News : Cast off with the Thomas Laighton for fun, festivities and exploration

May 10, 2013

From Foster's Daily Democrat and The Portsmouth Patch

By Heikki Perry

PORTSMOUTH — Among the most enduring signs that summer lies just around the corner is the sight of the M/V Thomas Laighton plying its way around Portsmouth Harbor. And while residents and visitors alike associate the vessel with fun and exploration, the Thomas Laighton is also an exemplar of environmentalism in action.

The Thomas Laighton is the cruise ship of the Isle of Shoals Steamship Company, an iconic Seacoast institution. Having been in Portsmouth since 1962, the ISSCo. is truly part of the community. Originally founded as Viking Cruises by Arnold Whittaker, the Steamship Company is still in the family, having been passed along first to Bob, Arnold’s son and most recently, in 1999, to Arnold’s daughter-in-law, Robin Whittaker.

The company offers a variety of tours to New Hampshire’s historic Isles of Shoals and throughout Portsmouth Harbor and the Greater Piscataqua Region, and is thoroughly committed to preserving the amazing history and heritage of the Seacoast.

Beyond those iconic tours, the company also charters the famous Thomas Laighton “party ship,” where during the summer hundreds pack the vessel to hear the best in local music — everything from rock cover bands to reggae to DJs — all while taking in the crisp evening air of summertime on the Seacoast. The company anticipates offering three or four “party cruises” a week this summer.

Running mostly private events for the month of the May, ISSCo. offered its first public cruises on May, for a Cinco de Mayo event with a DJ, proceeds going to the Make A Wish Foundation, and, as part of Pro Portsmouth, on May 5, ISSCo. hosted a Children’s Day an event it does every year...

For the full story in Foster's, Click Here!

For the full story in Portsmouth Patch, Click Here!

For more information on Isle of Shoals Steamship Company, Click Here!