Special Cruises

Winter Wildlife & Eagle Cruises

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Reservations

 

Winter Wildlife and Eagle Cruises – departing from the Connecticut River Museum in Essex, CT

 

RiverQuest has teamed up with the Connecticut River Museum for our winter cruises!

In February and March we will depart from the Connecticut River Museum docks at the end of Main Street in ESSEX.

With this partnership, you not only get to enjoy the river and its wildlife from the water, but also the entire museum and their special Eagles of Essex exhibit.

 

As the river, lakes and ponds to our north freeze, Eagles and others make their way to the lower CT River for their favorite food – FISH. Join us on this approximately 2 hour “on-the-water” cruise to search for eagles and other winter wildlife. This is Mark and Mindy’s 15th year providing these popular cruises and in the past we have spotted up to a record 41 eagles, 3 types of grebes, fox, 3 types of swans, 3 types of mergansers, golden eagle, coyote, deer, many hawk species, 3 types of seals, many different gulls, loons, and even a bobcat. We will have Naturalists on board to narrate and make sure you don’t miss a thing!

 

RiverQuest has a heated cabin, but we suggest that you dress in warm layers since the best views will be from the open decks. Don’t forget your camera and binoculars! No binoculars? No worries, we have plenty on board for you to borrow! We will also provide complimentary coffee and tea.

 

GPS - Connecticut River Museum, 67 Main Street, Essex, CT
Directions: CT Route 9 North to Exit 3 (Essex) and follow signs to Connecticut River Museum and Essex Historic Waterfront. The Dock is located at the foot of Main Street on the Connecticut River.

 

Hang around in Essex and have breakfast, lunch or dinner at local restaurants: Abby's Place, the Griswold Inn or the Black Seal. Olive Oyls deli has sandwiches and other food to go and Essex Coffee and Tea has food, too! Some nice retail shops to visit, also.

 

Cost:  $42 pp

 

2018 Dates/Start Times:

Photo by Jeri Duefrene 

Saturdays - Sundays:

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9:00 to 11:00
11:30 to 1:30
2:00 to 4:00

February:

2/3 - 2/4 (no 9am); 2/10 - 2/11; 2/17- 2/18; 2/24 - 2/25
March:

3/3 - 3/4; 3/10- 3/11; 3/17- 3/18

Fridays:

10:00 to 12:00
12:30 to 2:30

February:

2/9; 2/16; 2/23
March:

3/2; 3/9; 3/16

 

Monday February 19 (President's Day)

11:30 to 1:30
2:00 to 4:00

 

 

Come out and play and beat Winter Cabin Fever! 

Come out of your winter doldrums and experience the beauty and solitude of the lower Connecticut River during this wonderful time of year! It is so different now then it is in the summer months, no boats and with no leaves on the trees, our wildlife viewing is much easier.

  

Although our primary mission is to search for and observe visiting and resident Bald Eagles (we will pass by a nesting area on our journey), we will also search for many other varieties of local winter wildlife.

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Past Sightings:

Birds of Prey:

Red Tailed Hawk

Rough Legged Hawk

Sharp Shinned Hawk

Northern Harrier

Goshawk

Coopers Hawk

Red Shouldered Hawk

Merlin

Peregrine Falcon

Golden Eagle

Bald Eagle

 

Mammals:

Grey Seal

Harbor Seal

Fox

Coyote

Deer

Bobcat

 

Ducks:

Common Merganser

Hooded Merganser

Red-breasted Merganser

Common Goldeneye

Coot

Black Duck

Wood Duck

Ruddy Duck

Scaup

Ring neck

Long tail

Mallard

Green Winged Teal

American Widgeon

 

 

 

Gulls:

Herring

Great Black Back

Ring Billed

Bonaparte's

 

Others:

Great Cormorant

Pied Billed Grebe

Horned Grebe

Red Throated Grebe

Tundra Swan

Trumpeter Swan

Mute Swan

Common Loon

Red Throated Loon

Brant

Canada Geese

Pileated Woodpecker

Northern Flicker

 

So, come aboard and see what we find on your cruise!

