Isles of Shoals Excursions

A Marine and Coastal Ecology Learning Adventure

Join Seacoast Science Center on a unique Isles of Shoals adventure to discover the beauty and fascinating wildlife of the Gulf of Maine.

Your adventure begins when you step aboard the Shining Star, a brand-new custom Mussel Ridge 46, and set course for the Isles of Shoals, located 6 miles off the coast. Along the way, SSC naturalists will orient you to the Gulf of Maine, local marine ecology, and wildlife sightings. Once on Star Island, we will head to the tide pools and get our feet wet, exploring the intertidal zone and the fascinating animals and seaweeds that live there.  After tide pooling, you can choose to either explore the island on your own, visit the Rutledge Marine Lab, or grab a bite to eat at the island café. 

Once we get back aboard the Shining Star, we will slowly travel around areas favored by harbor and gray seals, viewing and learning about these charismatic animals from a safe distance. Then, we will enjoy a beautiful early evening ride back to Kittery Point.

2024 Schedule

Thursday, July 41-6pm
Saturday, July 1310am-3pm
Saturday, July 2710am-3pm
Thursday, August 11-6pm
Saturday, August 171-6pm
Thursday, August 291-6pm


  • Meet at the dock 30 minutes before departure time, in Pepperrell Cove, Kittery Point, Maine, located at 88 Pepperrell Road.
  • Please plan on parking at the Horace Mitchell Primary School, a 10 minute walk from the dock (take left off 103 a block beyond the wharf onto School Lane). 

  • We will depart for Star Island promptly at department time, and learn about local marine ecology and any wildlife we see along the way.

  • Spend 3 hours on Star Island! 
  • Get your feet wet during a naturalist-led tide pooling program.
  • Choose your own adventure after tide pooling; you can choose to explore the island (trail maps available), visit the Rutledge Marine Lab, or grab a bite to eat at the café.
  • Get back aboard the Shining Star
  • Slowly motor by an area favored by harbor and gray seals, viewing and learning about these species from 150 feet away (safe viewing guideline). You will also learn about the Seacoast Science Center Marine Mammal Rescue team’s work. 
  • Set sail for home


Please be prepared for your adventure at sea and on island. Bring:

  • Water, drinks, snacks or lunch (no glass containers please)
  • Sunscreen, hat, sunglasses
  • Bug spray
  • Clothing layers (it’s always cooler on the water!)
  • Water shoes or closed-toes shoes that can get wet (no flip flops or heels please)
  • Binoculars, if you have a pair (we will have some to share; scopes are not recommended)
  • Smoking is not allowed on the boat and only in the designated smoking areas on island
  • To increase the chances of a comfortable and enjoyable trip, concerned guests may want to consider using a motion sickness medication per manufacturer’s recommendation well before scheduled departure. Ginger candies and ginger ale is also recommended.
Please arrive 30 minutes before the departure time. The boat will not be held for late arrivals. If you miss the boat, you will not be refunded your ticket price.
Questions? Contact Brian at 603-436-8043, ext. 34 or

Cancellation Policy

These tours require a minimum of 6 guests to run. If a trip is canceled due to low numbers, a decision will be made and communicated 48 hours prior to the scheduled trip. The guest will be given the option to reschedule to another date.

In the event of inclement or predicted severe weather, registered individuals will be personally notified about cancellation 24-hours in advance. You may choose to reschedule for an open date or choose the offered rain date. If unable to reschedule, a full refund will be issued.

If a participant cancels 1 week-48 hours before a scheduled paddle, a partial refund will be offered. Cancellations less than 48 hours in advance receive no refund.

Seacoast Science Center will be CLOSED today: Friday, April 5, 2024. Our utilities are currently down and need to get repaired before we are able to open for visitors. Thank you for your understanding. 

CLOSED today.

Seacoast Science Center is closed today due to inclement weather.