Special Cruises

Learn About Fish Sunset Cruise

Fishes of the Lower Connecticut River Sunset Cruise

Ever wonder what is happening under the surface of the Connecticut River?  

What fish are there and when?  What is being done to protect the fish and their habitat?

Every cruise we get questions about the fish that inhabit our part of the CT River.  Here is our chance to get all those questions answered!

Join us on RiverQuest for a very Special Sunset Cruise with Fisheries Biologist Steve Gephard.

Steve is a supervising fisheries biologist with the State of Connecticut, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s Inland Fisheries Division. He is in charge of the Division’s Diadromous (fish that migrate between fresh water and salt water) Fish  Program and its Habitat Conservation Program. He has over 35 years of experience with diadromous fish species and fish passage projects.

This will be a relaxing, informational cruise.  Bring a picnic, favorite beverage and any "fishy" questions you may have!

RiverQuest will depart from Eagle Landing State Park in Haddam at 6:00pm on August 16, 2017.  Cost per person is $30. Easy on-line booking on our Reservations Page.


Fish cruise          fish on fishfinder

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.




Gift Certificates Available


Special Cruise Dates

Selden Creek Navigation/Connecticut's Amazon



Selden Creek borders Selden Island, an island that is an untouched, pristine 640 acre Connecticut State Park, located in the town of Lyme. RiverQuest will cruise south down the Connecticut River from Eagle Landing State Park, Haddam, into Selden Creek for a circumnavigation of Selden Island. While slowly cruising through this serene, peaceful creek, your crew will point out flora and fauna and discuss the geology and history of the island and the bordering mainland. Cruising through the creek today is not much different than it was several hundred years ago. Enjoy the magic of the area. Look for Bald Eagles and other bird/wildlife.


Price: $35pp, no one under 10 please. For dates. look at our "Special Cruise Dates" page, click button below.


More About Selden Island:  http://www.seldenisland.org/



Gift Certificates Available


Special Cruise Dates

Cruise to Old Saybrook Lighthouses


A relaxing cruise south down the Connecticut River to view the Inner (Lynde Point) and Outer (Saybrook Breakwater Light) Lighthouses by water. Observe the beautiful, pristine river “One of the Last Great Places”, as we cruise by the towns of Haddam, East Haddam, Hadlyme, Lyme, Chester, Deep River and Essex, ultimately reaching Old Saybrook and Old Lyme at the mouth of the river on Long Island Sound. We will tell you about the history, ecology of the river and point out areas of interest. Bring your picnic basket if you’d like. There will be complimentary coffee and tea on board. Cost is $40pp. No one under 12 please. Please reserve your spot on-line. Thanks!


2017 Cruise Dates:

Saturday, August 19: 9:00am to 1:00pm




Gift Certificates Available


Special Cruise Dates


Haddam to Middletown Evening Cruise



Cruise from Eagle Landing State Park in Haddam north up the Connecticut River to Middletown. Pass under the East Haddam Swing Bridge. Observe how beautiful the river is as we pass by several state parks on the edge of the river: Haddam Meadows, George Dudley Seymour and Hurd to name a few. See where the Connecticut Yankee Nuclear Power Plant was and view many beautiful homes. We will turn around at The Mattabessett Canoe Club Restaurant. Bring your picnic basket and favorite beverage. Cost of this cruise is $40. No children under 12 please.

Cruise Dates:

July 19, 2017 depart at 5:30pm, return at 9:00pm.




Gift Certificates Available


Special Cruise Dates


Haddam Fireworks Cruise


Join us aboard RiverQuest, departure at 6:30pm from Eagle Landing State Park in Haddam. We will cruise around a little bit and then position RiverQuest to watch the fireworks associated with Haddam River Days. The fireworks are scheduled to go off at 7:45pm-ish. Once completed, we will head back to the dock, should be back to the dock by 9:00pm. Bring your picnic basket and favorite beverage. Visit our website: ctriverquest.com to reserve your spots using our easy on-line booking. Cost is $45 per person. No children under 12. RiverQuest phone: 860-662-0577. Gift Certificates Available.

Date: September 9, 2017



Bicentennial Cruise from Essex

Bicentennial Cruise departing from ESSEX, War of 1812

The British dropped anchor at the mouth of the Connecticut River and in the wee hours of April 8th, 136 British officers, sailors and marines, made their way up river on smaller heavily armed boats to Essex to destroy the town’s shipping, specifically the privateer ships. They came ashore at the foot of Main Street. Homes and businesses in town were spared, but, 27 ships in EssexHarbour were burned and destroyed. Follow the route that the British took on the river and learn more about this fascinating event on a narrated river cruise aboard RiverQuest. The cruise will last for approximately one hour and 45 minutes. The cost is $40pp. Please book on-line. 

British Raid on Essex - Secondary Logo with Flags - small-2




Winter Wildlife & Eagle Cruises

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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:

15 10 18eagles

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


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

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


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


2/9; 2/16; 2/23

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


Coopers Hawk

Red Shouldered Hawk


Peregrine Falcon

Golden Eagle

Bald Eagle



Grey Seal

Harbor Seal







Common Merganser

Hooded Merganser

Red-breasted Merganser

Common Goldeneye


Black Duck

Wood Duck

Ruddy Duck


Ring neck

Long tail


Green Winged Teal

American Widgeon






Great Black Back

Ring Billed




Great Cormorant

Pied Billed Grebe

Horned Grebe

Red Throated Grebe

Tundra Swan

Trumpeter Swan

Mute Swan

Common Loon

Red Throated Loon


Canada Geese

Pileated Woodpecker

Northern Flicker


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


Hoodies       Rq winter pilothouse      Cormorant Great



*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).



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!





Gift Certificates Available


Special Cruise Dates





Phone: 860-662-0577

Upcoming Excursions

January 8, 2015

Non-Stop CT! Video