About Essex River Private Charters
Private Charters

About Essex River Private Charters

Designed with you in mind!

Private Charters

When you’d prefer exclusive use of the Essex River Queen I or II, or both vessels (up to 100 passengers combined) we can help you plan a memorable private charter. We offer flexibility regarding your cruise package and we specialize in planning events to meet both your needs and your budget. Tell us your objectives and we will work with you to ensure they are tastefully satisfied. Lavish or simple, we have access to unique places with a fully outfitted vessel to get you comfortably there. Our comfortable seating, full liquor service, iPod compatible Bose sound system, and restroom on board ensure your maximum comfort and full enjoyment. Perfect for events such as weddings and rehearsal dinners, birthdays, anniversaries, surprise parties, reunions, association meetings, memorials at sea, senior groups, private sightseeing tours, and more! We’ll plan it your way!

Tidal Beach Clambakes

Enjoy a day on the beach while our crew prepares your customized clambake or barbeque! Our traditional New England Clambakes are a unique way to entertain out of town visitors, family gatherings, or corporate outings. The tidal beach is a mostly secluded area perfect for enjoying beach games, swimming, sunbathing and team building activities. The tidal beach bake includes a set up of tables, chairs, umbrellas and volleyball net. You may also dine on board or dockside under the awnings. While we do feature clambakes, we also offer chicken, vegetarian, kids meals, a New England Barbeque option and other catering needs.

Customized to Your Needs

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 by phone for an individualized quote for your group or event.

We have plenty of free parking available and are wheelchair accessible. We have a restroom onboard our boats. In the event of inclement weather, we have options to ensure your event will be a success.


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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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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?
Do you offer military discounts on private events?

We offer a military discount of 10% off the charter rate of the boat only. This excludes any food & beverage service, or any other applicable fees.

What happens if it rains?
It depends!

In the event of inclement weather, on the morning of your event we will discuss alternative options based on your type of event. Usually, with a light rain or passing shower, we are still able to go through with the event as planned. Both of our vessels are covered and offer both top and side protection from the elements. This usually still results in a pleasant cruising experience. 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. Please speak with your event manager if you have any additional concerns.

Can I bring my own cake?

Feel free to bring your own cake for your event! Please note that we will have paper goods available if you have any catered food service. If you have not ordered any other food for your event, please bring plates, knives, napkins, etc. Thank you.

Can we arrive early to decorate the boat for our event?

We certainly welcome you to come and decorate the vessel for your charter. However, we ask that you begin a half an hour prior to your departure time, and that no more than 2 people from your group are on the vessel at a time until we board your party. This is because some of our crew may still be getting on and off the boat to prepare for your event. Lastly, please do not use scotch tape to attach things to our vessels. Masking tape or any fasteners such as string or zip ties work well. Thank you.

How far in advance are we required to book a private charter?

We will always do our best to accommodate even the most spur-of-the-moment charters. If we have the availability, we will do our best to make it work for you. Please note that certain things such as food and beverage options may be limited at this time. Never hesitate to call or email us and check availability!

May I choose to use my own outside caterer to provide food for my event?

Unfortunately, we do not allow any outside catering. Please let us know if you are unsatisfied with our listed options and we will be happy to work with you to find something that fits your taste.