Bodies of water are frequent metaphors in poetry, due to their unfathomable depths, unknowable sprawl, and unattainable porpoises. Set sail into the enigma with today's Groupon: for $8, you get admission to a one-hour Newport Seal Safari around Newport Harbor and Narragansett Bay from Oldport Marine Services (up to a $16 value). This deal is valid for cruises on Saturday and Sunday only.
This one-hour cruise around Newport Harbor and Narragansett Bay whisks landlocked nine-to-fivers away on a narrated quest to spot fun-loving harbor seals in their natural environment. Between sightings of these sardine connoisseurs, guests will also encounter yachts, sailboats, lighthouses, and famous sights such as the Newport Bridge, Fort Adams, Jamestown, and villages of seapeople. The tour boat boasts two decks of indoor, outdoor, and inside-door seating, allowing guests to take in the panoramic view of seagulls engaging in relay races. There's also a full-service bar, which offers snacks and beverages to fuel sightseeing adventures, and two spic-and-span restrooms.
Cruises are based on low-tide times to maximize seal-sightings, so the schedule varies week to week. If weather is especially prickly and brisk, cruises are subject to cancellation. Call three days in advance to reserve a spot. One-hour validated parking is available before 3 p.m. in the Mooring Restaurant parking lot that is adjacent to the dock.
Oldport Marine Harbor Tours
Since he was 14 years old, Matt Gineo has heard the sea’s siren call. As a youth he joined the Sea Scouts, where he learned how to sail, tow, and safely traverse the water. Now the owner of Oldport Marine Harbor Tours, he maintains a fleet of boats that tour Newport’s rocky coastline daily, showing off the area’s sparkling waters and natural beauty.
Harbor tours work their way up the shoreline, dotted with lighthouses, historical mansions, and bottles containing unread pirate grocery lists. As boats pass by sights such as the Newport Bridge, Jamestown, and the early-19th-century Fort Adams, guides share facts and anecdotes about Newport’s historical role in the pirate world and the slave trade. As tours travel back down the coast, the narrative returns to the present, with tales about the America's Cup and the city’s success as a fishing center.
Oldport Marine Harbor Tours offers a number of other aquatic services as well. Staffers build and repair boats, install engines, and run a water taxi that zips customers across the city faster than riding on the back of a sea serpent.