Sail around historical Hampton Roads harbor on a beautiful 135-foot schooner, taking in the sights and even helping to sail the ship hands on.
Enjoy a short walk from the pier through serene Town Point Park to the American Rover, a sleek three-mast topsail schooner. After boarding this magnificent vessel, which was put into service in 1986, you will spend the next two hours sailing around Hampton Roads harbor.
The natural harbor is enormous as it encompasses the mouths of the Elizabeth and James rivers, which then flow into the Chesapeake Bay. The harbor is also quite historic, having played key roles in the American Revolution, War of 1812 and American Civil War.
As you are sailing, you may sit in the shade topside or in one of the comfortable lounges below decks. Along the shoreline, you will see a number of lush parks and placid bays, small rivers flowing into the harbor, and Craney Island U.S. Naval Reservation. To enhance the experience, the crew will provide commentary about the attractions and historical notes, such as the derivation of the name Craney Island, which 17th-century settlers mistakenly named believing the herons there to be cranes.
You may also join the crew, by setting the American Rover’s distinctive red sails, taking the helm or learning to tie nautical knots. The experience can be as interactive as you want, or you can simply sit back and relax. After sailing, you will walk back to the pier.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 30 minutes of walking and guests must be able to negotiate the gangway ramp. There are 2 steps to negotiate to enter the schooner and 10 steps to negotiate to reach the lower deck. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a standard sized wheelchair and an able-bodied companion to assist them; however, they will only have access to the upper deck. Oversized or motorized wheelchairs and scooters are not permitted. Those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing to include a light jacket or windbreaker; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes with a non-slip sole are recommended.