 

Hoodies       Rq winter pilothouse      Cormorant Great

 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION:

*Due to the length of this winter cruise, we ask that no children under 10 years old be booked. Please email us for questions/comments. 

*Due to the popularity of these cruises, they do sell out, so, reservations are required. Please use our on-line booking "reservations" button. We can sometimes take on last minute passengers, so, email us anytime.

NO ON-LINE BOOKING FOR OVER TEN PERSONS (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.us to discuss if you have more).

 

NOTE:

We want to remind everyone that this is a nature cruise. The weather can change drastically in minutes; rain, wind, fog, ice and heavy snow may pop up. There are times when a cruise may be canceled very last minute. We will of course try to give as much notice as possible and we will only cancel if there is a safety issue or wildlife viewing will be affected. So please, be patient and understanding with us.

ALWAYS....before you come, check our home page or call 860-662-0577 for up-to-date cruise information.

 

Private Charter Price: Please email us to discuss more.

 

Special days/times for school groups or other groups can be set up.


Thank you! Captain Mark and Mindy.


Please add your name to our mailing list and we will keep you updated!

 

 

Reservations

 

Gift Certificates Available

 

Special Cruise Dates

 

 

 

 

Spring Osprey/Eagle Cruise

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On this about 2+ hour cruise, we will see at least one of our resident Bald Eagle's nests along with our favorite returning Ospreys. We will depart from our dock at Eagle Landing State Park in Haddam in search of Ospreys and eagles and whatever other wildlife we can find. We will pass fairly close to the Goodspeed Eagle's Nest, where we hope to catch a glimpse of the eagles near the nest. As we head south towards Essex, we'll point out other areas of interest, including Gillette's Castle. Most of our ospreys will be nesting or working on their nests. All the platforms and day markers will eventually have an Osprey nest. We'll tell you all about the local wildlife we will see along with lots of other interesting stuff! Enjoy this beautiful river! Complimentary Coffee and tea onboard. Cost is $40 per passenger. Due to the length of this cruise, no children under 10 please.

Cruise Dates: 

March 24: 4:00pm to 6:30pm

March 30: (Good Friday): 11:30am to 2:00pm

March 31: 11:30am to 2:00pm

April 7: 10:00am to 12:30pm

 

 

Reservations

 

Gift Certificates Available

 

Special Cruise Dates

 

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Connecticut Open House Day

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Special for Connecticut Open House Day, an approximately 45 minute cruise for a special price of $5 per person, all ages. We will begin at approximately 9:00am. When RiverQuest meets capacity (65 passengers), we will leave the dock. Return and re-load, return and re-load. Last boat will leave when we meet capacity before 12:30pm. We will see Gillette Castle and more! First come, first serve. No reservations. No credit cards accepted on this special priced cruise. CASH ONLY. Come aboard! All ages welome!

DISCLAIMER:

Sometimes the press grabs our information, which is great! However, please always confirm our website time, that is what we will cruise to! 

 

Photo credit: Center photo, Kelvin W Cole.

Earth Day One Hour Cruise

Love your earth and the beautiful Connecticut River! 

This is a special 60 minute cruise in celebration of Earth Day for only $10, all ages! We will cruise north up to the Salmon River and then south to view Gillette Castle to see how healthy the Connecticut River is due to the Clean Water Act of 1972, the many organizations that protect the river and the many other regulations put in place so we can all enjoy clean water, air and life! Depart from Eagle Landing State Park in Haddam.

 

Cruise Date/times: April 22 at 12:00pm and 3:30pm

 

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Osprey Cruises

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Cruise quietly from RiverQuest's home berth in Haddam and observe Ospreys and their nests located in various areas along the lower Connecticut River. Ospreys return from their southern wintering homes that are primarily in South and Central America around March 20th. They rebuild their nests on the many nesting platforms, day markers and trees along the river. Come aboard one of RiverQuest's scheduled cruises and watch the progress as the Ospreys rebuild their nests and begin nesting (early April) to the chicks as they evolve from newly hatched chicks (Mid-May) to adolescent chicks/fledglings (late June) flying proudly with their new found power of flight (late July). On this special cruise, we will venture much further down river into Old Saybrook to see the baby Ospreys either on the edge of the nest ready to fly OR as a just beginning flyer! A naturalist will be on board to educate you on the Osprey and any other bird/wildlife we may see on our journey. Cruise is three hours long. $40pp. Due to the length of this cruise, no one under 10 years old please.

