Since this is in my neck of the woods, I’ll be sure to check this out as soon as it’s ready to depart its dock. The Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, CT recently received a $2.7 million investment which will go towards a 63-foot aluminum catamaran, replacing their older vessel and doubling their capacity for tours. Captain Barry Natale said the boat also boasts improved visibility, maneuverability, and state-of-the-art navigation. Dubbed the “Spirit of the Sound”, this revolutionary, environmentally-friendly vessel will be set to take visitors to explore the wildlife of the Long Island Sound mid-December, starting with Seal Spotting Cruises. Spirit of the Sound, built in Mamaroneck, NY,  is the only research vessel in the world with hybrid-electric propulsion, allowing the catamaran to run silently on electric power 2.5 hour cruises. “It’s the first hybrid research vessel built in the world. It’s pretty special to have it here in Norwalk Harbor,” said president of Alternative Marine Technologies and project manager, Robert Kunkel. The vessel also features a net to bring wildlife aboard, a touch tank and a remotely-operated vehicular camera that passengers can control to observe what lies beneath the water’s surface, allowing all aboard a variety of ways to interact with the wildlife. On-board microscopes feeding onto a television enable you to get up close and personal with microorganisms like plankton. Spirit will be utilized for public cruises, elementary school educational visits and expanding their educational programs for middle school and high school students. The aquarium is also open to partnering with outside organizations interested in utilizing the boat for research on the sound. Again, this is so local to me I’d be completely mad not to go!


Follow Us!
Get the latest reef aquarium news in your email.