Our season for watching seals in 2023/2024 ended!! Check back next year for our Seal Watching Cruises!

 

Harbor Seal on Buoy

Experience the beauty of winter and spring on Long Island by embarking on an exciting adventure with The Captain Lou Fleet. Head over to 31 Woodcleft Avenue in Freeport, Long Island, and set sail to witness the magnificent harbor seal populations in Hempstead Bay. Get ready to be mesmerized by the sight of these adorable creatures in their natural habitat.

Our naturalist will join you on the trip to provide insights into the biology and behavior of seals and other marine creatures. Don't worry about the cold weather outside; our heated cabin will keep you warm. Our affordable rates make us an excellent option for families and kids who want to experience the beauty of New York and Long Island tourism.

Remember to bundle up in warm clothes during the winter months. For viewing the seals outside, we suggest you wear a coat, hat, gloves, scarf, etc. You can always take off your winter accessories while you are in the heated cabin. We also have a snack bar on board where you can purchase food and beverages, including coffee and hot chocolate. Please note that the snack bar only accepts cash.

Seals of Long Islands Coastal Waters

It's interesting to note that Long Island is home to five distinct species of seals that can be easily spotted in our coastal waters. These seals belong to the pinniped family, which also includes sea lions and walruses. While they do not reside here throughout the year, they tend to migrate from the north when the weather gets colder between November and May, making it the ideal time to catch a glimpse of them.

Harbor Seal (Phoca vitulina) on rock

Harbor Seal, Phoca vitulina

Observed: November-May
Adults: 4-6 ft. 250-300 lbs.
Juveniles: 2.5-3 ft. 25-50 lbs.
Pups: 2-2.5 ft. 15-25 lbs.

Silver, tan or black in color with speckling. Often found hauled out on rocks, jetties, docks, beaches or sand bars.

Harp Seal (Pagophilus groenlandicus) on ice

Harp Seal, Pagophilus groenlandicus

Observed: November-May
Adults: 5.6-6.3 ft. 300-350 lbs.
Juveniles: 3-3.5 ft. 25-50 lbs.

Adults are silver-gray with a black harp on back. Juveniles are silver or beige with black spots over body.

Hooded Seal (Cystophora cristata) laying on side

Hooded Seal, Cystophora cristata

Observed: November-May
Adults: 6.5-9 ft. 600-850 lbs.
Juveniles: 3-3.5 ft. 45-100 lbs.

Blue gray with dark blotches and light belly. Juveniles have blue-gray back with light bellies.

Gray Seal (Halichoerus grypus) on beach

Gray Seal, Halichoerus grypus

Observed: November-May
Adults: 6.6-7.5 ft. 400-740 lbs.
Juveniles: 2.5-3 ft. 25-50 lbs.

Horse like head. Black, tan, silver and white coloration. Males dark with light patches; females light with dark patches

Ringed seal (Pusa hispida) on ice

Ringed Seal, Pusa hispida

Observed: November-May
Adults: up to 5 ft. 240 lbs.

Small, plump body, and their pelage, which is light on their bellies and dark on their back, with scattered irregular rings throughout. Pups have a white, wooly lanugo coat that they shed around six to eight weeks of age for a pelage that is dark on top and light on the bottom. Only after their first molt do they begin to develop the characteristic irregular ringed pattern.

Information provided by the NY Marine Rescue Center.