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- February 26 & March 5, March 19, & March 26, & April 2
- 3 Hours
- $45 (Age 13+), $30 (Age 0-12)
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 on a Seal and Bird Eco-Cruise to explore the area and learn more about the incredible history, geography, and 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 Battery Maritime Building, Slip 5) 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! Topics will also include commentary on geography, ecology, and history in relation to Sandy Hook Bay and the NY/NJ Bight.
- Grey seals and harbor seals
Although seals spend most of their life in the water, they also like to spend time on land to bask in the sun. This is called a ‘haul out’. Lucky for us, Sandy Hook is a popular haul out area for harbor seals and gray seals each December through March. On the cruise, we will travel to these locations to get a good look at the seals. Then we will head north to a couple more haul out sites on Hoffman Island, Swinburne Island, and under the Verrazano Bridge.
- 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
Departure & Arrival Times
|Departing from Highlands, NJ|
|Highlands, NJ Departure Time||Highlands, NJ Arrival Time|
|12:15 PM||Approx. 3:15 PM|
Ticket Office Hours
M-F: 5:00am - 9:00am, 11:30am - 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 (Battery Maritime Building, Slip 5) 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. 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!