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Maritime Aquarium Offers Winter Seal, Bird Cruises On The Sound

Harbor seals and a grey seal haul out on Long Island Sound.
Harbor seals and a grey seal haul out on Long Island Sound. Photo Credit: Dick Ramsey

NORWALK, Conn. – Cruise out for the chance to see some of the seals and waterfowl that spend their winters in Long Island Sound during Seal-Spotting & Birding Cruises offered this winter by The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.

The 2½-hour outings take place aboard the aquarium’s R/V Spirit of the Sound, the country’s only research vessel with hybrid-electric propulsion. The cruises seek out the harbor and gray seals that migrate 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. The 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.

The cruises are family-friendly, but all passengers must be at least 42 inches tall.

Tickets are $24.95 or $19.95 for aquarium members. Capacity is limited, so advance reservations are strongly recommended. Walk-up tickets will be sold, space permitting. Reserve your spot by calling 203--852-0700, ext. 2206, or by going online .

Cruise dates are

  • Jan. 2: 10 a.m.
  • Jan. 3: 11 a.m.
  • Jan. 16: 10 a.m.
  • Jan. 17: 10 a.m.
  • Jan. 30: 9 a.m.
  • Jan. 31: 10 a.m.
  • Feb. 13: 9 a.m.
  • Feb. 14: 9 a.m.
  • Feb. 27: 9 a.m.
  • Feb. 28: 9 a.m.
  • March 13: 1 p.m.
  • March 19: 1 p.m.
  • March 20: 2 p.m.
  • April 3: 1 p.m.

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