To celebrate the end of the school year back in June, a friend organized a little cruise on the Chesapeake for a group of us. But not just any cruise. This one included some jolly good adventure — of the pirate variety. And it made for one mighty fine time on the high Chesapeake seas.
We set sail from Annapolis with Pirate Adventures, a company that specializes in, well, pirate adventures for children. (I mentioned them a few months ago in this post about birthday parties.) And it truly is an adventure, one that begins even before the Sea Gypsy pirate ship leaves port.
After checking in and getting their pirate names (Octopus Owen & Sea Star Sasha), the kids were invited to suit up for the experience by donning some pirate togs — vests and head gear — and having their faces or arms painted with curly mustaches and beards or mermaids. The crew then had the kids line up as they explained the rules of the sea, then got them psyched up for the adventure with some pirate chants.
We all boarded the boat together, the kids sitting on a low bench along the bow, the adults finding seating towards the back. This experience was all for the kids; we were just there to watch them enjoy it. Once seated, the crew explained the mission — to find sunken treasure, of course.
And it’s all an adventure from there. On their quest for treasure they find a message in a bottle and discover another pirate has the keys to the treasure chest. When they encounter Pirate Pete, the kids battle him with water cannons and win, then get what they need to finish their mission. With the treasure chest on board, everyone gets their pick of the booty, along with a cup of grog (orange soda) to celebrate. And all this happens with a soundtrack of “adventure” music and sound effects in the background, adding to fun of the whole experience.
The cruise takes over an hour, and I have to note the crew was absolutely crucial in making it a fantastic excursion for the kids. They directed the mission with enthusiasm, giving the kids special tasks and gathering them together to discuss important plans. I think my kids really believe they triumphed over Pirate Pete and discovered sunken treasure. They still have their plastic gold coins and jewels as proof.
Pirate Adventures operates daily until Labor Day, then just weekends through October. There are six sailing times throughout the day, starting at 9:30am and the last at 5pm. Reservations are highly recommended, but you can pay upon arrival. Tickets are $19, $12 for children 2 and under. If you go, I highly recommend wearing sunscreen and bringing a water bottle. There is shaded seating on the boat, but the kids will be in the sun for most of the ride.