Whether you want to have fun on a special event cruise or simply relax on the water, Chesapeake Bay cruises have something for everyone. Enjoy the bounty of the bay on a fishing trip with your family and friends. If family fun is what you seek, consider an exciting pirate cruise. You can also give your family a truly educational experience aboard a nearly exact replica of a British schooner.

Experienced sailors can book a bareboat charter, while those who wish someone else to do all the work can sail in comfort with a captain and crew.  There are many options to choose from, all of which result in a great time on the water.

Spending a day, an evening, or even a week, on the Chesapeake Bay is a unique experience. There are historical areas to visit, spectacular scenery to enjoy, and local cuisine to be savored. There is nowhere quite like the Bay!

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Watermen Heritage Tours

The Chesapeake Conservancy, in partnership with the Coastal Heritage Alliance, the Maryland Watermen’s Association and the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, has trained more than 120 watermen to provide working tours of the Chesapeake Bay through the Watermen Heritage Tourism Training Program.

The training provides Chesapeake Bay watermen with the resources and information they need to serve as tour guides. Watermen Heritage Tours connect people with the natural and cultural resources of the Bay by providing visitors with an authentic experience shadowing a waterman on a workboat or on the shore. The watermen share their own stories about the area and waters in which they work, and tour guests leave with a greater knowledge and appreciation of the Chesapeake Bay, according to a news release from the Chesapeake Conservancy.

“Watermen and their families have played a crucial role in our treasured Chesapeake Bay. Their unique identities have influenced the history, culture, and economy of the Bay for generations. What better way to experience the waters than accompanying a waterman for a day to learn his daily routine?” Project Manager Carly Dean, Chesapeake Conservancy, said in the release.

“The tours also offer a great opportunity to learn more about the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail,” she said, “the nation’s first all-water National Historic trail, as well as the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail.”

Tours range from crabbing adventures with trotlines and crab pots, to scenic kayak tours, to photography trips, sunset sails and traditional skipjack charters. Some offer water-to-table seafood tastings.

Land-based tours offer participants the opportunity to learn about other aspects of the waterman trade, including the ins-and-outs of the soft-shell crab industry and oyster seeding, as well as the opportunity to explore new places.

Many of these tours allow the participants freedom to customize the tours to highlight aspects of the Bay and watermen’s lives that are of most interest to them and to accommodate various ages of participants.

Tours are available throughout different regions of the Chesapeake Bay. For more information about each tour and interactive maps, visit www.Watermen

HeritageTours.org.

As a group, watermen have experienced times of lost income because of the decline in shellfish and finfish populations. Their participation in heritage and geo-tourism can help to supplement some of this lost income.

In May 2009, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce officially declared the Chesapeake Bay commercial blue crab fishery a failure, and an economic disaster. The original funding for the Watermen Heritage Tourism Training Program comes from the federal Blue Crab Fishery Disaster Fund created by Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., and distributed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The Conservancy has received additional funding from the George B. Todd Fund through the Mid-Shore Community Foundation and through state funds from the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission.

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They Are Coming: Some Osprey Are on the Move

The annual migration of osprey from their wintering grounds in South America is now underway. While some have already arrived in the Chesapeake Bay region, others have not yet begun their trek.

You can track the movements of four Chesapeake Bay osprey at cbf.org/ospreymap. One of the birds, named Quinn, is now in Florida on his journey to Tangier Sound. Nick, who also nests in Tangier Sound; Woody, who will take up residence in Whitehall Bay, in Anne Arundel County; and Crabby, who will be nesting near Kent Island, are still in South America.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s (CBF) Osprey Tracking Project was designed to enhance understanding of this iconic species, and the four birds were chosen because they are frequently seen by students participating in CBF’s Education Programs. Tracking devices enable students to see the birds in the wild and study their daily travels from the classroom.

“Using this technology, not only can we track migration, we can also monitor the daily activities of these birds both here and in South America,” said Tom Ackerman, CBF’s Vice President for Education. “Osprey are fascinating birds, and through this program we can engage students and citizens and help them understand the epic migration and life cycle of these part-time residents of the Chesapeake Bay region.”

The return of osprey to the Chesapeake Bay, generally in March, is a traditional sign of spring. The Chesapeake Bay has the most concentrated population of osprey in the world, but they can also be found in places as far away as Siberia, the Red Sea, and Canada. While here in the Chesapeake, osprey, also called fish hawks, dine primarily on menhaden.

The tracking devices were donated by Microwave Telemetry, Inc., and were installed by professional ornithologists.

“We are pleased to participate in this effort with CBF, and hope that it will help raise awareness and public support for conservation of our national treasure,” said Dr. Lance Jordan, Operations Manager at Microwave Telemetry, Inc.

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Liberty Clipper: Chesapeake Windjammer Cruises.

Chesapeake Bay Tall Ship Sailing Vacation…

Liberty Clipper sailing vacations start from Fells Point in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. You’re invited to board tChesapeake Bay Sailing Cruise Crab Boil Feasthe ship anytime after 4pm on the day before the scheduled departure. The ship will set sail the following morning reaching out towards the Chesapeake sailing under the battlements of Fort McHenry, which inspired Francis Scott Key’s composition of our National Anthem, and cruise down the bay before stopping at any number of our ports of call on your sailing cruise.

