Special Cruises

Kids Cruise

We are done for this 2017 season. See you in June 2018!


This is a special affordable approximately 45 minute-ish family cruise, designed for young children and their parents, grandparents, older siblings, etc. 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. Under 2 no charge. Cash only. 

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


So......we will start checking passengers in around 9:00am in the gray building (Connecticut River Environmental Education Center - CREEC) located on the left when you enter the access road to RiverQuest. We will give you a numbered ticket so that you can play in the park without losing your spot. When we meet capacity, we will blow the horn, board everyone and depart from the dock. This cruise is FIRST COME/FIRST SERVE. Cash only. 


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.




Gift Certificates Available


Special Cruise Dates

Parrothead Cruise

IMG 2655Cruise on the Connecticut River from Eagle Landing State Park in Haddam. Enjoy the beautiful Connecticut River while listening to “Parrothead” music. Bring your margarita’s or any favorite beverage and your picnic basket. If you want your margarita on the rocks, we’ll have a blender and ice available. Dress in your “Parrothead” attire. Meet other “Parrotheads”! This is designed as a fun, more active Sunset Cruise. Visit our website: ctriverquest.com to learn more and to reserve your spots. Cruise departs at 6:00pm will return at 8:30pm-ish. Cost is $35 per person. No one under 12 years old please.

Cruise Dates:

Friday, August 4, 2017



Gift Certificates Available


Special Cruise Dates


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

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


Tree Swallow Sunset Cruise on RiverQuest

Swallows rainbow  swallow  Swallow on phrags1  





Note: We try to set up tables for groups of four or more. If you are booked separately, but want to sit at a table together, please let us know who you want to be with.


Also note that you may bring your own food and "favorite" beverage aboard our cruises, no need to purchase anything!


Captain Mark and Mindy are the pioneers of Tree Swallow watching!
For the past 14 years they have brought individuals and groups on intimate cruises aboard RiverQuest and/or Adventure to a special spot on the Connecticut River where 100's of thousands of Tree Swallows gather. After spending the day miles away, the swallows return each night to sleep in the reeds. They gather at sunset and perform aerial ballets forming an amazing display of art, coordination and cooperation!

Over the years Captain Mark has found the best way to maneuver RiverQuest (and now Capt Alex, Adventure) to allow perfect views from her open decks on the bow and stern. Her flexible seating ensures everyone gets optimal "up close and personal" viewing.


Enjoy the entire evening! We will spend about 3.5 hours on the water.


The cruise is primarily about the Tree Swallows, however, it is also about the journey....there is so much to see while cruising along the river. Many birds are migrating through the area now; last year we saw a record number of Bald Eagles and Great Egrets. Our on board Naturalist(s), will educate you on the swallow phenomenon and all the other wildlife we see. On the return cruise home, there is time to chat with others and experience the river at twilight, blending into night.


You are able to bring your own picnic basket or snacks and your favorite "beverage" to enjoy on this special cruise.  There may not be tables for everyone, so singles and smaller groups, please bring "lap" type food.


Don't forget your camera and binoculars (or borrow a pair of ours)!


This is a small group experience that is unique each sailing. Mark, Mindy and crew promise a great evening for all to enjoy the Tree Swallow show and this special time on the pristine Connecticut River!


Cost is $40pp. NOTE: Due to the length of this evening cruise, we ask that no children under 12 years old be booked. Please email us for questions/comments.


These cruises sell out, so, reservations are required. Please use our on-line booking. We can sometimes take on last minute passengers, so, email us anytime.


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

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.”    


2017 Cruise Dates:

Check our calendar and Special Cruise Dates Page for exact dates, departure time and for SOLD OUT cruises.   

CalendarSpecial Cruise Dates 


Private Tree Swallow Sunset Cruise Charters: $1650 for the whole boat! Private Charters will normally be aboard ADVENTURE.           


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>>>
  • Autumn on the Connecticut River With the Swallows - 9/2/14, By HELEN O'NEILL Associated Press Read Article>>

On 09-24, there were so many Tree Swallows in the air, that Ryan of NBC weather posted the radar images on his Blog:



14 9radar

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





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



Phone: 860-662-0577

Upcoming Excursions

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