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Baltimore Inner Harbor Cruises and Boat Tours

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One of the best ways to explore Baltimore's Inner Harbor and other waterfront tourist attractions is by boat, and there is no shortage of vessels traversing the water. From dinner cruises to a pirate ship excursion, below is a breakdown of the many ships and experiences that can be had onboard ships in the harbor.

**Please be sure to check with individual companies on dates and prices, as these things change frequently.

1. Cruises on the Bay by Watermark

April through October
Departs From: Inner Harbor in front of The Baltimore Visitor Center
Duration: 45-90 minutes
Look For: Red- and purple-bottomed yachts
Price: Adults $17; Children ages 3-11 $6; Children under age 2 are free

This cruise company offers narrated tours of the Inner Harbor where you'll learn about the city's maritime and industrial history as well as the resurgence of the waterfront, Federal Hill, and Fells Point. Besides daily 45-minute tours, the company also offers a daily 60-minute tour focusing on Fort McHenry, a 90-minute cocktail cruise on Friday afternoons, and a spectacular 60-minute "city lights" tour on Saturday evenings. Boats have full cash bar service and light snacks, and guests are welcome to bring food on board (but no drinks).Tickets can be purchased online, at ticket kiosks at the dock, or at The Baltimore Visitor Center. To find the boats, look for the red- and purple-bottomed boats. The company also offers cruises in Annapolis and the Eastern Shore of Maryland. For more information, call 800-568-9622.

2. The Fearless by Urban Pirates

Baltimore Cruises and Boat Tours - Urban Pirates
By Libby Zay
May through October
Departs From: Ann Street Pier in Fells Point
Duration: 60 minutes on the water
Look For: A wood-paneled pirate ship with flags and cannons
Price: $20 for riders 3 and over and $10 children 2 and under for family cruises; $25 for all riders on adult cruises

Climb aboard The Fearless, a custom-designed pirate ship that sails through the Inner Harbor. Before you set sail, temporary tattoos, vests, and sashes will be provided, but cruisers are encouraged to come wearing their own pirate garb. The crew will teach you how to talk, sing, dance, and play games like a pirate. Up to six daytime "Family Adventure" cruises are available on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, while the adults only "Bring Your Own Grog" cruises are offered on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. Food and drink is not available for purchase onboard the ship, but passengers may bring their own aboard. For the adults-only cruises, coolers full of adult beverages are welcome.

3. Seadog Cruise by Spirit Cruises

Baltimore Cruises and Boat Tours - Seadog
By Libby Zay
April through October
Departs From: Inner Harbor in front of The Baltimore Visitor Center
Duration: 50 minutes
Look For: Bright yellow speedboats
Price: $20 range

Adrenaline junkees of all ages will enjoy a 50-minute sightseeing tour of Baltimore aboard the Seadog, a bright yellow speedboat. Hold on tight as tour guides provide informative and amusing descriptions of Baltimore's most notable landmarks. Beer and wine is available for purchase onboard.

4. Spirit of Baltimore by Spirit Cruises

Year Round
Departs From: 561 Light St. (near the Maryland Science Center)
Duration: Various
Look For: Yachts with panoramic views
Price: $42 and up

Experience the waterfront while enjoying lunch, brunch, dinner, or cocktails aboard the Spirit of Baltimore. In addition to great views of the city, most cruises include a meal and some form of entertainment, whether it be dancing or live performances. There are lots of themed and holiday cruises throughout the year, including moonlit jazz cruises and Independence Day excursions. With a capacity for more than 400 people, this ship is best for large parties.

5. Water Taxis

Baltimore Cruises and Boat Tours - Water Taxi
By Libby Zay
Year Round
Departs From: 17 locations throughout Baltimore
Duration: Time varies depending on location
Look For: Blue and white boats
Price: $12 for adults, $6 for children (tickets are good for unlimited rides for one day)

Another great—and inexpensive—way to experience Baltimore's waterfront is on a water taxi. These boats travel to and from various locations, including the Inner Harbor, Fort McHenry, Fells Point, and Canton. Stops are clearly marked on land, just find one and wait for the next boat.

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