Boat Tour of Humboldt Bay: Harbor Cruise on M.V. Madaket in Eureka

Madaket blue & white ferry boat sailing in bay with people watching from quay and Victorian mansion & green trees behindBe sure to plan a Harbor Cruise on the M.V. Madaket in Eureka for scenic views along the shoreline of Humboldt Bay during your stay in Fortuna to tour the Avenue of Giants, our North Coast redwoods, scenic rivers and state parks.

This historic ferry offers boat tours of Humboldt Bay with views of the Fishermen’s Statue and Carson Mansion as well as wildlife and other points of interest. Cruises are scheduled May – October, and depart from Madaket Plaza at the Foot of “C” Street in Eureka.

When you step on board the Motor Vessel Madaket, you’ll be sailing on the oldest passenger carrying vessel in continuous service in the United States! First launched in 1910 and refurbished in 1989, the Madaket is an icon of Humboldt’s maritime heritage. She is the last of the seven ferries that once transported 1,500 passengers or more around Humboldt Bay every day during the first half of the 20th century.

Choose one of the Madaket’s Historically Narrated Cruises scheduled daily, or relax on a Cocktail Cruise after a busy day of sightseeing Tuesday through Sunday. Nature lovers can book a special Sunday Morning Eco Tour. The Madaket also offers a few special cruises, such as a Fireworks Cruise on July 4 and short tours during Eureka’s “Get out and Play Day”.

Historically Narrated Cruise

On the Historically Narrated Cruise, your Captain will tell you about the local history of the area while you enjoy great views of ships and boats in the harbor, points of interest in the harbor including a lighthouse and an Egret rookery, plus activities and industries that line the shores of Humboldt Bay. Passengers are likely to see some of the wildlife that call the Redwood Coast home. Look for seals in the water or along the shore, as well as many kinds of birds such as herons and egrets. The 8.5 mile cruise around the Bay lasts about 75 minutes. Feel free to bring food or snacks; beverages are sold on board the ferry.
Departures: Tuesday through Sunday: 1:00, 2:30 & 4:00 pm Monday: 1:00 & 2:30 pm
Cost: Adults $22.00, Juniors ages 13-17 years and Seniors ages 55+ $18.00, Children ages 5-12 years $12.00, Children 4 years and under free.

Cocktail Cruise

The Cocktail Cruise takes you on a leisurely hour-long sail around Humboldt Bay. This cruise at the end of the day (not narrated) offers you a slow-paced tour of the Eureka waterfront and wildlife habitats. You can relax and enjoy the views while you sip a beverage from the Madaket’s bar, the tiniest one licensed in California.
Once a month, the Madaket offers its Full Moon Rising/Sunset Cocktail Cruise, when you can see both the sun setting over the Bay and the full moon rising over the coastal mountains during the hour-long cruise.
Cocktail Cruise Departures: Tuesday through Saturday at 5:30 pm
Cost: $10.00 per person (all ages). Cocktails are additional cost.
2019 Full Moon Rising/Sunset Cocktail Cruise Departures: July 16 at 8:30 pm, August 14 at 8:00 pm, September 12 at 7:00 pm, and September 13 at 7:15 pm
Cost (Adults 21+ years only): $20.00 per person. Cocktails are additional cost.

Sunday Morning Eco Tours

Sunday Morning Eco Tours cruise Arcata Bay to give passengers close views of wildlife including the harbor seals, oyster beds, and a wide variety of both migratory and non-migratory shore birds. The Madaket also passes the ruins of the 1880’s Arcata Long Wharf. The Captain’s narration during the 90 minute cruise highlights the history of the Bay and its ships as well as the wildlife to be seen.
Departures: Sunday Mornings at 11:00 am
Cost: Adults $26.00, Juniors ages 13-17 years and Seniors ages 55+ $22.00, Children ages 5-12 years $12.00, Children 4 years and under free.

Summer has arrived on the Redwood Coast! In addition to a boat tour on the M.V. Madaket, The Redwood’s website suggests many other things to do and experience in Fortuna and the surrounding redwoods, including Old Town, the Carson Mansion, Sequoia Park Zoo, Humboldt Botanical Garden, and Fort Humboldt State Park in Eureka. Before returning to your home base at The Redwood Riverwalk Hotel in Fortuna from your day’s sightseeing adventures among the redwoods, why not cool off on a cruise around Humboldt Bay? Summer is here, so don’t wait to finish planning your vacation getaway, and reserve your base camp at The Redwood soon!

Photo courtesy of Humboldt Lodging Alliance

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