Fort Delaware to debut evening river cruises on Delafort ferry

The Delafort ferry will be limited to 24 passengers per cruise around Fort Delaware.

The Delafort ferry will be limited to 24 passengers per cruise around Fort Delaware.

Fort Delaware State Park is piloting a program of evening cruises on the Delaware River, starting this Friday.

And if the hundreds of likes, loves, wows, comments and shares on Facebook is any indication, they’ll be a regular offering.

The cruises are planned Friday, Sept. 18 and 25 on the Delafort, the boat used to ferry passengers from Delaware City to Fort Delaware on Pea Patch island, and back again

“It’ll be a little different on each trip,” said park superintendent Mika Drake, who came up with the idea with Frank Quinn, captain of the Delafort.


Two interpreters will offer information about nature, such as the ibises, egrets and herons who like to hang out in the marshes on the island, and history, such as the background of Fort Mott, over on the New Jersey side, and the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal.

The final cruise of the day is billed as a sunset tour, with Drake promoting how “astounding and gorgeous” that time on the river can be.

The cruises will be on a ferry built to carry more than 80 but limited to 24 to allow for social distancing. One-hour tours are at 4:30 and 5:45 p.m., with the 90-minute sunset cruises at 7. The hourlong tours are $15, and the sunset cruises are $25.


“The cruise will go around the southern end of Pea Patch Island, probably up to about Fort Mott, then back,” the fort says on Facebook. “There will not be food for sail on the boat, but our ticket office/gift shop will be selling snacks before the tour that you can bring with you.”

The park this fall is hosting two other unusual events, also adjusted for coronavirus guidelines. 

Escape rooms, utilizing areas throughout the fort, run Saturday (sold out) and Sept. 19.


Paranormal tours run the first four weekends of October.

And the fort itself is open for 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Fridays-Sundays. Regular admission to the fort, including a round-trip ferry from Delaware City, is free-$12.

WE HAVE TO DO THIS,” Christine Carnwath wrote on Facebook about the cruise.


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About the Contributor


Ken Mammarella

Ken Mammarella is a freelance writer who lives in Wilmington.