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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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

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Watermark Cruises on the Bay

Watermark Cruises has cruises leaving from Annapolis and Baltimore.

Cruises  leaving from the Annapolis City Dock range from 40-minute and 90-minute tours, to full day excursions. Special events include pirate cruises, music cruises and lighthouse cruises.

The Baltimore Inner Harbor Cruise. is a 45 minute tour by water of Federal Hill, Fells Point, the USS Constellation,and Ft. McHenry.

Watermark
Annapolis, Maryland
410.268.7601

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American Cruise Lines

The CrabFest cruise is one of the “theme cruises” offered by American Cruise Lines

American Cruise Lines operates 3 ships that offer 6 and 7 night cruises on the Chesapeake Bay, the American Glory, American Star, and Independence. All cruises depart from Baltimore.

Stops include historic locations such as Yorktown, Colonial Williamsburg, and Annapolis.  More information is available by calling 1-800-460-4518.

The cruises are available in October, November, May , and June.

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Captain Hogg’s Charter Fishing

Captain Chandler Hogg’s  charter boat, the “Smokin’ Gun,”  can carry 32 passengers on a fishing trip in the  lower Chesapeake Bay.  There are a number of unique  fish within a short boat ride from the dock in Hampton, Virginia.  Passengers should bring a cooler, drinks, food, camera, and suntan lotion.  Bait and tackle are provided.

Book here or call (757) 876-1590.

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Patriot Cruises

The PatriotThe Patriot is a 2 level cruise boat that can accommodate 149 passengers.  The main deck is climate controlled with heating and air conditioning. The top deck is partially covered by a canopy.

The Patriot leaves from St. Michael’s Maryland for a cruise up the Miles River.  The Miles is part of the Chesapeake Bay Estuary which is the largest estuary in the Western Hemisphere.  The boat has a full bar, and serves light snacks.

Patriot Cruises
P.O. 1206, St. Michaels, MD 21663
410-745-3100
info@patriotcruises.com

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