While on your windjammer cruise, you’ll have the opportunity to explore ashore each day on a different island.  You may avail yourself of

  • Rowing and sailing boats
  • Inflatable sea kayaks
  • Rope swing off the masts
  • Hammocks
  • Beach towels

The Liberty Fleet of Tall Ships
617-742-0333
Email: liberty@libertyfleet.com
67 Long Wharf
Boston, MA 02110

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Top Cruise Trends for 2014

Royal Caribbean.jpg

  • Build Your Own Cruise Deal
    Cruise lines continue to add unique onboard experiences for guests, but many times they come at an added cost. Cruise lines are now introducing pick-your-own deal offerings that allow passengers to choose the deal of their choice – airline, onboard credit, etc.

What this means for cruisers: Over one-third of cruisers report to Cruise Critic* that rather than strictly low cost, they consider a “cruise deal” to be a mid-range fare with extras included. These new deal options not only offer add-ons, but leave the choice in the cruisers’ hands.

  • More Quick Getaways
    Short two- to four-day cruises have typically been reserved for older ships in cruise line fleets. Looking ahead, more new ships are offering short cruises – including Norwegian Breakaway, which launched in 2013 and will offer some two-day sailings.

What this means for cruisers: Short cruises are especially popular with local residents looking for a short break or last minute deal, and new-to-cruise travelers. When polled by Cruise Critic*, 46% responded that they would consider going on a short cruise.

  • Balcony Smoking Stubbed Out
    Six cruise lines announced amendments to onboard smoking policies in 2013, and it’s expected that a number more will follow in 2014. Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, Cunard, P&O, Disney Cruise Line, and Seabourn all announced that they would be ban some, if not all, smoking on balconies by 2014, and MSC announced new smoking bans on US-based MSC Divina.

What this means for cruisers: A solid 74% told Cruise Critic* they feel smoking should be banned at the very least on balconies and in cabins, with 56% responding that smoking should be banned on all cruise lines. For smokers, it will be more important than ever to become familiar with cruise line smoking policies prior to boarding.

  • A Genuine Taste of the Port
    A majority of cruisers (80%*) book shore excursions prior to embarkation – 45% of those book through an independent operator, rather than the cruise line. To counter this excursion competition, lines are introducing new, immersive shore experiences that cruisers can only experience by booking directly through the line.

What this means for cruisers: This is a type of competition that can only benefit consumers – more excursion choices, and more unique offerings. Examples include Disney Cruise Line’s family archeological digs in Athens and Azamara’s romantic evenings the hillsides of Tuscany.

  • More Inclusivity Options in River Cruising
    River cruises continue to rise in popularity, with 65% telling Cruise Critic* that they would love to try one. A key trend will be the improved levels of inclusivity available – while some lines have more inclusive offerings at a higher base cost, others offer less inclusivity at a lower base cost.

What this means for cruisers: The good news is that as the industry becomes more competitive, so does pricing. There will be more options and better value, with cruisers able to select from a range of all-inclusive to a la carte.

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Tangier Island and Rappahannock River Cruises

Tangier Island CruiseTangier Island and Rappahannock River Cruises operates 3 cruises.  They travel to  Tangier Island on the Chesapeake Bay, also run two cruises on the Rappahannock River; one from Tappahannock, VA to Ingleside Winery , and the other on a vintage Paddle Wheel boat that starts out in Fredericksburg, VA.

The Tangier Island cruise on the Chesapeake Breeze leaves from the Buzzard’s Point Marina daily at 10 a.m.  from early May to mid-October, returning at 4 p.m each day.  Same day travelers receive a round trip discount.

468 Buzzard Point Road, Reedville, VA. 22539 l Phone: 804-453-BOAT (2628)

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Chesapeake Bay Sport Fishing

Chesapeake Bay Sport Fishing has a fleet of three boats, including two 52′ fishing boats “Net Profits” and “Jessie Girl” which are equipped with “the latest Chesapeake Bay fishing electronics, fishing reels, fishing rods and fishing tackle.” They fish seven days a week on the Chesapeake Bay from the Annapolis area from April -to December, and do Virginia Beach fishing out of Rudee Inlet from December to March.  Custom pickup and drop off points can be arranged anywhere on the Chesapeake Bay or its tributaries.

(410) 703-2760

Queen Anne Marina (April – December)
Kent Island
412 Congressional Drive
Stevensville, MD 21666

Inlet Station Marina (December – March)
Rudee Inlet
227 Mediterranean Ave
Virginia Beach, VA 23451

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Sultana

ImageThe schooner Sultana is an almost exact replica of a British schooner that patrolled the North American coast just prior to the American Revolution. Sultana, called the “Schoolship of the Chesapeake,” provides educational programs for more than 5,000 students each year.

Sultana  provides day-long educational programs for up to 32 participants as well as live-aboard programs for up to nine guests. Students travel back in time to the “Age of Sail” and participate in hands-on activities aboard the Sultana.

Sultana is based in Chestertown, Maryland.

Sultana Projects, Inc.
105 S. Cross Street
PO Box 524
Chestertown, MD 21620
410.778.5954

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The Moorings

This  yacht charter company offers bareboat sailing, power and skippered charters on the Chesapeake Bay. The fleet  includes monohulls built by Beneteau as well as  catamarans from Robertson & Caine. All cruises depart from the Annapolis Landing Marina, 980 Awald Rd.

The Moorings’ season runs from March 2 through October 31.

 

Phone: 888-952-8420
Email: sales@moorings.com

93 North Park Place Boulevard
Clearwater, FL 33759

www.moorings.com

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