Special Cruises

Kids Cruise

From 10:00am to 11:00am this is a special affordable family cruise, designed for young children and their parents, grandparents, older siblings, etc.



We now have check-in at the first gray building (Connecticut River Environmental Education Center - CREEC) located on the left when you enter the access road to RiverQuest starting at 9:00am. We will give you a ticket to get on the boat. That way, you can play in the park with no worry of losing your spot. 


Just added: August 29th!


On this cruise, we will teach young children about 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! All kids ages 2 to 12 ticket price will be only $5, all others only $10.

NOTE: Adults must have at least one kid(s) with them for this cruise. Thanks!

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. Also, cash only. Thank you.




June 7 & 27, 2015

July 11 & 25, 2015

August 8 & 15, 2015



Gift Certificates Available


Special Cruise Dates

Tree Swallow Sunset Cruise Spectacle

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Tree Swallow Sunset Cruise Information:

Send us an email to be added to our Wait List. Thanks! 

NOTE: Sometimes we can not keep up with all booking changes, so, if a cruise says sold out on the Calendar or Special Cruise Dates try to book it sometimes there is availability.


Tree Swallow Cruises have started and we are having a fine time out on the river. For those who were unable to get on, we will be adding some days in the first week of October that will depart at 4:30pm. They are now in limbo for possible rain dates. If there are no canceled cruises, we will open them up, so, please send us an email if you are interested on coming and we will add you to a wait list. ALSO, there are one ot two Groups that have chartered RiverQuest and they may open up spots to the general public. Again, email us!

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. We regularly see: Bald Eagles,  Ospreys, different ducks, Cormorants and who know what else! 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. NO BOOKING FOR OVER TEN PERSONS (email us to discuss if you have more). 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 Cruise Dates Page for exact dates and starting times. Also, for SOLD OUT cruises.

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

Departure Times: Check the calendar.

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

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

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. 

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

CRUISE DATE: June 14 & October 18, 2015 !! $35pp, no one under 12 please.  

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

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



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 10 please.


Cruise Dates:

July 15, 2015. depart at 5:30pm, return at 9:00pm.




Gift Certificates Available


Special Cruise Dates


Phone: 860-662-0577

Upcoming Excursions

January 8, 2015

Non-Stop CT! Video