’s West Passage into Newport and returning home via the East Passage. Offered at 9 a.m. on Saturdays, July 28, August 10 and September 21, Ultimate Lighthouse Tours provide beautiful views of all lighthouses included in both the Northern and Southern Tours, as well as a lunch stop and tour of the grounds at Rose Island Light. Save The Bay members can purchase Ultimate Lighthouse Tour tickets for $95 and non-members can purchase tickets for $105.
Save The Bay’s Lighthouse Tours are part of the United States Lighthouse Society’s passport program, and ticket sales support Save The Bay’s education efforts, as well as the restoration of the Pomham Rocks and Rose Island lighthouses. For more information about Save The Bay’s Lighthouse Tours, or to purchase tickets, visit www.savebay.org/lighthouse.