The delicious buffet includes pulled pork bbq (sauces on the side), buns, smoked chicken, mac n cheese, baked beans or coleslaw and tea.
Gary Erwin (aka Shrimp City Slim) is a keyboard player/singer/songwriter based in Charleston, SC. This year, 2013, he is celebrating twenty-six years as a full-time professional musician. Shrimp City Slim has released 7 CDs to date and plays throughout the Southeast and overseas. A new solo piano CD entitled "Rio Angie" was released September 1, 2012.
While aboard the Carolina Belle listening to the blues, you'll get close-up sunset views of the Holy City's most famous and charming sights, including:
- Fort Sumter: One of Charleston's most popular landmarks, where the first shots of the Civil War were fired
- Confederate and Union army Forts Moultrie and Johnson
- USS Yorktown: the famous World War II “Fighting Lady”
- St. Michael’s Episcopal Church: A survivor of both the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, whose steeple was painted black so as not to be an easy target
- Stately homes on the Battery: Symbols of Southern elegance and perseverance
- the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge: A state of the art span that accommodates the largest ships in the world
What Is Not Included?
- Do I have to purchase tickets in advance?
- Advance purchase is highly recommended and tours often sell out in advance. To maximize your chances of getting the day and time you prefer, please book well in advance. Tickets can only be purchased with a Visa, Mastercard or American Express.
- What type of ticket should I buy if I'm bringing a very young child?
- We recommend that you be at least 18 years of age to attend this cruise as it is an evening event and is oriented towards adults. However, if you would like to bring children, feel free to do so, but everyone must have a regular priced ticket in order to attend.
- What exactly do we see on the cruise?
- Some of the sites you'll see include: the white steeple of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, the stately homes along the Battery, the three forts – Moultrie, Sumter, and Johnson, Patriot’s Point, the home of the Yorktown, the famous “Fighting Lady” of World War II, Charleston’s landmark Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge. You may see wildlife sightings such as dolphins. Of course you will also see and enjoy the musical stylings of Juke Joint Johnny and his rockin' band!
- Tell me more about the band!
- SHRIMP CITY SLIM (aka Gary Erwin) is a keyboard player/singer/songwriter based in Charleston, SC. This year, 2012, he is celebrating twenty-five years as a full-time professional musician. SCS performs solo and also has a great band (usually Silent Eddie Phillips, guitar/vocals; John "Clam Chop" Etheridge and others, drums/vocals; Juke Joint Johnny or Chuck "The Cat" Morris, harmonica/vocals). Shrimp City Slim has released 7 CDs to date and plays throughout the Southeast and overseas. A new solo piano CD entitled "Rio Angie" will be released September 1, 2012. The Shrimp City Slim band has shared the stage with BB King, Bobby Blue Bland, Jimmy Rogers, Junior Wells, Koko Taylor, Johnny Winter, Buddy Guy, Little Milton, James Cotton, NRBQ, Atlanta Rhythm Section, Herbie Mann, Jesse Colin Young, Mick Taylor, Lee Oskar, more. If you love blues and blues-based original songs brimming with vitality, real commitment, and a sense of humor, welcome to the world of SHRIMP CITY SLIM.
- What happens if it rains?
- The cruises take place rain or shine, regardless of weather conditions. The Carolina Belle has a glassed-in, enclosed observatory and the upper deck is also partially covered, so you'll be able to get great views of the Harbor's famous sights in any weather!
- Is the Carolina Belle covered?
- Yes, the Carolina Belle has two decks - A glassed-in “Main Salon”, which is climate controlled and an “Observation Deck”, each providing spectacular views of Charleston harbor. The Observation Deck is open, however, it does have some roof-covered space.
- Can I buy food or drinks along on board?
- There is a snack bar aboard the Carolina Belle that has soda, bottled water, wine, beer, chips, hot dogs, candy bars, cookies, etc. If you'd like to purchase items from the snack bar, please bring extra cash with you. Remember that a full BBQ buffet will be included in this trip!
- What food is included in the cruise?
- Your BBQ buffet will include pulled pork barbecue with various sauces, chicken, two sides (possible options include collards, green beans, mac and cheese, red rice, etc.), and bread/buns to make sandwiches. Tea and water are included.
- Can I bring my own food or drinks on board?
- No, we ask you not to bring any food or drinks on board. You will be able to purchase food and drinks at our snack bar.
- Does the cruise run year-round?
- No, the BBQ and Blues sunset cruise runs from the end of April through the fall, every other week.
- What should I wear?
- Please dress appropriately for the weather conditions. Keep in mind that the temperature on the water is significantly cooler than on the land, so you may want to bring a sweater in the cooler months, especially because this is an evening cruise!
- Is there any narration on the cruise?
- No, this cruise will not feature narration because you will be listening to the blues stylings of Shrimp City Slim and his rockin' band.
- Are there any stops along the way?
- No, there are no stops. We will be cruising for the entire tour.
- Is the Harbor Boat Tour safe?
- The Carolina Belle is a safe vessel with a normal operating crew of four. She is certified to cruise the inland waterways by the USCG and meets all the US Coast Guard safety requirements.
- Will I get seasick?
- The Carolina Belle is a steady 85-foot vessel with classic lines. The Charleston Harbor has a mild atmosphere and it is unlikely that you will feel much movement aboard the boat. If you often feel seasick, you may want to consider some light medication before beginning the trip. We cannot officially advise you to take any medication, however.
- Is the trip wheelchair accessible?
- The Carolina Belle is not ADA compliant, however, we are able to accommodate guests with wheelchairs for the most part. Entrance to the boat is via a 14-foot ramp, which varies in steepness depending on the tide. If you're able to enter using the ramp, you'll be able to participate in the tour.
- Do we see dolphins and other sealife or birdlife?
- We often catch a glimpse of dolphins skimming the surface as they feed or a pelican as he nose dives into the water in search of a tasty tidbit.
- Is parking available near the departure point?
- Yes, free parking is available at the Charleston Maritime Center (as long as the lot is not full) for Harbor Tour guests. If the lot is full, you may also park at meters or in a City Parking lot nearby, however you must pay for those parking spaces.
- Where does the cruise finish?
- The tour finishes in the same place that it departs from, the Charleston Maritime Center, near Calhoun and Concord Streets.
- