Despite its location on the northern end of the East Coast, where lots of whale watching companies are based, there do not appear to be any whale watching cruises in Connecticut specifically. Whale watching cruises are offered in basically all of the coastal states surrounding Connecticut, and thus it isn’t clear why Connecticut lacks whale watching cruises. There even seem to be several good places for whale watching departure points in cities like New Heaven and New London, but evidently no one has set up shop. Below we explore the situation in more depth, pointing to whale watching alternatives and also steering you clear from potential confusion.
The closest thing we could find to whale watching in Connecticut is offered at the Mystic Aquarium, which is located in a town called Mystic that is on the state’s southeastern shore, roughly 10 miles east of New London. Mystic Aquarium operates an animal encounter program, which is exactly what it sounds like: a program that allows visitors to interact with the aquarium’s animals, including their Beluga whales. These whale “encounters” can take two forms. You can either put on gear that allows you to enter the whale exhibit, getting you in close contact with the whales as you wade in the water, or (for $100 less) you can interact with them from behind a three-foot tall window. Obviously, this program is quite different from a whale watching cruise, but it might appeal to whale enthusiasts who can’t see the animals in the wild.
It is also worth noting that there is a company called Mystic Whaler Cruises in Connecticut, which, despite its name, has nothing to do with the town of Mystic or whales. The company is based in New London, and it offers a number of sailing trips, but none of them are whale watching cruises. We mention this only because one could easily mistake the offerings of the company on the basis of its name.
If there are no whale watching cruises in Connecticut, why did we bother writing this article at all? Apart from pointing out the information that we just did, we thought the lack of whale watching cruises in the state is itself noteworthy. One has every reason to suspect that there are whale watching cruises in Connecticut, and yet there are not, and this is worth knowing, if for no other reason than that it may steer people away from a pointless search. Sometimes it is as helpful to know what you can do as what you can’t.