Group Bus Trips - Boat ride on the CT River
RiverQuest is a 64’ eco-tourism boat that travels the scenic lower Connecticut River, an area labeled by The Nature Conservancy as "One of the Last Great Places in the Northern Hemisphere".
We are a family business that has been giving narrated tours on the river for 17 years. Our home berth is located at Eagle Landing State Park in Haddam, CT, situated directly across the river from the Goodspeed Opera House.
On our river cruise, we view great landmarks like Gillette Castle, Goodspeed Opera House and the Chester Hadlyme Ferry. We will introduce our visitors to the river's ecology, rich history, and wildlife (which includes Osprey, eagles and more).
Our normal route (subject to change at the Captain's discretion):
We will head up river aways (North), under the famous East Haddam Swing Bridge and then we will turn down river (South) and cruise through the towns of Haddam, Chester and Deep River on the West side of the river, East Haddam and Lyme on the East side of the river. We'll go past Gillette Castle, one of Connecticut's most popular tourist attractions, and then cruise through Deep River Harbor eventually heading back to the dock on the main trunk of the river.
We offer cruises Spring through Fall so all can enjoy each season's beauty.
RiverQuest can accommodate 65 passengers maximum.
*For Coach Cruises:
90 Minute Daytime Gillette Castle Viewing Cruise: Over 34 passengers: $16pp.
60 Minute Daytime Gillette Castle Viewing Cruise: Over 40 passengers: $13pp.
Note: Special rate may not apply to a time slot that interferes with an already scheduled public Daytime Gillette Castle Viewing Cruise; a special time slot may be given.
*For smaller Groups:
90 Minute Daytime Gillette Castle Viewing Cruise: $20pp (under 34) on a regularly scheduled cruise.
**Special: Wednesday and Thursday: $18pp over age 60 on our regularly scheduled 11:30am cruise.departs around lunchtime, so your residents can bring their boxed lunch on board if they want.
RiverQuest is handicap accessible and can accommodate small wheelchairs and walkers. If you have wheelchairs, PLEASE make sure you get to the boat early so we have time to load you on the boat. Captain Mark leaves the dock at the scheduled time!
The walk to the boat is an easy 250' on flat ground.
In rare cases, we can use a small access road if your group needs to get closer to the boat. Please let us know ahead of time if you think you will require use of this access road.
There is PLENTY of FREE parking available at Eagle Landing State Park. Buses are welcome!
What to do....where to go:
There is plenty to do in the quaint Haddam/East Haddam area. The area is full of charm.
We can help you plan your day:
- **A relaxing cruise aboard RiverQuest.
- **Lunch at a local restaurant:
- *Suggestions in East Haddam: Gelston House, La Vita Gustosa.
- *Suggestions in Essex (about a 15 minute drive): Griswold Inn.
- **A visit to Gillette Castle, a mere 4.5 miles away on beautiful, scenic back roads.
- **A behind the scenes tour of the Goodpseed Opera House (must be pre-arranged).
- **A play at the Goodspeed Opera House. ***Please see below for more information for groups going to a show!
- **A play at the Ivoryton Playhouse (drive time <20 minutes).
- **A visit to the Nathan Hall Schoolhouse (drive time 5 minutes).
- **Spend time in the quaint town of Essex (drive time <20 minutes).
- **For smaller groups, bring your own lunch or choose a box lunch from a local deli (contact us for deli information).
- **Shop at the Goddspeed Station Gift Shop located across Route 82 and the park entrance.
- **Contact us for more ideas and more information.
***For Group/Bus tours seeing a show at The Goodspeed:
Come aboard for a relaxing, informative cruise before or after before your fantastic show. We are docked directly across the river from the Goodpseed Opera House at Eagle Landing State Park, a less than five minute drive.
There is PLENTY of bus friendly parking available with easy unloading/loading of passengers.
NOTE: On a Group Tour, the boat may not be exclusively yours. Others may be on board.
RiverQuest can accommodate 65 passengers maximum. Both your Group Leader and Bus Driver are complimentary.
Please email us so we can help you set up a day and time for a 90 minute or 60 minute cruise for your group.
There is PLENTY of bus friendly FREE parking avaiable; easy loading and unloading of passengers.
RiverQuest can cruise in shallow areas where other vessels can not. She can navigate creeks and she can also be beached to allow passengers to disembark for hikes and adventures on some local islands. Also, available, special birding and nature cruises. Contact Us if you are interested in a very special adventure for your group.