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Research vessel available for America’s Cup Races charters

This weekend, America’s Cup yacht racing returns to New York harbor for the first time in nearly 100 years, and The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, Conn., is offering the chance to watch from on the water.

The Aquarium’s cool new research vessel, R/V Spirit of the Sound, is available for single-party charter for as many as 50 people both days. She’ll depart from Newport Marina in Jersey City, N.J. (across from lower Manhattan), close to the boats as they race between the Statue of Liberty and the World Trade Center.

With some 20,000 people expected to watch the racing, access on the water aboard R/V Spirit of the Sound gives guests the best view away from crowds on shore.

The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series races feature six international teams – including the U.S. and New Zealand – vying for points that will count toward the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda next year. The high-tech wing-sailed catamarans can fly across the water at more than 50 knots (60 mph).

America’s Cup races were held off New York from 1870 to 1920 before moving to Newport, R.I.

“The New York Harbor and waterfront parks on both sides of the Hudson River are sailing’s version of nature’s perfectly created stadium,” Harvey Schiller, commercial commissioner of the America’s Cup, said in a statement. “The harbor’s ability to bring fans so close to the action is what made New York the mecca of sailing 100 years ago and an ideal home for the America’s Cup more than a century ago.”

For the America’s Cup races May 7-8, charter of The Maritime Aquarium’s R/V Spirit of the Sound each day is for eight hours and includes viewing of the afternoon races and an optional New York habor tour. Capacity is 50. Cost is $8,000 per day. Each chartering party can self-cater their day. Transportation to the Newport Marina in New Jersey and associated costs are not included.

Revolutionary in design, R/V Spirit of the Sound is the only research vessel in the country running on quiet green hybrid-electric propulsion. The $2.7 million 64-foot all-aluminum catamaran has seating on two outdoor levels and in an interior cabin.

To charter the boat for the America’s Cup New York event or for more information, call (203) 852-0700, ext. 2262.

Or learn about the public study cruises aboard R/V Spirit of the Sound that depart regularly from The Maritime Aquarium by clicking on