Ferry Info

Directions, Parking and Packing Information

Boats to and from Star Island

Conferees can travel for free aboard the Thomas Laighton and Challenger (space permitting). The Thomas Laighton and Challenger are boats operated by the Isles of Shoals Steamship Company out of Portsmouth.

Conferees may alternatively purchase tickets for the Uncle Oscar. The Uncle Oscar is operated by Island Cruises out of Rye Harbor.

The Utopia and Hurricane are operated by Star Island out of Portsmouth. Conferees may be able to travel aboard the Utopia with approval from the Conference Registrar.


Luggage must be limited to:

  • One small carry-on bag. Prescriptions must be included in carry-on bags, not checked.
  • A specialty item (such as a musical instrument, easel, or tennis racket)
  • Checked Baggage:
    One checked bag (a duffle bag without wheels is preferable)—limit 40 lbs. per person, OR
    Two smaller checked bags – limit 25 lbs. per bag per person (this is the preferred option).

Bags exceeding the weight limits cannot be transported.

Although we make every effort to handle luggage with care, be advised that Star Island Corporation and Steamship Company assume no responsibility for the handling, damage, or loss of any luggage. Conferees are urged to leave valuable items at home or to handle them personally. Belongings should be securely packed; loosely packed items run the risk of being damaged or dropped in the water during handling. Conferees are not permitted to bring alcohol aboard the Thomas Laighton (so alcohol should not be packed in carry-on baggage). Neither Star Island nor the Steamship Company has professionally trained luggage handlers.

Parking in Portsmouth

Parking for Conferees is available at the Steamship Company dock at 315 Market Street, Portsmouth, NH.

You will be directed where to park by the parking attendant when you arrive at the dock on the first day of the conference. We ask that in order to prevent a traffic backup that “friendly greetings” please occur after the unloading and parking of automobiles. Vehicles must be removed immediately upon your return to Portsmouth or your vehicle risks being “blocked in.”

The parking fee is $12 per vehicle per day. A car parked for a typical 7-day program will be charged $84. This charge will be added to your room and board bill.

If you are arriving in Portsmouth on a day other than your conference start date, check in with the parking attendant to receive instructions about where to park. Special needs parking is limited. Please be advised that you may be required to park in the municipal parking garage a couple of blocks from the dock. If you are departing on a day other than the standard conference departure day, please be sure to inform the gate attendant so that you are not blocked in.

The Star Island Corporation, Isles of Shoals Steamship Company and the Pease Development Authority, Division of Ports and Harbors, assume no responsibility for cars parked in the designated Star Island parking lot.

Driving Directions

  • From the South: I-95 North to NH Exit 7. RIGHT at lights
  • From the North: I-95 South to NH Exit 7. LEFT at lights
  • From the West: (Routes 4 and 16) pick up I-95 North at the Portsmouth Traffic circle to NH Exit 7. From Route 33 (old 101) take Interstate-95 North to Exit 7

From Exit 7, turn towards downtown Portsmouth (EAST). The entrance is approximately 3/4 mile on the left, across from the Portsmouth Sheraton and next to the salt piles.

Parking in Rye

The parking fee is $10 per vehicle per night. Please notify the parking attendant of your expected departure date. Payment for parking is made in Rye – ask the parking attendant for details.

Driving Directions

GPS – use with caution!

1870 Ocean Blvd (Rte 1-A), Rye, NH 03870

Please be aware that your GPS will at least get you close, but might not get you right to the harbor. Some send you too far north on Ocean Blvd., others too far south. We recommend following the directions below; if you prefer to use online maps, Google Maps has our location marked correctly.


Rte 95 South. Take Exit 5 for the Portsmouth Traffic Circle. From the Traffic Circle: Take Exit for Rte. 1 ByPass South. Follow 2 miles to 6th light at Elwyn Rd. Take left onto Elwyn Rd. Follow 1.4 miles to Rte 1-A South. Continue straight for 6 miles, Rye Harbor will be on your left.


Proceed to Portsmouth Traffic Circle. See above directions.


Rte 101 East. Take Exit 12. Left onto Rte 111 East, follow 6.4 miles to Rte 1-A. Left onto Rte 1-A North. 3 miles to Rye Harbor.


Rte 95 North, take Exit 2 onto Rte 101 West. Follow 1 mile. Take exit 12. Right onto Rte 111 East (see above for 111 East).

Public Transportation


Provide transport to and from Portsmouth and the airports in Boston, MA and Manchester, NH. Both require advanced reservations.


  • C&J Bus Service: (800) 258-7111, located at 185 Grafton Road in Portsmouth
  • Greyhound Bus Lines: (800) 231-2222, “terminal” in downtown Portsmouth, a short walk from the dock


  • Blue Star Taxi, (603) 436-2774
  • Anchor Taxi, (603) 436-1888