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Walk In The Steps Of The Keeper...
Visit Delaware Breakwater East End
Lighthouse or Harbor of Refuge Lighthouse!

Lighthouse Tours Summer 2013
Delaware Breakwater East End Lighthouse
18 May 2013 - 11 am
8 Jun 2013 - 11 am
22 Jun 2013 - 10 am
13 Jul 2013 - 9 am *
27 Jul 2013 - 9 am
10 Aug 2013 - 1 pm
24 Aug 2013 - 2pm
7 Sep 2013 - 12pm

Join the Delaware River & Bay Lighthouse Foundation and journey by boat for a memorable tour inside the Delaware Breakwater East End Lighthouse and Harbor of Refuge Lighthouse.

Have you ever imagined what it may have been like to serve as a keeper at a lonely offshore lighthouse? Would you like to see first-hand the challenges of saving a lighthouse surrounded by nothing but water? Learn what it was like to live in an offshore lighthouse as you climb the cast-iron steps to the top of the light for a breathtaking view of the Cape Henlopen seascape. All while you enjoy these historic treasures and the spectacular views from atop the light! Each tour promises to make learning about history fun for the entire family.

Harbor of Refuge Lighthouse....

Harbor of Refuge Lighthouse is the outpost of Lewes Harbor – a lonely and sometimes dangerous spot where the hold of man ends and King Neptune’s domain begins. The light’s stout construction and impressive perch atop the National Harbor of Refuge

Breakwater belies the fact that the 76-foot sentinel routinely absorbs the destructive force of the most horrific of tempests. Built in 1926 to replace a previous storm-damaged sentinel, Harbor of Refuge is one of the most exposed lighthouses on the Atlantic seaboard – a place where mountainous seas pound the structure with walls of water that completely scale the beacon’s towering stature. Harbor of Refuge Light is a tantalizing mystery of sorts. The historic lighthouse stands sentinel at the mouth of the Delaware Bay and is situated close enough to Cape Henlopen to view from a distance but just a little too far away to truly appreciate. That divide was finally conquered when the non-profit Delaware River & Bay Lighthouse Foundation, opened Harbor of Refuge Lighthouse to the general public for the first time in 2003. Since then, the DRBLHF has become the proud owner of this historic sentinel and continues to welcome visitors to see the light! Don't miss the historic marker outside on the main deck of the lighthouse while you are there!

Delaware Breakwater East End Lighthouse...

The Delaware Breakwater East End Lighthouse was home to resident light keepers from 1885 through 1950 when it was automated. During this time, there would always be at least two keepers on duty and one on shore leave. With a three-man crew, each keeper would serve two weeks on the light and one week off. Though the lighthouse is less than a mile off the beach, it might as well have been a hundred miles as far as the keepers were concerned. One can imagine the feelings of isolation and loneliness of living in an offshore lighthouse – especially in wintertime when the nights are long and “Old Man Winter” nestles in for a long, frozen stay. The keepers would pass the time by maintaining a clean and orderly station, augmented by various hobbies when they were not keeping a nightly vigil inside the light’s watch room ensuring the light was burning bright.

Recounting such history at Delaware Breakwater East End Lighthouse might make it seem like the sentinels best days passed long ago, but that is hardly the case. The lighthouse is ready to write a new chapter in its storied history. Though the lighthouse no longer guides mariners to safety, thanks to a new partnership between the Delaware River & Bay Lighthouse Foundation (DRBLHF) and the Delaware River & Bay Authority (DRBA), this guiding beacon will turn its duties to welcoming visitors to walk in the steps of the bygone light keeper.


Your ticket price includes boat transportation to the lighthouses. Proceeds from all tours to Delaware Breakwater East End Lighthouse and Harbor of Refuge Lighthouse help benefit the ongoing restoration and preservation of these historic sentinels, as well as DRBLHF lighthouse educational programming.

Book a voyage and journey with us to see one, or both of these historic beacons during the summer tour season! Tours are limited to just 24 or less passengers each (depending on the specific boat).

Non-members may join the Foundation at the time of making their tour reservation and enjoy the member discount immediately.

All tours will leave from the Lewes Ferry Terminal finger pier and are subject to weather conditions and the judgment of the launch captain as to docking safety. Please note for safety reasons, children must be at least 13 years old and meet a 46" height requirement. Tour patrons are reminded that they will be boarding and disembarking a boat in a marine environment. Please wear appropriate rubber soled shoes and dress accordingly.

The United States of America donated Harbor of Refuge Light Station to the Delaware River & Bay Lighthouse Foundation for public use through the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act.

Similarly, the United States donated Delaware Breakwater East End Lighthouse to the State of Delaware.

Additional Details:
Tours depart from the pier located behind the Cape May-Lewes Ferry Terminal in Lewes, DE. Free parking is available in the Foot Passenger lot. Reservations are required as tickets are limited to 24 per tour. Please arrive at least 15 minutes prior to departure time as a safety briefing is required before visitors board the launch. Life jackets are provided and must be worn. No sandals or open-toe shoes allowed.

*Please Note - children must be at least 12 years of age except on date noted * when children as young as 6 are allowed. One child per adult.

Harbor of Refuge Light Station

This lighthouse is currently closed for repairs made necessary by severe storm damage. However, tours include a sail-by for close-up views and photos.
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