Monday, June 29, 2015

Julyy 11 ride the rails, riverboat from Albany to Hudson and back

"Rail, River, Hudson!" Returns After Sold-Out Trip. Tickets Going Fast.

ALBANY>> One of the Capital Region's most adventurous backyard expeditions returns to the Hudson River after last summer's sold out trip.

On Saturday, July 11, the publishers of will lead a full day excursion called "Rail, River, Hudson!" The journey begins with a 25-minute train ride by Amtrak® from Rensselaer to the City of Hudson, and ends with a 2.5-hour sunset cruise from Hudson back to Albany onboard the Dutch Apple II riverboat.

"Taking a day trip down the Hudson Valley by train or riverboat was the Saturday thing to do in Albany until the 1940s," said Mary Darcy, co-publisher of All Over Albany. "We're making it possible for people today to experience what that was like. And it's a lot of fun."

Once in Hudson, the group will be free to explore Hudson on foot, to shop, browse, take in the architecture, and have lunch before catching the boat for a return trip. Trip goers will receive a "Hudson Passport" filled with discounts at shops and restaurants throughout downtown, including The Spotty Dog Books and Ale, Red Dot and Cafe Le Perche. The passport will be valid from July 11 through Labor Day, to encourage return visits to Hudson to claim discounts.


Rail, River, Hudson!
Saturday, July 11, 2015
10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Cost: $65

10:30 a.m. -- Meet in Downtown Albany on Broadway at the footbridge to the Corning Preserve/Jennings Landing (parking is available in the city garage and costs $5 all-day, not included in ticket price)

11 a.m. - CDTA Special Shuttle to Albany-Rensselaer Rail Station

12:05 p.m. - Amtrak® train to Hudson.

12:30 p.m. - Arrive at Hudson, train station.

12:45 p.m. – Free welcome party with a tasting by Chatham Brewing.

1 p.m. Tripgoers receive their "Hudson Passport." The passport is good from July 11 through Labor Day, to encourage repeat visits to Hudson. Adventurers have time to shop, browse, admire the historic architecture, and have lunch.

4: 00 p.m. - Gather at Helsinki Hudson just off Warren Street for hors d'oeuvres and a tasting of beers by C. H. Evans Brewing Company.

6: 00 p.m. – Meet at the Hudson riverfront and board the Dutch Apple II for a sunset cruise home to Albany, beginning with a close up view of the stunning Hudson-Athens Lighthouse. The cruise includes light dinner fare and dessert treats by Sweet Sue's of downtown Troy, N.Y. Also included are local cheeses and fruits by Honest Weight Co-op.

10:30 p.m. (approximately) - Arrive in downtown Albany by riverboat and de-board at pedestrian bridge to the parking garage.

+ More swag and surprises to be announced.


Cost: Tickets are $65 per person and include all travel costs (bus, train & riverboat), a light dinner during the cruise, complimentary beer and liquor tastings, the cocktail party at Helsinki Hudson, and a "Hudson Passport" book of discounts for food and shopping in Hudson. Passengers can pack lunch or use the passport for a discount at a variety of Hudson eateries. Parking is available through the City of Albany for an additional $5.

Purchase tickets online at

Direct Ticket link: )

Tickets went on sale Wednesday, June 3. As of today, more than 50 out of 100 tickets have sold. Interested passengers are encouraged to purchase tickets now as the event sold out in advance last year.

For information (for public), contact: Mary Darcy

Note: This is a rain or shine event. Tickets are non-refundable. Passengers are strongly encouraged to wear walking shoes. Most of the shopping and restaurants are about a mile from the train station and it's all walking. The return cruise is about 3 hours long, depending on wind and tide.

Making Mirth and Profit With a Light-hearted Take on Local History

"Rail, River, Hudson!" is the latest of several heritage-themed events hosted by All Over Albany in collaboration with local culture promoter Duncan Crary.

During the past four years, the collaboration has created three sold-out immersive heritage tour concepts involving amphibious vehicles, bus-trolleys, party busses, city busses, trains, riverboats and several participating business venues.

+ In 2012, Crary squared off with local tour guide and history buff Maeve McEneny in AOA's "Troy > Albany Aquaduck Tour." The raucous tour travelled between the two cities, with each guide advocating the merits of both places using bits of local history and present-day facts (and opinions) to make their case. The event sold out at 35 tickets for $25. It was one of the final trips onboard the Albany aqua duck vehicle.

+ In 2013, AOA presented "Bad Boys, Broads and Bootleggers" a trolley-bus tour of Albany, Troy and Cohoes highlighting the lore and locations of local gangsters, bosses, gamblers and red light district characters. Also included were three stops a local pubs, restaurants and speakeasies with seedy pasts. The 62-passenger tour sold out twice, with tickets selling at $25.

+ Last summer, AOA's "Rail, River Hudson!" event sold out at more than 106 passengers with ticket prices at $60. (Note: The price of this year's trip is $65).

In 2009, Crary had organized a similarly themed event that brought commuters to and from work, between Albany and Troy, also on the Dutch Apple II riverboat. For "Rail, River, Hudson!" he and AOA envisioned and pulled off a much grander river travel experience.

"All of these events incorporate a celebration of local history, but these tours are not your average school field trip," Crary said. "This is local heritage with a twist... of lime. We make plenty of stops for local beer and treats along the way."

Crary notes that unlike the previous AOA summer tours, this event does not include a narratoin by guide. Instead, the experience is immersive: tourgoers get to experience what it was like to travel between Hudson River cities by train and riverboat.

Darcy says the special brand of AOA events caters to a "psychographic," rather than a demographic --"interesting and interested people who want to have fun and learn more, and who delight in surprises," she said.

Although some critics find the Capital Region lacking in culture or amenities, Darcy said the region already has many of the things people think it still needs, but it does take work to find certain opportunities.

"The Capital Region rewards effort," Darcy said. "We go out and find the cool stories and the cool places. We package that in a certain way, and we bring our people along for a ride we know they'll like."

AOA has built a reliable brand. Yet, getting Capital Region resident to pay full price for entertainment remains a challenge, Darcy said. All AOA events are priced far below their true cost and require partial advertising trades from tour vendors in order to hit the region's perceived price point. For now, that's working out.

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