At a Glance
Take in the beauty of the natural world while learning more about the ecosystem you live in.
- Board in Highlands New Jersey and travel to Sandy Hook and surrounding areas to look for seals, birds, and other wildlife
- Saturdays- January 7, 14, 21, 28; February 4, 11, 18, 25; March 4, 11, 18, 25
- ~3 Hours
- $55 Adults, $30 Children Under 12, $50 Seniors (65+)
A winter eco-cruise in your own backyard!
Sandy Hook Bay and the greater NY/NJ Bight are well-known for their abundance of diverse wildlife. Whales, rays, and seas turtles populate these waters during the summer months, but winter is the best time to see seals and migratory birds! Join us and the American Littoral Society on a Seal and Bird Eco-Cruise to explore the area and learn more about the incredible ecology of this unique environment.
Trips will depart from Highlands, NJ. Hop aboard and travel around Sandy Hook and to surrounding areas where seals and birds are known to gather.
New Yorkers who wish to attend the cruise may present a Seal and Bird Eco-Cruise ticket to board the 10:25 am Seastreak ferry (from Pier 11/Wall St.) or the 10:45 am ferry (from East 35th St.) boat to Highlands, NJ free of charge. This will get you to the Highlands terminal by 11:45 am, just in time for the Seal and Bird Eco-Cruise. You may then ride the 4:30 pm boat from Highlands back to NYC using your Seal and Bird Eco-Cruise ticket to board.
- Learn from the experts
A wildlife expert from the American Littoral Society will be on each cruise to provide species identification support and additional information about the animals spotted. The narration will give you more time to take in the scenery and reduce the amount of time you spend flipping through ID books!
The American Littoral Society is a coastal conservation non-profit headquartered in Sandy Hook, NJ. Since 1961, the organization has empowered people to care for the coast through advocacy, conservation, and education. They provide a voice for the coast, and give concerned citizens the knowledge and tools they need to raise their voices. Check out their website to learn more about the great work they do, events you can attend or how to become a member.
Click here to learn more about the American Littoral Society!
- Grey seals and harbor seals
Every winter, grey seals and harbor seals migrate to the NY/NJ Bight. Lucky for us, Sandy Hook is one of their favorite spots to visit. Once we get a good look of the seals at Sandy Hook, the cruise will continue north towards Hoffman and Swinburne Islands where seals like to ‘haul out’ and sun themselves on the rocks. Finally, we will head towards the Verrazano Bridge – another reliable seal watching location! Last season, we saw seals on 100% our Seal and Bird Eco-Cruises. This year, we hope to do the same!
- There is no better place in the country to go bird watching
That’s right! New Jersey is often regarded as the country’s best state for bird watching. New Jersey has a great diversity of habitats and is positioned directly in the path of the Atlantic Flyway (a major migratory bird highway). On our cruise you will get the chance to see a wide variety of shorebirds and seabirds, including northern gannets, loons, scoters, double-crested cormorants, grebes, brants, and gulls. Don’t forget your binoculars!
Schedule & Pricing
2023 Departure Dates
|January 7, 14, 21, 28**|
|February 4, 11*, 18, 25*|
|March 4, 11, 18, 25*|
Departure & Arrival Times
|Departing from Highlands, NJ|
|Highlands, NJ Departure Time||Highlands, NJ Arrival Time|
|12:30 PM||Approx. 3:30 PM|
|*2:00 PM||Approx. 5:00 PM|
|**10:00 AM||Approx. 1:00 PM|
|Adults||Children 12 and Under||Seniors (65+)||Exchange Fee|
An exchange fee will be charged for any changes made to reservations.
Please reach out at 1(800)262-8743 with your order ID # to make any changes prior to your scheduled departure.
Ticket Office Hours
M-F: 5:00am - 8:30am, 2:00pm - 8:30pm
Sat/Sun: 8:00am - 7:30pm
Directions, Nearby Amenities, Additional Details
- Bike Rack
- Covered Waiting Area
- Free Daytime Parking
- Free Overnight Parking (restrictions apply)
- Handicap Accessibility
Logistics & What to KnowView All FAQs
- New Yorkers who wish to attend the cruise, may present a Seal and Bird Eco-Cruise ticket to board the 10:25 am (Pier 11/Wall St.) or 10:45 am (East 35th St.) boat to Highlands free of charge. This will get you to the Highlands terminal by 11:45 am, just in time for the Seal and Bird Eco-Cruise on select dates. You may then ride the 4:30 pm boat from Highlands back to NYC using your Seal and Bird Eco-Cruise ticket to board.
- Don’t forget your binoculars!