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“best family party ever” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Essex River Cruises & Charters

Essex River Cruises & Charters
35 Dodge St., Essex, MA 01929
+1 978-768-6981
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Ranked #1 of 8 Attractions in Essex
Type: Tours, Bodies of Water, Outdoors
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Attraction details
Owner description: "Enjoy a scenic river excursion that captures the essence of New England " -Boston Globe. 1 1/2 hour narrated cruises, 1 hour evening cocktail cruise, along the calm waters of the Essex River. Glide back in time, past islands, dunes & beaches formed by glaciers. See historic mansions, shipyards, saltmarsh farms, rare birds, wildlife, and stunning scenery. Charters &Clambakes. Restroom onboard, free parking, handicaped accessible, cards taken, and bar available.
Los Angeles, California
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“best family party ever”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2014

We celebrated my parents 50th anniversary with 3 generations of family and it was absolutely perfect. The food was amazing, the boat terrific, the staff super friendly and knowledgeable -- I would do it again in a heartbeat. They timed our trip so that low tide would create a sandbar in the middle of the broad, wide Essex River as it moved toward the greater water. They set up our tables,chairs, volleyball nets, etc. and we had a ball while awaiting our delicious food. Really, truly a perfect way to celebrate a family event.

Visited August 2013
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64 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Imlay City
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“River cruise”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2014

Our 90 minute cruise was very enjoyable...knowledgeable skipper explained tides, birds, movie locations...safe pontoon boat gives stable ride & rest room on board...
interesting houses...used a Groupon...

Visited June 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Danvers MA
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
35 attraction reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Cruise on the river”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2014

This was a very enjoyable cruise on the Essex River. Capt. Cliff gave a great commentary on some of the wild life as well as informing us about the land trusts, films shot in the area and an explanation of Red Tide. He talked about the tides, we were lucky enough to have an extremely high tide so were able to go further. He even talked about local restaurants and other activities in the area. The ride was 90 minutes, kind of hard to find without GPS, but very easy to board. This happened to be my Mother's Day gift. Since we had neither stroller nor wheelchair I am not sure of the storage or ability to get on board with one.

Visited June 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
13 reviews 13 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Beautiful scenery, history, most importantly super kind staff”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2014

This trip became a family tradition for many summers. It allows you to see & learn about so much of the North Shore in one convenient trip. But I really want to highlight the staff. My Gram had some mobility limitations & they always escorted her from the parking lot to her seat on the boat & made sure she was very comfortable throughout the journey. She was a super huge fan of this tour & took great pride in showing off the best of the best in our area. So much that she sent everyone she came into contact with here to enjoy this beautiful trip. I want to thank the staff that took her out one last time so we could spread some of her ashes in the beautiful marshes that she loved so much. She didn't use a computer so I'll be continuing her legacy of letting everyone know that this is an activity that should not be missed if you're in the North Shore area. Some of the highlights are birdwatching, admiring Paul Revere's Church bell, passing SUP boarders & other cool water sport fanatics, seeing quirky houseboats, gazing at the secret beach with all the fancy boats, drooling over some of the fantastic mansions, but most of all seeing nature preserved at it's best. The conservation efforts in this area are tremendous & as you pass by Hog Island you almost feel as though you've stepped back through time. The cruise time is perfect 1-2 hrs, drinks & yummy snacks provided. The captain is a great driver as he navigates you through the high tide waterways & the guide provides a lovely balance of history & humor. I hope everyone looking for an fantastic family activity gives the Essex River Cruises their business.

Visited July 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newton, MA
Top Contributor
149 reviews 149 reviews
42 attraction reviews
Reviews in 91 cities Reviews in 91 cities
155 helpful votes 155 helpful votes
“Pleasant and Relaxing Ride”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2014

The river is smooth and the boat is large enough that you do not get bumped around. The trip is jut the right length (not too short, not too long), and the guides will give you interesting narration along the way.

Surely birders will enjoy the bird life along the river. Also fun for anyone who has see the film version of "The Crucible," as you will pass some of the areas where the movie was shot.

During high season tours will sell out, so best to book in advance.

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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