Why Do They All Take The Night Boat To Albany?

Over the past century the Hudson river has seen plenty of action. Steamboats carried millions of people between Albany and New York, and their popularity held for decades even after rail travel began. The reason? The boats weren’t the only thing making time on the Hudson River.

In the early 20th century, couples could evade their disapproving elders — or their disapproving spouses by hopping the night boat to Albany. The night steamboats that journeyed between Albany and New York City had a reputation, and it wasn’t for the scenic views-they were notorious for clandestine romances.

As this 1918 song asks, “Why Do They All Take the Night Boat to Albany?”


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