Aquarium hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily | Café: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. daily | Gift Shop: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily.
NOTE: Programs are sometimes canceled or substituted with little or no notice. Check our "Today's Events" page at MaritimeAquarium.org on your smart phone when you arrive.
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Seal-Spotting & Birding Cruises
Next Dates: Dec. 27-28
Time: 11 a.m.
Cost: $24.95 ($19.95 for Aquarium Members)
Join us out on Long Island Sound Sound as we seek out some of the seals and waterfowl that spend their winters just off our shores! Memorable family fun but all participants must be at least 42 inches tall.
These invigorating 2½-hour cruises seek out the harbor seals and gray seals that migrate down into the Sound from northern waters, which serve as their summer breeding and pupping areas. Seals often can be seen near the Norwalk islands when they “haul out” to rest on rocks exposed at low tide.
Aquarium educators will point out these federally protected marine mammals and talk about their natural histories. And they’ll also generally discuss what happens to the Sound’s marine population during the winter: who stays, who migrates out, and who migrates in (besides the seals).
These cruises also give birders unique “on-the-water” access to see and photograph visiting winter waterfowl, such as buffleheads, mergansers, Brant geese and long-tailed ducks.
Binoculars will be provided. The Aquarium's R/V Spirit of the Sound – the country's only research vessel with quiet hybrid-electric propulsion – has a climate-controlled cabin but, because the best viewing is outside on the deck, participants should bring plenty of warm clothes.
Capacity is limited so advance reservations are strongly recommended. Walk-up tickets will be sold, space permitting.
Dates and times for these cruises are tide-dependent.
Here's the 2017-18 Seal-Spotting & Birding Cruises schedule:
Sat., Dec. 9: 10 a.m. Cancelled because of weather
Sun., Dec. 10: 10 a.m.
Sat., Dec. 16: 2:30 p.m. (Timed to include sunset)
Wed., Dec. 27: 11 a.m.
Thurs., Dec. 28: 11 a.m.
Fri., Dec. 29: 1:30 p.m. (Timed to include sunset)
Sat., Dec. 30: 2 p.m. (Timed to include sunset)
Sun., Dec. 31: 2 p.m. (Champagne and Seals Sunset Cruise)
Sun., Jan. 7: 10 a.m.
Sat., Jan. 13: 2 p.m.
Sun., Jan. 14: 2 p.m.
Sat., Jan. 27: 1 p.m.
Sun., Jan. 28: 1 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 10: 1 p.m.
Sun., Feb. 11: 1 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 24: 11 a.m.
Sun., Feb. 25: noon
Sat., March 10: 11 a.m.
Sun., March 11: noon
Sat., March 24: 11 a.m.
Sun., March 25: noon
Sat., March 31: 5 p.m. (Timed to include sunset)