Media Kit
Talk to us

News : Entertainment Dec 20, 2013 - 6:53:31 AM

Maritime Aquarium seal-watching cruises start Dec. 28

By The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk

Font size: Small Big
Email this article
 Printer friendly page
Share this article:
facebook Yahoo! MyWeb Digg reddit Furl Blinklist Spurl
Buy the "As seen on" mug
A large male gray seal (with dark head) rests among harbor seals on a rock in Long Island Sound. The seals return to the Sound each winter and can be seen resting on rocks at low tide during The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk’s Seal-Watching Cruises. The cruises will depart from the Aquarium on many weekends from Dec. 28 through March 23. For times, prices and more details, go online to (Dick Ramsey / Dolphin Marine Photography)
NORWALK, CT - Cruise out for the chance to see some of the seals that spend their winters in Long Island Sound during The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk’s new season of Seal-Watching Cruises.

These invigorating outings aboard the research vessel Oceanic occur many weekends from late December through late March. That’s when the seals come down from northern waters, which serve as their summer breeding and pupping areas.

The Aquarium’s cruises seek out the seals to observe them near the Norwalk Islands as they “haul out” to rest on rocks exposed at low tide. Maritime Aquarium educators also will point out wintering waterfowl on the Sound, including buffleheads, mergansers, Brant geese, long-tailed ducks and other feathered seasonal visitors.

Dates and departure times vary by the tide schedule. Initial cruises are: Sat., Dec. 28 at 1 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 29 at 1:30 p.m.; and Sat., Jan. 11 at 1 p.m. For the full 2013-14 Seal-Watching Cruise schedule, go online to

“You don’t have to drive way up to Maine or Cape Cod to see seals. Our cruises let you get close to them right here in Connecticut,” said Cathy Hagadorn, vessel manager of the Oceanic. “As exciting as it is to see the seals that are exhibited inside the Aquarium, it’s truly a memorable experience to see them out in Long Island Sound. That experience also reminds us how important the Sound is as a habitat for our marine-mammal friends.”

Previous years’ cruises have identified two main species of seals in the Sound: harbor seals and gray seals. All seals are federally protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, which limits how closely anyone may approach them.

During the 21/2-hour cruises, Maritime Aquarium educators will talk about the seals’ natural histories and use artifacts to discuss seal anatomy. And they’ll discuss what happens with the Sound’s general marine population during the winter: who stays, who migrates out and who migrates in (besides the seals).

While out on the water, participants can help educators with plankton and water-chemistry samplings. Data collected during the cruises is added to the Long Island Sound Biodiversity Project, which is an ongoing census of the Sound’s animal species. This online database is sponsored by the Aquarium and includes students in collecting data on the physical and biological contents of Long Island Sound.

Bring binoculars, cameras and – because the best viewing is out on the Oceanic’s open deck – plenty of warm clothes! The cruises offer memorable family fun but please note that all passengers must be at least 42 inches tall.

Tickets for a Maritime Aquarium Seal-Watching Cruise are $22.95 (or $17.95 for Aquarium members). Weekday charters for school groups are available.

Advance ticket purchases are strongly recommended; walk-up tickets will be sold, space permitting. Get advance tickets by calling (203) 852-0700, ext. 2206, during weekday business hours or by going online anytime to

© Copyright by Some articles and pictures posted on our website, as indicated by their bylines, were submitted as press releases and do not necessarily reflect the position and opinion of, Stamford Plus magazine, Canaiden LLC or any of its associated entities. Articles may have been edited for brevity and grammar. Photos without a credit line are "contributed photos".

Note: We reserve the right to delete posts at any time if we decide that they are offensive or distasteful.
Norwalk City Hall moving to limited staff and services amidst COVID-19 pandemic
Wilton Library’s drive thru window keeps people rolling
Mystic Seaport Museum to Close Temporarily March 13
SilverSource Announces Updated Measures to Ensure Stamford’s Senior Population Continues to Be Supported During Coronavirus Outbreak
Stamford Public Schools Announces All Schools Will Be Closed March 13 through March 27

Top of Page
 is part of the Canaiden Online Media Network.
Stamford Plus Online | Norwalk Plus Online | | Best of Norwalk | Best of Stamford | Hauterfly Magazine |

Copyright ©2005-2010 Canaiden,LLC All Rights Reserved.