Please check the Special Cruise Dates page. Button below.


To schedule your own Group Cruise please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call RiverQuest at 860-662-0577.

 

Reservations

 

Gift Certificates Available

 

Special Cruise Dates

Full Moon Evening Cruise

 

Book your cruise here: Reservations

Description:

Full Moon Evening Cruise:

Join us aboard RiverQuest or Adventure and take a relaxing evening cruise on the lower Connecticut River, departure from Eagle Landing State Park in Haddam. This will be a cruise to no where, timed so that "weather permitting" we will see the full moon rise. Observe how beautiful the river is at twilight; see local wildlife and various points of interest including many beautiful homes. Bring your picnic basket dinner and favorite beverage. NOTE: We will go out even if there is cloud cover.....Reserve your spots with our easy on-line booking. Cost is $35-$40 per person (when booking, the exact price will be shown). No children under 12. Phone: 860-662-0577. Gift Certificates Available.

Dates:

7/08/17 - Saturday 6:30 - 9:00

7/09/17 - Sunday 6:30 - 9:00

8/06/17 - Sunday 6:00 - 8:30 on RiverQuest

8/06/17 - Sunday 6:00 - 8:30 on Adventure

 full moon

 

Reservations

 

Gift Certificates Available

 

Special Cruise Dates

 

Dessert Sunset Cruise

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Welcome to our Sunset Cruise page!!

A couple thoughts…..

If you are coming with friends or family that booked this cruise on a separate reservation, we would like to have a table set up so you can all sit together, so, please let us know via an email the reserved names.

Our Sunset Cruise is an intimate cruise, offering a relaxing cruise for adults only so you can leave kid thoughts at home and enjoy the evening.

 

Take a relaxing evening cruise on the lower Connecticut River, departure from Eagle Landing State Park in Haddam. Bring your picnic basket and favorite beverage, family and friends. Observe how beautiful the river is at twilight as you dine. At around 7:30pm, a variety of desserts will be served, including Captain Mark’s famous Key Lime Pie! There will be only light narration on this cruise. Visit our website: ctriverquest.com to learn more about this cruises and our other cruises. Easy online booking. Cruise departs at 6:30pm and will return at 8:30pm-ish. Cost is $35 per person. No one under 12 please. See our Special Cruise Dates button below for next Dessert Cruise!

 

Reservations

 

Gift Certificates Available        

 

Special Cruise Dates

 

TGIF Sunset Cruise on RiverQuest

sunset bridge

Book your cruise here: Reservations

 

Welcome to our Sunset Cruise page!!

A couple thoughts…..

If you are coming with friends or family that booked this cruise on a separate reservation, we would like to have a table set up so you can all sit together, so, please let us know via an email the reserved names.

Our Sunset Cruise is an intimate cruise, offering a relaxing cruise for adults only so you can leave kid thoughts at home and enjoy the evening.

 

Need we say more! Summer is here and you had to work all week. Grab a friend and your favorite wine or beverage and start your weekend! We will provide some light snacks, and mother nature will provide great scenery and a sunset to unwind from your busy week. Enjoy a relaxing evening cruise on the lower Connecticut River, departure from Eagle Landing State Park in Haddam. Observe how beautiful the river is at twilight as you dine. There will be only light narration on this cruise. Visit our website: ctriverquest.com to learn more about this cruise (look on the Sunset Cruise page for more details) and our other cruises. Easy online booking. Cruise departs at 6:30pm and will return at 8:30pm-ish. Cost is $35 per person. RiverQuest phone: 860-662-0577.

For 2017 dates check our Calendar:

 

 Calendar

 

Private Charters take precedence.

 

Reservations 

 

Gift Certificates Available

 

Special Cruise Dates

 

Phone: 860-662-0577

Upcoming Excursions

January 8, 2015

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