Cruise out onto Long Island Sound this summer with The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk to learn about the marine environment and to enjoy gorgeous sights and colorful sunsets.
While the Aquarium’s signature Marine Life Encounter Cruises currently are suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic, a fun mix of daytime and evening cruises still are available aboard the Aquarium’s R/V Spirit of the Sound, the first research vessel in the country with quiet “green” hybrid-electric propulsion.
The vessel also is available for rental this summer for parties, special occasions, or business meetings or team buildings.
Beginning Sat., July 4, the regular public cruises are:
• Norwalk Islands Cruises – at 1:15 p.m. daily except Mondays
• Evening Cruises starting July 9:
– Norwalk Islands Cruises at 6:30 p.m. Thursdays
– TGIF Cruises at 6:30 p.m. Fridays
– Saturday Sunset Cruises at 6:30 p.m. Saturdays
Each cruise is 90 minutes long and – although the names differ – offer a similar experience. Maritime Aquarium educators will offer information on Long Island Sound’s marine life and share details about Shea, Chimon, Tavern and other islands just off the Norwalk harbor, as well as about the three local lighthouses: Peck Ledge, Greens Ledge and Sheffield Island. They’ll also point out waterfowl and other sights.
The evening cruises are timed for the bonus opportunity to watch as twilight paints the western sky and reflects colorfully off the water. Get back in time to enjoy an evening out with friends just steps away in the restaurants and nightspots of South Norwalk (SoNo).
COVID-19 precautions include masks must be worn at all times, as well as physical distancing through reduced capacity.
Tickets for all cruises are $31.50 ($26.50 for Aquarium members).
Rent the Boat
In addition, R/V Spirit of the Sound can be chartered, with the option of adding a focused presentation about marine life, lighthouses, bird-watching and more. Maximum capacity is 25. The Aquarium’s on-site caterer can provide a range of food and beverage options.
The Maritime Aquarium’s cruises are perfect for family fun. However, for all cruises, all passengers must be at least 42 inches tall. Participants under age 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
R/V Spirit of the Sound has a climate-controlled cabin but participants should dress for time outside on deck, where the best viewing occurs. Cruises depart from the dock near the Aquarium's IMAX Theater entrance.
Advance reservations are required for all Aquarium cruises. Reserve your tickets online – and see the public summer schedule for R/V Spirit of the Sound – at www.maritimeaquarium.org.
For details about renting the boat, call (203) 852-0700, ext. 2206.