Special Cruises

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.

Not sure the tides will cooperate for the Selden Island Circumnavigation... Please stand by! 


Foliage Cruises NORTH:

October 10, 2015: 3:30pm to 5:30pm. This cruise will be set up like our Sunset Cruise. A table, bring a picnic basket and your favorite beverage if you choose. Light narration, relaxing cruise for you! $35pp. No one under 12 on this cruise, please.


Connecticut's Amazon, Selden Island Circumnavigation:

October 18, 2015: 2:30pm to 4:30pm. $35pp


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

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:  October 26th, 3:30pm to 5:30pm. Geology Cruise (Rocks and Leaves, Wine and Cheese) $45 per adult which includes wine and light refreshments, features retired State Geologist Ralph Lewis. Prepayment is required - contact Leslie at 860 526-8886 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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

Eagle Cruises





February 20, 21 and 22 Winter Wonderland/Eagle Cruises CANCELED due to still some lingering ice!


Come out and hop aboard for our popular Osprey/Eagle Cruise. We'll see some of our resident eagles and returning Ospreys. Cruises begin on April 4th. See our Calendar for more dates. Thanks! 


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

Our cruises are full 2-1/4 hours "on-the-water" and the cost is $40pp (no one under 10 please!).

RiverQuest departs from Haddam, CT....across the river from the beautiful Goodspeed Opera House, just south of the famous East Haddam Swinge Bridge.


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 12 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, Red Throated 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.
  • And on the sideline....fox, coyote, deer and bobcat!

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. 


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


Bring a snack with you 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.


2015 Dates/Times: Please look at our Special Cruise Dates page or our Calendar


Saturday and Sunday Cruises:

  • February 7th through March 15:  9:00am, 11:30am and 2:00pm. 

Friday Cruises:

  • February 13th 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.

2015 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: 

April 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19, 25, 26, 2015




Gift Certificates Available


Special Cruise Dates


Osprey Cruises

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Cruise quietly from RiverQuest's home berth in Haddam and observe Ospreys and Osprey 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). A naturalist will be on board each cruise 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.

CRUISE DATES: July 18, 9:30am to 12:30pm! 

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

Mother's Day Cruise

Join us aboard RiverQuest and spend some quality time with Mom! Depart from Eagle Landing State Park in Haddam (across the river from the Goodspeed).

On this special day, MOM IS HALF PRICE! This 90 minute cruise departs at 11:30am, 1:30pm and 3:30pm and is $15 kids, $20 adults, but, on Mother’s Day, May 11th, Mom cruises for only $10. Learn about the nature and history of the lower Connecticut River. See the beautiful Spring Foliage!

Let Mom have a relaxing morning, maybe breakfast in bed, a light brunch, then bring your family lunch on board or have a bite to eat before or after your cruise at a fine local restaurant in East Haddam, Chester or Essex. Mom must be accompanied with a child of any age!


Cruise Dates: 

May 10, 2015




Gift Certificates Available


Special Cruise Dates

Tree Swallow Spectacle

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Booking is available on-line for our 2015 Tree Swallow Cruises....


The 2014 season is over! I am sooooo missing it! What a great time we had. The birds were great, many Bald Eagles of all ages were seen and we had the BEST customers every cruise. THANK YOU all for a wonderful season and we look forward to seeing you aboard next year (or before on Winter Wonderland Eagle Cruises...coming soon!).


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 (usually around 3.5 hours). Cost: $40 each passenger. Reservations required. Please use our on-line booking for this cruise.


Roger Tory Peterson of the Peterson Field Guides quote on this phenomenon: 

“I have seen a million flamingos on the lakes of East Africa and as many seabirds on the cliffs of the Alaska Pribilofs,

but for sheer drama, the tornadoes of Tree Swallows eclipsed any other avian spectacle I have ever seen.”


2015 Cruise Dates:

Starting August 23rd thru October 4th (maybe later).

Check our Calendar and Special Cruises Page for exact dates and starting times. 

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


Departure times (always check the calendar to confirm!):

August 22 thru August 28: 6:00pm 

August 29 thru September 11: 5:30pm

September 12 thru September 29: 5:00pm 

September 30 thru October 09: 4:30pm


Private Tree Swallow Charters:

The cost is a $1400 base price for Monday, Tuesday, Thursday evenings, $1500 base price for Saturday evening, for 40 persons. 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.




Meteorologist Ryan Hanrahan NBC CT 30- How the swallows appear on Radar!




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: Saturday, May 23, 2015 - Depart at 8:30am. Return around 12:30pm. Please call CT Audubon EcoTravel Division at 860-767-0660 to reserve a spot on this cruise.

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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.

Phone: 860-662-0577

Upcoming Excursions

January 8, 2015

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