Celia Thaxter's Garden Tours
Celia Thaxter's Garden Tours are finished for the 2017 season! Thank you for a wonderful year, and check back in early 2018 for next summer's dates!
Step back in time, and experience the unique beauty of Celia Thaxter's Island Garden! Restored and maintained by the Shoals Marine Laboratory, the garden is accessible to the public during guided Garden Tours each summer.
Celia Thaxter's Garden Tour participants (34 per tour) will be transported to and from beautiful Appledore Island aboard the R/V Gulf Challenger. Passengers should plan to meet the vessel at UNH's Judd Gregg Marine Research Complex adjacent to the US Coast Guard Station on New Castle Island. As a part of this unique tour package, you will enjoy a fully-catered luncheon courtesy of Shoals Marine Laboratory in our beautiful Kiggins Commons Dining Room offering expansive water views and an open deck – should you wish to dine en plein air!
Appledore Island is a rugged landscape, with uneven, slightly steep and rocky paths. There are no paved roads or walkways. Tour content more appropriate for those of 14 years of age and above. All participants must be in good physical condition. Please wear footwear appropriate for walking on uneven terrain. The majority of the day is spent walking, and participants are required to stay with the tour leader(s) for the entire duration of the time on Appledore Island. Limited seating is available aboard the R/V Gulf Challenger passengers must be prepared to stand for the duration of the trip (~45 minutes).
Celia's flower photos, thanks Erica Anderson.
$100 per person (sorry, no group discounts available). All-inclusive package covers round-trip boat transportation, guided garden tours, and a gourmet catered lunch (includes beverages and dessert, served buffet style with vegetarian option available). FREE parking is available! You will receive trip confirmation details from SML after you register for a tour (dates below).
- Plan to arrive at the UNH Pier by 8:30am for check-in and orientation.
- The trip will depart for Appledore Island at 9:00am.
- Cruises return to the pier in New Castle by 3:30pm.
- Cruises depart from the new UNH Pier facility (Judd Gregg Marine Research Complex), which is next to the U.S. Coast Guard Station at Fort Point in New Castle, NH.
- Follow this link for directions to the dock in New Castle, NH where you will be boarding UNH's R/V Gulf Challenger.
Parking at the dock is limited! If you are traveling in a group, please make every effort to carpool.
Know Before You Go:
Transportation to and from the Appledore Island is provided by UNH’s Research Vessel Gulf Challenger. This is a working research vessel providing insight on how marine research is conducted and therefore does not provide amenities one might find on a passenger vessel. Participants must be prepared to stand for the duration of the trip to and from Appledore Island (~45 minutes one way) and will have limited protection from sun, rain or spray. There is limited seating available below deck and it is only accessible via a steep set of stairs. Toilet facilities, in addition to being small, are accessed by using a steep set of stairs. Participants are encouraged to use the toilet facilities located at the Judd Gregg Marine Research Complex and on Appledore Island prior to boarding the vessel.
The R/V Gulf Challenger departs from UNH’s Judd Gregg Marine Research Complex. This is a working research pier. Access to the vessel is via a steep floating ramp. The slope of the ramp varies with the tide.
Appledore Island is a rugged landscape, with uneven, slightly steep and rocky paths. Access on/off the island is via a floating dock, two sets of steep stairs, and ledge. Participants must be in good physical condition. Participants must be prepared to spend a majority of the day walking. Toilet facilities are available on island.
For your convenience, we have assembled a gallery of images showing the docks at UNH and SML, the deck and interior of the Gulf Challenger, and the rocky Appledore landscape. Click here to view the gallery of our facilities and terrain.
Participants requiring dietary restrictions or the use of an American Sign Language interpreter or assistive listening device should contact email@example.com. A two week notice for an interpreter is required.
- Follow this link to download our waiver form.
- Bring the form with you on the day of your tour.
- At least 30 days before departure = 100% refund
- 29-15 days before departure = 50% refund
- Less than 15 days before departure = 0% refund
In the event that Shoals Marine Laboratory cancels a tour due to inclement weather, the rain date for 2017 will be Friday, August 11.