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Want to book a cruise with us?
Our narrated sightseeing tours are a great way to get out on the river and enjoy the scenery and wildlife of the salt marshes.Click below to see our public cruise schedule and book your tickets today!

Give a thoughtful and unique gift! 
An Essex River Cruise! Available in any amount, your gift card will be sent via email to the recipient.

Essex River Cruises | Who We Are

Essex River Cruises & Charters

About Us

Who We Are...

Located in historic Essex, Massachusetts, Essex River Cruises & Charters has been operating narrated sightseeing cruises, private charters, tidal beach clambakes and more for over 20 years. Share the opportunity to escape to the unspoiled natural beauty of the Essex River onboard the Essex River Queen I and the Essex River Queen II. Surrounded by fine restaurants, antique shops, working museums and cultural attractions, you'll cruise through spectacular views of scenic salt marshes with rich unique wildlife. Cruise with us to learn about the history and lore of the area.

Our vessels allow you to fully enjoy the unspoiled charm of the area rain or shine, all season long. The marsh itself is part of the Essex River estuary, an intriguing natural work in progress. Formed 15,000 years ago by melting glaciers of the last Ice Age, the marsh serves as feeding ground for many species of beautiful birds and abundant wildlife. For generations it has sustained boat builders, fisherman, clammers, entrepreneurs and characters of all sorts from the Agawam natives to the present residents. We'll tell some of their stories during your cruise.

Essex River Cruises & Charters is locally owned and operated with an experienced and knowledgable Captain and Crew on board ready to assist you and answer all your questions!

The town of essex...

Essex, Massachusetts is one of the four communities that comprise Cape Ann, along with Gloucester, Rockport and Manchester-by-the-Sea. Easily accessible, we're only a forty-five minute drive north of Boston, MA and Portsmouth, NH, and under an hour and half drive from Worcester, MA, Cape Cod and Providence, RI. Before or after your cruise, we highly suggest taking some time to look around the local antique shops and get a delicious meal at one of our many restaurants. There are approximately 25 antique shops in Essex, all within a mile of each other, and it is said that there are more restaurants per capita than any other town in New England. CLICK HERE to learn more!


Boston Globe

Enjoy a scenic river excursion that captures the essence of New England.

Yankee Magazine

A glittering coastal view few travelers are lucky enough to see.

Alyssa Dorsdik

Thank you all so much for giving us a relaxing, accommodating, and informative experience during our cruise yesterday. Everything was great, and we couldn't have asked for a more pleasant staff, not only during the cruise, but also throughout the planning.

Sue Friedman

We've talked to almost every friend/guest who participated in the celebration [a beach clambake], and each and every one of them not only raved aboyt the experience, but also highly praised the individuals who catered to us in every way, with such grace! Bob, the birthday boy, said he never wanted the night to end! It was all so utterly sublime!

Hidden Treasure on Boston's North Shore

Tranquil, expansive, and stunning, the scenery doesn't get much better than this...rippling along the edge of delicate beaches, passing stands of dune grass and mud flats mottled with holes left by clammers' forks, you will realize that you are entering a precious place.


Essex River helped us with a perfect company outing. The crew was terrific, the food was great and the location superb. From start to finish the staff was extremely helpful and fun; the tidal beach was perfect — plenty of room for a vicious game of volleyball as well as for more sedentary activities!


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.

Pat M

I live in the area and take this cruise every year. I learn something new every time...the scenery...the narration. We are lucky to live on the North Shore and have this company to help us enjoy it.