Special Cruises

Eagle Cruises



LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014! On-line booking available NOW (easy booking link on the bottom of the page).


NOTE: JUST ADDED!! March 20, 22 and 23! Come aboard! Thank all of you for your patience. Captain Mark and Mindy and Cathy. 


This cruise is offered in conjunction with Aududon, Ecotravel Division and is considered the "original" Eagle Cruise.

Our cruises are full 2-1/4 hours "on-the-water".

RiverQuest departs from Haddam, CT....across the river from the beautiful Goodspeed Opera House.


Come and enjoy winter and very early spring while experiencing the beauty and solitude of the lower Connecticut River. 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 migrating and resident Bald Eagles, we will also search for many other varieties of local winter wildlife.


In the 11 years that we have been running these ever popular Winter Wonderland/Eagle Cruises, we have seen:

  • Hawk species: Red Tailed, Red Shouldered, Rough Legged (both light and dark morph), Sharp Shinned, Northern Harrier and Cooper.
  • Duck species: Common, Hooded and Red-Breasted Mergansers, Common Goldeneye, Coot, Black, Wood, Ruddy, Scaup, Ring neck, Long Tail, Mallard, Green Winged Teal and American Widgeon.
  • Also: Great Cormorant, Pied Billed Grebe, Horned Grebe, Tundra Swan, Trumpeter Swan, Mute Swan, Peregrine Falcon, Merlin, Golden Eagle, Harbor Seal, Herring Gull, Great Black Backed Gull, Ring Billed Gull, Common Loon, Red Throated Loon, Pileated Woodpecker, Canada Geese and Brant.

A seasoned, experienced naturalist will talk about eagle biology and ecology and about the other wintering birds and wildlife that will be seen on our cruise.


We have a large screen TV on board where we will be displaying many photographs of birds, etc, that we may see on our journey.

RiverQuest has a fully enclosed heated cabin, enough to take the chill off, but, please DRESS WARM (and in layers)because you will want to be outside for most of the journey observing our wintering wildlife up close.


There will be complimentary coffee and tea on-board. 


If you do not have your own, there is also a limited supply of pretty darn good binoculars on loan for the cruise. 


Bring a snack with you (Tylerville Country Market offers a great deli sandwich) or enjoy lunch before or after the cruise at one of the local eateries in Haddam or East Haddam. These include, La Vita Gustosa, The Gelston House, Haddam Pizza, The Cooking Company (closed Sunday) and Subway.

Due to the popularity of our Eagle Cruises, Reservations are required. However, we can occasionally we can take walk-ons and last minute calls. 



We want to remind everyone, this is a nature cruise. There may be rain, wind, fog, ice and heavy snow. We may have to cancel one cruise or an entire day. We will try to give as much notice as possible, but, there are times when the cancellation may be very last minute; the wind, etc, can change in minutes.

We only cancel when there is a safety issue or wildlife viewing will be affected.

So please, be patient and understanding with us.

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


2014 Dates/Times: Please look at our Special Cruise Dates page or our Calendar


Saturday and Sunday Cruises (please check calendar for SOLD OUT dates):

  • February 08 through March 16:  9:00am, 11:30am and 2:00pm. 

Thursday Cruises:

  • February 13 through March 13:  10:00am and 1:00pm.

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


Departure Location:

HADDAM, CT, Eagle Landing State Park, 1 Marine Park. Off Route 82/Bridge Road.

Across the river from the Goodspeed Opera House.

2014 Price: Cost is $40 all passengers

NOTE: Due to the length of this cruise and for safety, NO children under 10 years old are allowed.


Private Charter Price:

The cost is a $1400 base price, based on 40 passengers. Over 40 persons would be $30 each, in addition to the base price, a maximum of 46 on a charter. You may bring your own food and/or beverage with you on this cruise. We will provide narration about eagles and the other wildlife and any other points of interest we see.

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


Osprey/Eagle Cruise


On this cruise, we may see our resident Bald Eagles along with our returning Ospreys. We will depart from our dock at Eagle Landing State Park in Haddam in search of Ospreys and eagles. 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 the next eagle's nest in Lyme, 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 then get a view of the Lyme Eagle 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: 

Please stand by for 2014 dates! The price of this special cruise will be $40pp. No children please under 10.


April 27, 2014 - 4:00pm to 6:30pm

May 4, 2014 - 11:30am to 2:00pm




Gift Certificates Available


Special Cruise Dates


Bicentennial Cruise from Essex

Bicentennial Cruise from Essex, War of 1812

This year, 2014, marks the 200th anniversary of the British attack on Essex during the 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. Cruises will take place on Saturday, May 10th, departing from the Connecticut River Museum in Essex at 9:30am and at 11:45am. The cruise will last for approximately one hour and 45 minutes. The cost is $40pp. Please book on-line. After the cruise, stay in town for a full roster of related activities including the Commemoration Day Parade, re-enactments, historic walking tours…For more information regarding the Bicentennial Commemoration visit BattleSiteEssex.org. "More Information"

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


CRUISE DATE: May 10th at 9:30am and 11:45am, departing from the Connecticut River Museum in Essex.  



Book 9:30am Cruise  


Book 11:45am Cruise


Kids Cruise

From 10:00am to 11:00am, select Saturdays (check our Calendar and listed below), this cruise is a special “KIDS” cruise! All kids ages 2 to 12 ticket price will be only $5, ages 12 to 100 only $10. On this cruise, we will teach children how to use binoculars, they will learn about the birds we see, nautical terms, the ecology of the river and other points of interest including Gillette Castle and the Chester/Hadlyme Ferry. We will go under the East Haddam Swing Bridge and hear the cars go over us. This will be a fun cruise to introduce children to the fragile beauty of the Connecticut River and the area we live in. And, it allows kids to be kids! You do not need to bring life jackets with you, per the US Coast Guard, children under 12 do not need to wear them on a commercial boat. There is no on-line booking for this cruise, it is first come/first serve. This far there has been plenty of room. Thank you.



