Winter Wildlife & Eagle Cruises

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Winter Wildlife and Eagle Cruises – departing from the Connecticut River Museum in Essex, CT


RiverQuest has teamed up with the Connecticut River Museum for our winter cruises!

In February and March we will depart from the Connecticut River Museum docks at the end of Main Street in ESSEX.

With this partnership, you not only get to enjoy the river and its wildlife from the water, but also the entire museum and their special Eagles of Essex exhibit.


As the river, lakes and ponds to our north freeze, Eagles and others make their way to the lower CT River for their favorite food – FISH. Join us on this approximately 2 hour “on-the-water” cruise to search for eagles and other winter wildlife. This is Mark and Mindy’s 15th year providing these popular cruises and in the past we have spotted up to a record 41 eagles, 3 types of grebes, fox, 3 types of swans, 3 types of mergansers, golden eagle, coyote, deer, many hawk species, 3 types of seals, many different gulls, loons, and even a bobcat. We will have Naturalists on board to narrate and make sure you don’t miss a thing!


RiverQuest has a heated cabin, but we suggest that you dress in warm layers since the best views will be from the open decks. Don’t forget your camera and binoculars! No binoculars? No worries, we have plenty on board for you to borrow! We will also provide complimentary coffee and tea.


GPS - Connecticut River Museum, 67 Main Street, Essex, CT
Directions: CT Route 9 North to Exit 3 (Essex) and follow signs to Connecticut River Museum and Essex Historic Waterfront. The Dock is located at the foot of Main Street on the Connecticut River.


Hang around in Essex and have breakfast, lunch or dinner at local restaurants: Abby's Place, the Griswold Inn or the Black Seal. Olive Oyls deli has sandwiches and other food to go and Essex Coffee and Tea has food, too! Some nice retail shops to visit, also.


Cost:  $42 pp


2018 Dates/Start Times:

Photo by Jeri Duefrene 

Saturdays - Sundays:

15 10 18eagles

9:00 to 11:00
11:30 to 1:30
2:00 to 4:00


2/3 - 2/4 (no 9am); 2/10 - 2/11; 2/17- 2/18; 2/24 - 2/25

3/3 - 3/4; 3/10- 3/11; 3/17- 3/18


10:00 to 12:00
12:30 to 2:30


2/9; 2/16; 2/23

3/2; 3/9; 3/16


Monday February 19 (President's Day)

11:30 to 1:30
2:00 to 4:00



Come out and play and beat Winter Cabin Fever! 

Come out of your winter doldrums and experience the beauty and solitude of the lower Connecticut River during this wonderful time of year! 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 visiting and resident Bald Eagles (we will pass by a nesting area on our journey), we will also search for many other varieties of local winter wildlife.

IMG 5653     Eagles brockway island    Ring necked 1


Past Sightings:

Birds of Prey:

Red Tailed Hawk

Rough Legged Hawk

Sharp Shinned Hawk

Northern Harrier


Coopers Hawk

Red Shouldered Hawk


Peregrine Falcon

Golden Eagle

Bald Eagle



Grey Seal

Harbor Seal







Common Merganser

Hooded Merganser

Red-breasted Merganser

Common Goldeneye


Black Duck

Wood Duck

Ruddy Duck


Ring neck

Long tail


Green Winged Teal

American Widgeon






Great Black Back

Ring Billed




Great Cormorant

Pied Billed Grebe

Horned Grebe

Red Throated Grebe

Tundra Swan

Trumpeter Swan

Mute Swan

Common Loon

Red Throated Loon


Canada Geese

Pileated Woodpecker

Northern Flicker


So, come aboard and see what we find on your cruise!


Hoodies       Rq winter pilothouse      Cormorant Great



*Due to the length of this winter cruise, we ask that no children under 10 years old be booked. Please email us for questions/comments. 

*Due to the popularity of these cruises, they do sell out, so, reservations are required. Please use our on-line booking "reservations" button. We can sometimes take on last minute passengers, so, email us anytime.

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



We want to remind everyone that this is a nature cruise. The weather can change drastically in minutes; rain, wind, fog, ice and heavy snow may pop up. There are times when a cruise may be canceled very last minute. We will of course try to give as much notice as possible and we will only cancel if there is a safety issue or wildlife viewing will be affected. So please, be patient and understanding with us.

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


Private Charter Price: Please email us to discuss more.


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

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





Phone: 860-662-0577

Upcoming Excursions

January 8, 2015

Non-Stop CT! Video