Eco-Cruises
These are the trips you’ve heard about and read about in
The New York Times, The Record and the Star-Ledger.

Come join us for an incredible journey on the Hackensack River
and through the marshes of the New Jersey Meadowlands…


Click here to watch the video
of a Summer Sunset Cruise


Eco-Cruises are fun, educational tours of the Hackensack River and the NJ Meadowlands aboard Hackensack Riverkeeper's specially-rigged pontoon boats, the Robert H. Boyle and the Edward Abbey. Captain Bill Sheehan started our Eco-Cruise program in 1994 to increase awareness of the lower Hackensack River watershed as a vital natural and recreational resource. Since then more than 25,000 people have traveled with us. Eco-Cruises generally take between 2 and 2 1/2 hours and are fully narrated by a US Coast Guard-licensed Captain.



Our Itineraries

MEADOWLANDS DISCOVERY – These trips take participants on an excursion through the tidal reaches of the Hackensack River and its wildlife-rich estuary, the Meadowlands. The shallow draft of our boats enables us to visit numerous wetlands including Bellman's Creek, the Mill Creek Marsh, Kingsland Creek and the Berry's Creek Canal; but the highlight of every Meadowlands Eco-Cruise is a trip through the Sawmill Creek Wildlife Management Area – the “The Jewel of the Meadowlands”. The Sawmill WMA is home to a staggering amount of wildlife including shorebirds, waterfowl, herons, raptors, muskrats and more.

BOATING THROUGH BERGEN – Join us for a trip up the Hackensack River from the southern Meadowlands to heart of the city of Hackensack. Taking the same route traveled by the coastal schooners that used to carry cargo to and from Bergen County, we will pass the ruins of their former docks and landings and discuss the region’s all-but-forgotten maritime history. We will travel as far north as the Court Street Bridge and offer participants an opportunity to get an up-close view of the USS Ling – a WW2 Balao-class submarine and centerpiece of the NJ Naval Museum.

EXCURSION AROUND THE BAY – This trip will take you to the mouth of the Hackensack River and beyond into Newark Bay – an integral part of New York Harbor. Among other sights, we will pass Kearny Point, the former site of Federal Shipbuilding, see the region’s last remaining WW2-era shipbuilding crane and  pass the container terminal of Port Newark with its array of ocean-going vessels being loaded and unloaded. We will also explore the bayshore of Bayonne, home to numerous parks and historic sites. If wind and tide make such an excursion unwise, we will substitute a Meadowlands Discovery Eco-Cruise.

PLEASE NOTE: Regardless of itinerary, we endeavor to provide the best wildlife-watching opportunities possible while relating the natural and human history of the region. FYI, ALL OPEN Eco-Cruises originate from the docks at Laurel Hill County Park located at the southern end of Secaucus, NJ. CHARTER Eco-Cruises can be arranged to originate from the Red Roof Inn Meadowlands Marina two miles north of the park, just off Route 3 in Secaucus.



There are two different ways you can take an Eco-Cruise with us: CHARTERS and OPEN ECO-CRUISES:

CHARTER ECO-CRUISES

CHARTER ECO-CRUISES are GROUP trips that engage an entire boat (or both boats) for your club, class, Scout group, etc. Charters can be booked for any date or time from the beginning of May through the end of October based upon availability. We ask the following donations:

$300.00 per boat for adult groups / family events (13 participants MAX)
$250.00 per boat for school /Scout groups (13-17 participants MAX)
$300.00 per boat for a Combination Program (school field trip including shoreside activity for up to 34 students/adults depending on age lasting up to four hours duration)

IMPORTANT! PLEASE NOTE: Due to problems with untimely cancellations coupled with increasing demand for our programs, a $100 non-refundable* deposit is now required when booking Charter Eco-Cruises.

*While non-refundable, deposits can be applied in full to any re-scheduled Eco-Cruise without expiration. Non-refundability does not apply to weather-related cancellations.

OPEN ECO-CRUISES

OPEN ECO-CRUISES are scheduled in advance and are appropriate for individuals, couples, families and the like.

PLEASE NOTE: They are not for group outings. Scroll down for the 2012 Schedule. For seats on Open Eco-Cruises, we ask the following donations:

$25 per adult (ages 13 and up) - $30 per adult for Newark Bay trips
$10 per child ages 4-12.*

*In determining what constitutes an “adult” we consider average size and weight for safety’s sake. Also, Eco-Cruises are not recommended for children under the age of 4.

Reservations are required and must be secured with a credit card. To reserve or to get more information, please contact our Program Director Hugh Carola at 201-968-0808. Upon reserving, your trip confirmation and directions will be mailed to you.

2014 Open Eco-Cruise Schedule

MAY

Saturday, May 3, 3 PM M
Sunday, May 4, 3 PM M
Saturday, May 10, 11 AM M
Sunday, May 11, Noon M
Sunday, May 11, 3 PM M
Sunday, May 25, 10 AM B
Saturday, May 31, 5 PM H

JUNE

Saturday, June 14, 6 PM B
Sunday, June 15, 6 PM B
Saturday, June 21, 6 PM M
Sunday, June 22, 6 PM H
Tuesday, June 24, 6 PM B
Friday, June 27, 6 PM M

JULY

Thursday, July 3, 6 PM B
Tuesday, July 8, 6 PM B
Friday, July 11, 6 PM H
Monday, July 14, 6 PM B
Thursday, July 17, 6 PM M
Wedesday, July 23, 6 PM M
Friday, July 25, 6 PM H
Monday, July 28, 6 PM M

AUGUST

Saturday, August 2, 10 AM M
Sunday, August 3, 10 AM M
Monday, August 11, 6 PM H
Saturday, August 16, 5 PM M
Sunday, August 17, 5 PM B
Saturday, August 23, 5 PM H
Sunday, August 24, 5 PM B
Saturday, August 30, 5 PM M

SEPTEMBER

Saturday, September 6, 5 PM B
Saturday, September 13, 5 PM M
Sunday, September 14, 5 PM M
Saturday, September 20, 3 PM B
Sunday, September 21, 3 PM B
Saturday, September 27, 3 PM M
Sunday, September 28, 3 PM M

OCTOBER

Saturday, October 4, Noon B
Sunday, October 5, Noon H
Sunday, October 12, Noon M
Sunday, October 12, 3 PM M
M Meadowlands Discovery Trip
B Downriver Trip to the Newark Bay
H Upriver Trip to Hackensack

Crossed-out dates indicate the boat is full for that trip (or date is past).

For printable directions, return to the Eco-program page.

See you on the River!