Coming And Going

Boat schedules, directions to the dock, and parking and luggage information can all be found on the Important Information for Guests web page.

Conference Freight and Social Hour Supplies

Conference staff with special freight needs must make arrangements for such freight through Star Island Logistics ( to ensure freight will get to the island. For conferences arriving Sunday, freight should be loaded onto the Shining Star workboat by 5:45am on Sunday. Please designate one person from your conference to be the point person to work with Star’s Logistics Manager.

Please securely box up or wrap all alcohol, and label: “Social Hour Supplies, [your conference]”. To confirm, and for any questions about transportation of these supplies, contact SIC Logistics at

Arriving at the Dock on the First Day of the Conference

Conference leaders are encouraged to help with check-in and parking at the dock. If you are available to help, please email SIC Logistics (

Conferees from all conferences should be instructed to treat the ferry time as they would a flight, planning to be at the dock 1 ½ hours in advance of the scheduled departure time.

Main season conferences with Sunday arrivals should follow this schedule:

11:45 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Arrive at the Steamship Company dock to park, unload luggage, and check-in.

2:00 p.m. Be prepared to board the Thomas Laighton.

Because the Steamship Company dock is conveniently located in downtown Portsmouth, conferees can explore the town and grab lunch at a local eatery after check-in, so long as they return to the dock by 2:00 p.m. sharp to begin boarding. Conferees arriving after 1:00 p.m. run the risk of not having their checked luggage delivered to the island until Monday afternoon of the conference and, possibly, missing the ferry altogether.

Questions about boat schedules can be directed to


The parking fee for the dock in Portsmouth is $18 per vehicle per night, which goes directly to Star Island to help offset our costs. The parking fee at Rye Harbor is expected to be $10 per vehicle per night.

Upon arrival in Portsmouth it is important that “friendly greetings” occur after the unloading and parking of automobiles. After your conference, vehicles must be removed immediately upon return to Portsmouth otherwise risking being “blocked in” by others parking for future conferences.

Conferee vehicles must be parked in the designated Steamship Company parking area, as directed by the parking attendant. 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 parking lot. While we have made some accommodation for special needs parking, it will be relatively limited (10-15 spaces) and may require moving cars as conferees leave at different times.

Conferees arriving in Portsmouth on a day other than the conference start date, must check in with the Steamship Company parking attendant to receive instructions about where to park. Please be advised that they may be required to park in the municipal garage on Hanover St., a couple of blocks from the dock. We may not be able to park conferees scheduled to depart on a day other than the standard conference departure day. This is to avoid having cars trapped in block parking.

Conferees parking at Rye Harbor should notify the parking attendant of expected departure date. Payment for parking is made in Rye – ask the parking attendant for details.


Information about luggage, including weight restrictions, carry-on and checked bags, and how to request additional assistance can be found on the Important Information for Guests web page.

Room Checkout

Rooms must be vacated by the scheduled check out time (before breakfast for main season conferences departing on Sunday), regardless of your conference’s departure time, as our staff needs to begin changeover for the next conference. If conferees would like to help our Pelican chamber crew, they may strip the sheets.

Boarding the conference ferry

All conferees must leave on the scheduled conference ferry. This prevents conferees with vehicles from being blocked in back in Portsmouth. Boarding generally commences 20-30 minutes before the published departure time and boarding announcements will be made by island staff over the PA system.

Disembarking in Portsmouth

After all conference luggage has been unloaded and moved to the designated luggage pickup area in the parking lot, you may collect your checked bags. For safety and logistical reasons, please do not attempt to claim your luggage until everything has been moved from the boat to the luggage pickup area. Please discourage conferees from lingering in the parking lot, as this creates a backlog and potentially unsafe situation as new passengers come into the lot for the next ferry.

Back to Program Leadership Handbook