SOUTH NORWALK - The Maritime Aquarium in South Norwalk says its new $2.7 million research vessel is giving visitors a deeper look at the Long Island Sound.

The boat, dubbed "The Spirit of the Sound," is a 65-foot, state-of-the-art catamaran.

It's the first research vessel in North America to run on hybrid-electric power, which means it runs cleanly and quietly. It replaced a 33-year-old diesel trawler, officials say.

On deck is a hands-on lab. The cabin serves as a climate-controlled classroom where educators can project images from a microscope to a large TV.

The Spirit of the Sound runs afternoon educational cruises every week Wednesday through Sunday.