R/V Spirit of the Sound™

Revolutionary in design, this 64-foot all-aluminum catamaran was launched in 2015 as the first research vessel in North America with hybrid-electric propulsion. She runs virtually silently on electric power.

Who Built Her:

Designed by Incat Crowther of Australia, Spirit of the Sound was built in Mamaroneck, NY, at the Robert E. Derecktor Inc. shipyard, with construction managed and integrated by Alternative Marine Technologies (Amtech). Her hybrid-electric propulsion system was made by BAE Systems Inc., Corvus Energy and Northern Lights Hybrid Marine.

Major contributors include: the Per and Astrid Heidenreich Family Foundation, George & Carol Bauer of Wilton, and The TK Foundation.

Current Public Cruises:

Seal-Spotting and Birding Cruises

Cruise out with us in hopes of spotting some of the seals that come into Long Island Sound each winter.  We'll seek out the seals to observe them near the Norwalk Islands as they “haul out” to rest on rocks exposed at low tide.

These cruises will be offered many weekends from December through March. Dates and departure times vary by low tide.

During the 2.5-hour cruises, 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 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. 

Tickets are $24.95 ($19.95 for Aquarium members). Advance purchase is strongly recommended. Capacity is limited. "Walk-up" tickets will be sold, space permitting. 

Buy Tickets

Cruises for Schools & Other Groups 

School groups, Scouts, camps and other groups (10 or more people) can charter the R/V Spirit of the Sound for study cruise programs onto Long Island Sound. Please call our Reservations Dept. at (203) 852-0700, ext. 2206, Mon.-Fri. 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. or email reservations@maritimeaquarium.org  to book.

Corporate and Private Charters 

Our new, quieter, greener boat offers a unique platform for corporate team building, meetings, parties and more. We can custom design a private cruise for companies and individuals. A range of food and beverage options are available. Add an exciting program: marine life study, remotely operated underwater vehicle, marine navigation, lighthouse tour, history tour, bird watching and more. Capacity: 40 people.

Party at the Dock 

If you have more people or less time, consider a special event on our spacious dock and boat without the cruise. We can accommodate up to 65 people with broader catering choices. You can still add an interpretive program: remotely operated underwater vehicle, marine navigation, bird watching, animals of Long Island Sound and more.

Our Mission

Mission: The Maritime Aquarium inspires people of all ages to appreciate and protect the Long Island Sound ecosystem and the global environment through living exhibits, marine science, and environmental education.

Contact Us

Open Daily 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Phone: (203) 852-0700

10 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT 06854

Directions Contact Us