DATES (thus far...):May 3 and 24, June 7 and 21, July 5 and 26, August 9 and 16, September 6


Gift Certificates Available


Special Cruise Dates

Tree Swallow Spectacle




Tree Swallow Spectacle:


Through the end of August, during the entire month of September and into October, tens of thousands of birds congregate in the lower Connecticut River Valley on their migration route south. One flock of birds, primarily comprised of tree swallows, come each evening to an island to roost. It is speculated that these birds fly in from as far as 50 miles away. As many as half a million may come in at dusk where they converge just before sunset over the island, often creating a spectacular “ballet” in the sky and eventually forming a “funnel” or "rain". Then, just after sunset, they settle down into a communal roost in the phragmites (a type of reed) for the night. We will educate you on this phenomenon, answer questions and point out other migrating birds or local wildlife we may see. Bring a picnic basket, your favorite beverage and your binoculars (we have a limited supply on board to loan for the cruise) and enjoy the evening as we wait for the Tree Swallow spectacle. Please no children under 10 years old. This cruise is approximately three hours in length. Cost: $40 each passenger. Reservations required. Please use our on-line booking for this cruise.


2014 Cruise Dates:

Starting August 24th thru October 8th. Check our Calendar and Special Cruises Page for exact dates and starting times. 

Reservations are required, please use our easy on-line booking. Thanks!


Private Tree Swallow Charters:

The cost is a $1400 base price for any evening, based on 40 passengers. Over 40 persons would be $30 each, in addition to the base price, a maximum of 46 on a charter. You may bring your own food and/or beverage with you on this cruise. We will provide narration about the spectacle and any other interests we may see if you'd like.


MyTV9 Star Sees Swallows at Sunset: Angela watches an air show like no other Watch Video>>>

Sarah Cody form Fox 61 DayTripper News came on a Tree Swallow Cruise with us. See her video:  Watch Video>>>

On 09-24, there were so many Tree Swallows in the air, that Ryan of NBC weather posted the radar images on his Blog:http://ryanhanrahan.com/2012/09/24/the-mysterious-radar-echoes-are-no-longer-mysterious/.




Gift Certificates Available


Special Cruise Dates

Selden Island Exploration



RiverQuest will leave Haddam and cruise south down the Connecticut River to Selden Island where passengers will disembark onto this 640 acre island, the largest island in the state of Connecticut and a Connecticut State Park. In the late 1800’s, a huge granite quarry, that primarily supplied paving stones to New York City and Philadelphia, operated on Selden Island. A naturalist and/or historian will guide a hiking tour on the island pointing out wildlife, plant life, geology and will explain the fascinating stone quarrying history of the island. At the "top" of the island we will pause so that you can enjoy a beautiful panoramic view of the Connecticut River. The hike portion of the trip lasts about two hours (this includes stopping at points of interest) and is fairly strenuous, dress appropriately. Bring a lunch or a snack with you to munch on as we cruise back to Haddam. $40 per person.

CRUISE DATE: Sunday, May 18 2014, depart at 9:00am. Return around 12:30pm. Please call CT Audubon EcoTravel Division at 860-767-0660 to reserve a spot on this cruise.


Please join our mailing list

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.

Geology Cruise on the Lower CT River



Connecticut and the Connecticut River is had "rich" geology. We will have a geologist onboard to tell you all about how the Connecticut River formed and many other interesting geological facts of the river.Departure from Eagle Landing Park, Haddam.


CRUISE DATE:  Stand by for 2014 dates.


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

Fall Foliage Cruises



Join us aboard RiverQuest for our Fall Foliage Cruises. The foliage begins to change in late September and there will be color all through October.

On our regularly scheduled 90 minute Gillette Castle Viewing Daytime Cruises, we will still cruise south, where you will also see the beautiful changing foliage on the many varieties of trees along the lower Connecticut River. The cost for 11:30am (Wednesday and Thursday) and 1:30pm (Friday, Saturday and Sunday), 90 minute cruise, is $20 adults, $15 children.


Special Foliage Cruises in October, all two hours, will be posted for the 2014 season soon! Please stand by! 


Foliage Cruises NORTH:

October: 3:30pm to 5:30pm.

October: 10:30am to 12:30pm. $30pp.


Connecticut's Amazon, Selden Island Circumnavigation:

October: 10:00am to 12:00pm. $30pp


Geology/Foliage Cruise:

October: 3:30pm to 5:30pm.

Including wine and apps. $40pp for Lyme Public Hall members. $45 for non-members, call 860-526-8886 


 Always please check our Calendar to confirm departure days and times. Private charters take precedence.




Gift Certificates Available


Special Cruise Dates

Phone: 860-662-0577

Upcoming Excursions


4:00 pm - 6:30 pm
4:00pm Osprey/Eagle Cruise SOLD OUT!


9:30 am - 12:00 pm
9:30am SOLD OUT! Osprey/Eagle Cruise!


4:00 pm - 6:30 pm
4:00pm SOLD OUT! Osprey/Eagle Cruise


9:00 am - 1:00 pm


9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Non-Stop CT! Video


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



Book 9:30am Cruise  

Book 11:45am Cruise