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Nature in New York: Cruising the Coastlines

Come onboard the American Princess, docked at Fort Tilden at Riis Landing in the Rockaways, for a science-at-sea adventure right in our own harbor.
The beautiful and comfortable 95-foot Coast Guard-certified vessel will be 


your passage to explore the marine life of our coastlines, our lifelines. See harbor seals that have made New York their winter rookery on the two man-made islands just south of the Verrazano Bridge, Swinburne and Hoffman Islands.  Harbor seals "love" N.Y.  Why do they stay? N.Y. offers a milder winter and abundant fish. Students can participate in CITIZEN SCIENCE seal counts with Paul Sieswerda, former curator at both the New England and New York Aquariums. You can observe seal behaviors such as the banana position, which is what they look like when they haul out on the rocks. These behaviors, and the biology and adaptations of these marine mammals, called Pinnipeds, will be discussed along with a PowerPoint presentation by Paul, who is the naturalist onboard the winter, spring and summer schedules. Dr. Merryl Kafka is the naturalist onboard for the spring and summer schedule, alternating with Paul.
The summer begins the whale migrations, as our Atlantic Ocean is the corridor for finback and humpback whales traveling north to Stellwagon Bank, a fertile feeding ground off the coast of Provincetown, Mass. We typically see hundreds of bottlenose dolphins, whose most northern range is now extending to New Jersey and New York.  Pods of these graceful swimmers can be seen just off the Atlantic Highlands, at the mouth of the lower New York Bight. 
During the summer, educational excursions include PowerPoint presentations on the biology of whales and dolphins, biofact and live plant/animal handling of collected specimens, viewing of plankton and selected water testing. Specific class programs and marine science themes can be arranged with prior notification.


The seal-watching schedule for the winter begins the first week of February until mid-April, and the dolphin/whale watching begins in June.
For more information, please visit American Princess Cruises for fees and seasonal schedule, or special excursions. The main office is (718) 474 - 0555. Special student group rates may vary from $10 - 15 per person, depending on the number of people for a three-hour educational excursion. Total capacity is 150 students.
In 1524 navigator Giovanni Verrazano explored New York Harbor. Isn't it about time you do! 

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