Trip Report – Seal Watching in the Wild – Absolutely Worthwhile!! Tried & Tested by GFT

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A few weeks back, we wrote about a great deal we found, on an experience I had not known could be had in the nearby reaches: Seal watching in the wild, right near Brooklyn & Queens.

Well, we took our own advice and decided to give it a shot ourselves and here is our report for your reading pleasure.

You can see the previous article here:


We bought the tickets through our Special for $15 each, and booked ourselves in for Monday December 26th, which this year was the pushed-off version of Dec. 25th, or in other words, an excuse for many people to be off.

Nevertheless, when we go there 33 minutes without traffic from Passaic, there were only about 20 people booked in, on about that holds 250!

We brought along our Canon Rebel camera with the large kit lens for extreme close ups, an inexpensive pair of binoculars, and some snacks.

Needless to say, the boat was not at all crowded. We were thrilled to see the onboard pricing of $45 per adult – we had paid 2 tickets for $30, ALL TOLD!

There was a naturalist on board, who kept pointing out different wildlife and also served as a tourguide for some of the attractions we passed.

Above is the old Parachute training tower – since retired, in Coney Island.

Close up of a roller coaster we passed, also in Coney island.

An added benefit that we didn’t think about when booking, was the incredible amount of boat traffic heading out to sea!

The bridge in the background is the Verrazano Narrows Bridge

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Some large ships passing us…

 that got fairly close.

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We finally got to seal territory by Swinburne Island – an abandoned quarantine hospital island, from the late 1800’s Ellis Island era.

Actual picture from the late 1800’s below:

Click here for an article on the history of the island:

Here is what the dock looked like when we got there…

and what remained from the hospital above…

And finally, seals!!

Check out this large Gray seal who kept following us around and posing for our camera

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He was actually a pretty big one – probably around 6-7 feet long.

With the boat rocking and the seals moving, the binoculars were largely ineffective, although the large camera lens we brought along definitely helped us get some great pictures!

After about an hour in the open ocean searching out, finding an photographing the seals, we started heading back to port.

The black bird with its wings out is a Cormorant, which is a diving hunter so its wings are not coated with oil. It is holding out its wings to dry in the picture we took.

On the way back, we photographed some more boat traffic,

and then headed back inside the climate-controlled cabin for some hot tea (available on the boat) and a snack.

All in all we give this trip GREAT ratings, and would highly recommend it.

While we took the last seal watching tour of the winter, the GREAT DEAL is still available HERE!

Get 2 Tickets for just $30, and tours begin again in March! They also do dolphin watching, and whale watching as well, at different times of the year.

We were extremely impressed with the crews tenacity in ensuring that we get to see the animals in the wild, and they actually kept us out for 2 hours and 40 minutes – 40 minutes beyond what they had to – just to ensure that everyone was able to get great views and photographs.


Name: American Princess Cruises

Company Website for information


GPS Address: Intersection of State Rd. and Heinzelman Rd.
Breezy Point (Rockaway, Queens) NY 11697

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Phone: 718-474-0555

Located in: Breezy Point (Rockaway, Queens,) NY

Distance from Brooklyn/Queens: Approx 5-30 min – (A friend joined us from Boro Park and was there in under 15 minutes)

Distance from Passaic/Clifton/West Orange: Approx 35-50 min (more with traffic)

Distance from Teaneck/Monsey: Approx 55 min / 75 min. (more with traffic)

Distance from Lakewood: Approx. 70 min (more with traffic)

Tried & Tested: YES!

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Most of all, have fun!


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SAR – GFT© 2016

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  1. Therowners January 6, 2017
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