Ridley Floating Classroom

Students will board the R/V Ridley for a 2 hour discovery cruise through the Laguna Madre and ship channels that border South Padre Island. The Ridley is a 57 foot marine vessel fully equipped for research and learning. The students will use plankton nets, trawls, water and sediment samplers, and test kits to gain an understanding in the research of marine biology, ecology, and human impacts on the marine environment. Onboard touch tanks and microscopes allow the students to closely observe and learn about adaptations and taxonomy in lessons led by the Floating Classroom’s educator-naturalists. In addition to the hands-on learning experience offered on the Ridley, sightings of bottlenose dolphins, sea turtles, and brown pelicans are common in the Laguna Madre. Our goal is to enhance the understanding of this unique marine environment and inspire stewardship of our coastal natural resources in students of all ages.


R/V Ridley Floating Classroom

Marine Discovery Cruise
Each two hour cruise accommodates a maximum of 25 people (including teachers).
Price per 2 hour cruise - $400
Grade Levels: 4th and up

  • Each individual who participates in the Floating Classroom must complete a Release and Indemnification form before they are allowed to board the R/V Ridley. Individuals who do not fully complete the form will not be allowed to participate.
  • The minor form is to be completed and signed by the parent or legal guardian of any participant who is under 18 years of age. The adult form is to be completed and signed by each person who is 18 years of age or older (students, teachers, chaperones, etc.).
  • Please note that each form must be signed/dated by the parent/legal guardian, and/or participant who is 18 years of age or older. Both forms must also be signed and dated by a witness.
  • It will be the responsibility of each group sponsor that each participant turns in the fully completed form before arrival to the boat dock. The group sponsor upon arrival to the boat dock must turn in the completed forms along with an alphabetized roster of ALL participants who will be boarding the R/V Ridley.

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