Pontoon Boat Charter/Tours

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Charter our beautiful pontoon boat for a 2-hour tour of  the North River

Two tour itineraries available

Each tour includes professional captain and historic guide/naturalist.

Accommodates parties of 6 or less and leaves from Roht Marine in Marshfield.

Customized charters are available.

Now offering Senior discounts.

Tour 1

Historical Highlights of the North River

On this tour, you will leisurely cruise several miles of the North River learning about its rich history.

wampanoag housingDiscover the North River’s vital importance to the Wampanoag people, who settled along its riverbanks in summer to catch eels and the rich population of fish and shellfish, and to trap beavers and river otters.

See the sites of the great shipyards where colonial shipbuilders built 1000 vessels. Several North River vessels sailed around the OrHi 984world, including the famed Columbia for which the Columbia River in Washington State was named!

Learn how the industrial revolution, when industrialists constructed dams to harness water power, and the demands of modern life have all shaped the history of the North River.

Tour includes professional captain and historic guide.

Tour 2

Discover the Nature of the North River

On this tour you will explore the diverse estuarine habitats of the North River from Route 3A to the Spit and up the Herring River, and you will be able to participate in collecting data on water quality and marine life, using our scientific tools.

IMGP0566The Spit, a shifting sand flat accessible only by boat, is home to a diverse population of marine life, which is often not apparent at first glance. Here we will examine the life that exists in the sandy substrate – the clams, worms, plankton…

Then we will continue up the Herring River, observing some of the 3300 acres (5 square miles) of salt marsh that serve as the “nurseries of the sea.” Salt marsh is one of the most ecologically rich environments2012-02-22 10.01.10 in the world and is full of fascinating creatures.

This tour offers hands-on opportunities to participate in several scientific activities, including water sampling, bottom grabs and plankton tows.

Tour includes professional captain and naturalist.

Also check out our specialty boat tours on our Events page.

Welcome aboard! Here’s how to sign up.

1. Form a group for your charter – a maximum of six people and determine which of the two cruises you would like. (Customized tours are also available).  We have many tour dates and times available.

2. Contact us to get answers to your questions and reserve a tour date.

Click here to submit your contact information and our scheduling captain will contact you within 24 hours.

Email: captain@nsrwa.org

3. Pay for the charter. Prepayment is required.

NSRWA members – $300 per charter

Not a NSRWA member? – $360 per charter (includes $50 family membership)

You can pay one of three ways:

  • Send a check to NSRWA, P.O. Box 43, Norwell, MA 02045. Please note the date and time you are booking. (This is the preferred option).
  • Call our office 781-659-8168
CANCELLATION POLICY: Full refund less credit card processing fees, if any, if cancelled 48 hours before the scheduled tour. However, if you cancel within 48 hours, we reserve the right to refund 50% of your payment.

Weather cancellation: If the NSRWA cancels a tour due to weather, we will make every attempt to reschedule your tour or we will provide a full refund less any credit card processing fees.


Each tour will be operated by a USCG Licensed Captain and a Naturalist or a Historic River Guide

Children under 14 years of age must be accompanied and supervised by an adult.

Children 12 and under must wear a USCG approved PFD (life jacket) while on board.

Infant, youth, children and adult life jackets are available on board.

Strict safety procedures will be followed at all times including boarding, seating while underway and disembarking.

No bathroom facilities are available aboard the boat. Facilities are available at Roht Marine.

These tours are perfect for:

  • Family reunions
  • Birthday celebrations
  • Boy or Girl Scouts/Clubs
  • Councils on Aging
  • Historical Societies
  • Summer camp programs
  • School “Green Teams”
  • Church groups
  • Budding scientists and marine biologists
  • Marine history buffs

More information about our charter tours:

About the North River – the first designated scenic river in Massachusetts

Masthead Lane Property in Norwell on North River. Acquired in 2013.

The picturesque North River winds through five towns on the South Shore, before making its way to the Atlantic Ocean between Scituate’s 3rd Cliff and Marshfield’s 4th Cliff.

The mouth of the river contains the dramatic Spit, a windswept sandy beach accessible only by boat. Going upstream, the river soon passes by the iconic little red house that guards the river’s entrance, and continues on through acres of stunning salt marsh. Occasionally you can see some of the elegant homes and estates that border the river, where once great shipyards built vessels like the famous Columbia – the first American ship to sail around the world, and where hundreds of years earlier, the Wampanoags settled to be near the abundant herring runs and shellfish beds.

The North River is approximately 12 miles long from its mouth to the “Crotch” where the Indian Head River and the Herring Brook meet, and runs through Hanover, Pembroke, Marshfield, Norwell and Scituate.

About the pontoon boat

You will be touring in a 22′ Sunchaser pontoon boat. The boat accommodates groups of six, in addition to the captain and historian or naturalist. To shield you from the sun, the boat is equipped with a canopy. The boat is very stable and easy to board.

About the captain

Our captains are experienced boat operators, licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard. They have extensive training and are certified in CPR and First Aid.

About the historic guide/naturalist

Our guides have been carefully selected for their knowledge, enthusiasm and love of the North River.