Save The Bay Newport harbor seal tour season begins

NEWPORT – Save The Bay’s 2018 seal tour season launched earlier this month and represents the organization’s 18th season offering the service.

Two types of seal tours are available from Save The Bay: a one-hour, boat-based program, which began on Nov. 10, or a two-hour cruise, including a tour of the Rose Island lighthouse. The latter will be available starting Saturday, Nov. 17.

Aboard the Alletta Morris, participants will depart from Bowen’s Ferry Landing and head into Newport Harbor, where they can admire the scenery of the harbor and catch a glimpse of Rhode Island’s state mammal – the harbor seal – in its natural environment.

“Harbor seals are the most common marine mammal in New England,” said Save The Bay Captain Eric Pfirrmann in a statement. “They are roughly human-sized with a cute puppy-dog face, and we generally see them resting ‘hauled out’ on rocks or in a ‘bottling’ position, floating upright like a glass bottle.”

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Pfirrmann explained the tours will not get extremely close to the animals, so as not to disturb them, and will therefore provide binoculars so participants can better view them.

During the tours, Save The Bay marine experts will provide narration of local wildlife and Narragansett Bay history.

Tours will be held on weekends, as well as public-school holidays and vacation days from Nov. 10 through April 28, the season when harbor seals migrate south in search of food.

One-hour tours are $22 for nonmembers; $17 for Save The Bay members, seniors and children ages 3-12; and free for children under 3. The two-hour seal and lighthouse tours are $47 for nonmembers; $37 for Save The Bay members, seniors and children ages 3-12; and free for children under 3. Tickets are available on Save The Bay’s website or by calling (401) 203-7325.

All tours depart from Bowen’s Ferry Landing at 18 Market Square in Newport.

Emily Gowdey-Backus is a staff writer for PBN. You can follow her on Twitter @FlashGowdey or contact her via email, gowdey-backus@pbn.com.