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Boats and Parking

Daily Boats to and from Star Island

The Thomas Laighton makes trips between Portsmouth and Star a few days a week throughout the conference season Information about schedules, fares and parking are available at (603) 431-5500 or Round-trip boat fare aboard the Thomas Laighton is included in conference overnight guest rates (see Conference Overnight Guests).

The Uncle Oscar makes daily trips between Rye and Star throughout most of the conference season. For more information about schedules, fares and parking, call (603) 964-6446 or visit


If you have questions about any boat schedules, please contact the Island Registrar at email hidden; JavaScript is required or contact your specific program registrar directly.


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. 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.

Directions to the Dock in Portsmouth

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.

Directions to the Dock in Rye Harbor

Public Transportation

Shuttle Services

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

Bus Services

  • 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

Taxi Companies

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

Our Mission

Our mission since 1915 is to hold and maintain Star Island and such other property as the Corporation may hold or acquire, as a center for religious, education, and kindred purposes consistent with the principles of the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ.

Our Vision

Our vision is to create on Star Island an environment that frees all who come to renew spiritually, explore matters of consequence, and gain knowledge about the world as it might ideally be.

Contact Star Island

Phone: (603) 430-6272
Fax: (603) 430-6270
Island Phone: (603) 601-0832
Staff Email Address List

Star Island Corporation
Morton-Benedict House
30 Middle Street
Portsmouth, NH 03801

Get directions to the office

Content © 1999–2016 Star Island Corporation. Clouds photo © Axel Rouvin.
Other photos © their respective owners.