Essex River Cruises - Celebrations


fun for all ages!

We'll plan it your way!

Essex River Cruises & Charters has developed a reputation for hosting the finest celebrations. Our vessels are available for private charter for all kinds of celebrations. Perfect for weddings, rehearsal dinners, birthdays, anniversaries, surprise parties, reunions, senior groups, private sightseeing tours, and more! Allow us to help you plan the perfect event, custom fit for all your needs. We offer flexibility regarding your cruise package and we specialize in planning events to meet both your needs and your budget. With seating for all, an iPod compatible sound system, full bar capabilities, and an on board restroom, we are able to comfort and entertain guests of all ages for any gathering. Call or email us now to start planning, or click below to view our menus & pricing.


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At Essex River Cruises & Charters, we specialize in customizing any event to fit your needs. If you have a specific budget or goal, please let us know as we have different options. Contact us at 978-768-6981 for an individualized quote for your group or event.
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Celebrations: here are some answers to common questions

Is there a bathroom on board?

Both of our vessels are equipped with an on board marine restroom, known as a "head"! There is also a restroom available on shore at the marina. Note that the restroom on board is down a small set of stairs, whereas the on shore one is not.

Will I get seasick?

In over 25 years of plying the Essex River, we have never had anyone get seasick due to rough waters. The Essex River is a very sheltered area, with the well known Crane Beach acting as a great barrier from the occasional rough seas of the open ocean.

What should I do before/after the cruise?
Eat, Antique, or Explore!

Essex is well known for its restaurants and antique shops. The famous Woodman's of Essex, known to be the inventor of the fried clam, still operates year round along the causeway today, and is a must stop for any fried clam enthusiast. Anyone who takes a particular interest in antiques will find themselves right at home, as there are over 25 antique shops in Essex, all within one mile of one another. If you want some more time outdoors, take some time to explore some of the local nature trails. Outdoorsmen will find themselves right at home, as you meander out into parts of the estuary you may be seeing during your event with us.

Is the parking close by?

We have plenty of FREE parking on site for passengers at all times. It is all very close, and there is a drop off area if necessary.

Can I smoke on board?

Our vessels are non-smoking. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Can I bring my own beer/wine/alcohol with me?

It is against the law under our liquor license to allow BYOB. We apologize for any inconvenience, but we appreciate your understanding and cooperation!

Can I purchase Gift Cards?
What will Essex River Cruises provide for me?

We will bring a beach toy bag filled with assorted items such as a soccer ball, baseball, volleyball, frisbee, etc. We also provide tables, chairs, umbrellas, and catering set up (when applicable). Please keep in mind that the boat will remain accessible at the beach for the duration of the event, and there will be a restroom available. The boat is also shaded, so you may feel free to come sit on board whenever you like to get out of the potential hot sun. We also have bug spray available on board.

Where are we going?
A tidal beach sandbar!

We will be on board the vessel for typically 30-45 minutes each way to the beach. Once we arrive, the boat will anchor up to the shoreline where it will remain for the duration of the event. We have easy on and off access via either a few steps, or a small ramp. For the duration of our time on the sandbar, you may come on and off the boat as you please. We highly suggest keeping any valuables on the boat and not on the beach, and there is plenty of storage on board for personal items. Keep in mind, this is not a public beach! That means no public restrooms (except for the head on the boat, of course), snack bars, or lifeguards. For this reason, please be very cautious when swimming, and feel free to ask our crew if you feel it may be unsafe for any reason!

How should I come prepared?
For a day at the beach!

You will probably want to dress for a full day of activity. Bring plenty of sun protection, such as sunglasses, sunblock, and a hat, as we will be on a small oasis with likely no shade. We suggest swimsuits, beach towels, and maybe a change of clothes. We highly suggest sandals! It may be slightly wet stepping from the boat onto the beach. You may bring any non-alcoholic beverages and snacks you think you may need.

What happens if it rains?
We adapt!

In the event of rain or inclement weather, we will discuss some options on the morning of the event. Usually, with a light rain or passing shower, we are still able to go through with the event as planned. Depending on when during the event the rain occurs, it may require cruising for an extra couple of minutes, or packing up from the beach a little early. If it was a little more serious, we could alter the event to be a boat cruise followed by food onshore under our awning area, or for some groups, setting up the tables and eating right on the boat as we slowly meander along. However, if the weather is so inclement that either your Captain, and/or the United States Coast Guard deem it unsafe to travel, we will need to cancel or reschedule the event. Whatever the situation, please don't worry, as we will be here to help plan accordingly.


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.