Planning and FAQs

Where does RiverQuest leave from?

RiverQuest departs from the Connecticut River Museum in ESSEX.


CT Route 9 South:

  • Take exit 3 for CT-154 toward CT-153/Essex/Westbrook
  • Turn left onto CT-154 S/Middlesex Ave
  • Turn left onto West Ave
  • Turn right to stay on West Ave
  • Turn right onto Main St
  • Destination will be on the left

CT Route 9 North:

  • Take exit 3 for CT-154 toward CT-153/Essex/Centerbrook
  • Turn left onto CT-154 N/Middlesex Ave/Saybrook Rd
  • Turn right onto West Ave
  • Turn right to stay on West Ave
  • Turn right onto Main St
  • Destination will be on the left

Is there a restroom (head) on board RiverQuest?

Yes! There is a bathroom for use during the cruise.

Are you handicap accessible?

RiverQuest is handicap accessible and can accommodate small, non electric wheelchairs and walkers. If you are a group with wheelchairs, PLEASE let us know in the comments section as you book online and/or via email. Please get to the boat early so we have time to get you on board.

The walk to the boat from the museum is along a wooden dock and down a ramp to a floating dock.

What do I need to bring on your cruises?

RiverQuest has a fully enclosed cabin that protects passengers from the sun, cold, wind and rain. Depending on the time of year, consider the following:

  • Spring: A jacket or sweater is a must, be advised that it is a lot cooler on the water.
  • Summer: Showers can pop up so a rain jacket/umbrella is a good idea.
  • Fall: Warm jacket, hat.
  • Winter: There is a fully enclosed heated cabin, but, dress warm because you will want to be outside for best viewing!  Long underwear, jacket, gloves, hat, and warm boots/socks.

Other ideas:

  • Camera.
  • Binoculars (we also have a limited supply on-board for your use).

Do you provide food/drink on the cruise? Can we bring food or beverage on board? 

You would provide your own food and beverage (beer or wines allowed). For Daytime Cruises and most Special Cruises, only coolers that will fit under a chair and lap food is allowed, no food to share, tables will most likely not be available. For Sunset/Evening Cruises, a table will most likely be available for your food/beverage.

What time do I need to be there?

You need to be at the Connecticut River Museum in Essex to check in for your RiverQuest cruise at least 15 minutes before the published start of the cruise. RiverQuest leaves on time!  Early is good, enjoy the museum exhibits! NOTE: If you are not there five minutes before departure we may fill your spot with the standby list.

On a sunny summer weekend, be sure to give yourself plenty of time for traffic congestion on Route 9 or I-95.

NOTE: If all our booked passengers are on board, RiverQuest will leave the dock before scheduled departure time.

What is your cancellation and refund policy?

If we cancel the cruise because of weather issues or other circumstances, we will offer you a re-schedule. If you cannot re-schedule, you will not be charged. If you have an issue and need to cancel, you will NOT be charged if you cancel BY EMAIL at least 48 hours before departure time. On busy days, passengers that booked online will board first…after that, it is strictly first come, first seated.

For Last Minute Cancellations:  Your credit card has been be charged for the cruise. If you have notified us (you must email us and call 860-767-8269 before the cruise) we may offer you a Gift Card for the dollar amount of the cruise, dependent on the circumstance. A Gift Card/credit will not be offered on a Sold Out cruise.

No Shows/no email/no call: You have been charged for the cruise.  Many of our cruises are Sold Out, your booking is exactly the same as a Theater or Sports Event ticket…If you do not attend you do not get a refund or Gift Card.

Is there parking available?

Yes, there is a parking lot at the museum.  During busy times we will open the lawn at our Lay House next door, look for signs. Buses can park a block away.

Are there group rates?

Yes, we have group rates on our weekday 90 minute “Gillette Castle Viewing Cruise” for over 34 passengers.  See: Group and Bus Trips page.

Are there any senior specials?

Yes, for seniors, there is a price reduction on our Friday regularly scheduled 11:30am 90 minute “Gillette Castle Viewing Cruise”. On those days, seniors 65 get a 10% discount on our current ticket price.

Can we bring our pets on board?

Unfortunately, no pets are allowed. Sorry.

Is smoking allowed on board?

No. No smoking of any kind is allowed.

Cell Phones:

We also ask that everyone refrain from using their cell phone. Disconnect and enjoy the narration and peaceful beauty of the Connecticut River. Of course, you may use your phone as a camera!

Security and Privacy – Terms and Conditions:

Your security and privacy is very important to us.

Our on-line booking is secure. Once you hit the reservations button, you enter a secure on-line booking Merchant Page, you are not on our website anymore.

We do not sell or share any information that you may provide to us through our website or any other means.

We may use your email to notify you about any Specials Events that we, here at the Connecticut River Musuem, are offering. This is normally through an email service such as Constant Contact or equivalent. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Our reservation policy/terms and conditions is as follows:

Thank you for booking with us, RiverQuest/Connecticut River Museum. Please know that if you do not show up for a cruise that leaves the dock, you have been charged. If we cancel the cruise because of weather issues or other circumstances, we will try to offer a re-schedule, if we or you cannot re-schedule, you will NOT be charged. If you have an issue and need to cancel, you will NOT be charged if you cancel BY EMAIL within 48 hours of departure time. If we need to cancel, we will make every attempt to contact you, however, it is also your responsibility to check the website ( or call 860-767-8269 before you come for the cruise. Thanks!

Acceptable forms of payment are: For walk-ons: cash, check or credit card. Our on-line booking accepts major credit card. There will be a $25 charge for any returned checks.

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