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Bay Cruise Suggestions

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Texas
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Bay Cruise Suggestions

The Mr. & I will be visiting Newport from Friday, June 28th through Monday July 1st. We are interested in taking a bay cruise. I thought I'd found the perfect solution with Rhode Island Bay Lighthouse Cruises, but according to the posted schedule there is no availability for any of the dates we will be in Newport. Can anyone offer an alternative? We are interested in seeing lighthouses and other scenic points of interest.

Thanks!

Exeter, Rhode Island
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1. Re: Bay Cruise Suggestions

As it turns out, this is a good question with no short answer. I took a look at the website for the lighthouse tours and I see that nothing is listed for the week in question. First, I would email them and see what's going on for that week. I suspect that they are running extra boats/trips that week because it's such a busy week. Their schedule may already be packed with boats going to/from Martha's Vineyard. I can't believe that they would have no tours that week though.

As far as which tour to choose, there are many choices. Some of the boats are power and some are sail.

What is your level of comfort with sailing? The majority of these boats all depart from the Thames Street area and all give you the opportunity to see the harbor, Goat Island, Ocean Drive area, Jamestown and the bridges. You will see most of the lighthouses but not all.

Here are the choices for power boats:

Amazing Grace - departs at Oldport Marine near the Moorings Restaurant. Costs about $20 for a one hour tour. Boat is comfy and has covered, shaded area.

Rum Runner is a classic power boat, 58 feet long and built in 1929. The boat has been very nicely maintained and this would be a very comfortable cruise. Cost is about $20 for a 75 minute tour

Majestic is a much large power boat that has very comfortable indoor and outdoor seating. They have specialty cruises but also 1 hour Bay Cruises for about $20. This departs from Bowens Wharf.

For sail:

Madeleine is a 72 ft schooner that departs from banisters Wharf. They offer 90 minute tours for $28.

Americas Cup Charters offers the opportunity to sail on one of the classic America's Cup sailboats. They depart from the Newport Harbor Hotel for 2 hour sails and I cannot find a listed price. That's never good!

The Adirondack is a 80 ft. schooner that offers 1.5 hour tours and they depart from Bowens Wharf for 90 minute tours at a cost of $30.

Many of these boats do "specialty" cruises like breakfast or lunch or sunset sailing tours. Take a look at the websites for each

As a general rule, the power boats will cover a little more area then the sail boats because they can go faster. The sail boats, especially on a windy afternoon will give you more of a feel of the water since you are mostly closer to the water. As a general rule, there will be more comfort on a power boat than on the sailing vessels, simply due to their design. if I had a bad back, I would pick a power boat. If I wanted to really get a good feel for sailing, I would pick one of the America's Cup boats. If I wanted a better chance for calmer water, I would pick morning. If I wanted a better, faster sail, I would pick afternoon. If there is fog, it generally burns off mid morning.

Please keep in mind that I did not list all of the boats, only the most popular ones. There are other smaller vessels as well.

Good luck with your decision!!

Edited: 04 April 2013, 19:34
Newport, Rhode...
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2. Re: Bay Cruise Suggestions

Whenever I have guests we take them on the Sighsailer, (sailboat) since it's small - I think only holds 16 people. I've only done the sunset sail but have done it 4 times and it was lovely every time.

http://www.sightsailing.com/sightsailer.php

Rhode Island
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3. Re: Bay Cruise Suggestions

I have done the lighthouse tour, and I would like you to know that it can be a bit uncomfortable. Half the lighthouses are on the port side, half on starboard. In order to see them all you have to be outside standing up. There are a few benches in the center of the boat, but all the people standing at the rails will block your view. If you're inside you can only see straight ahead. We are fairly young and were able to stand for the whole 2 hours. It was a lot harder on my parents, though. And several people lost their hats as the boat accelerated at the beginning of the cruise. There is a LOT of wind. Bring a windbreaker.

Also I heard the owners have purchased a second boat. That schedule may be changing. It's worth a phone call to check it out.

Texas
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4. Re: Bay Cruise Suggestions

Thank you for replying. As suggested by both Emily & Laury I have tried to call (got a recorded message) and have emailed, but haven't received a reply. I guess it's too early in the season to be manning the office on a regular basis (?). I appreciate all the input. I'm not sure we are 'sailboat people' because we've never done it before and we are also interested in some narration with whatever tour we take, so I'll need to do some more research before making a decision. I'm sure we'll figure out something! :D

Again, thank you so much for trying to help me!

Edited: 05 April 2013, 12:54
Becket
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5. Re: Bay Cruise Suggestions

try Oldport Marine Harbor Tours. Check Groupon for deal (2 people, 1 hr tour $16)

Texas
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6. Re: Bay Cruise Suggestions

Thanks Traveler! I will!

Jamestown, Rhode...
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7. Re: Bay Cruise Suggestions

If you've never done it I suggest to give it a try. Sightsailer is a former Americas Cup boat. You won't be asked to do anything. Sometimes it can be quite exhilerating if there is a breeze, of course that would be different than something like the Viking Cruise.

Texas
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8. Re: Bay Cruise Suggestions

If I can fit it in, Hillside, I think we'll do it. :D Isn't that what vacationing is about? New places and new experiences?

The problem is... we have so many things we want to do. <sigh> Just yesterday I discovered I want to go to Beavertail Lighthouse in Jamestown and eat a almond macaroon from The Village Hearth. :D

Perhaps if I post my itinerary Y'all can help me fit it all in?

9. Re: Bay Cruise Suggestions

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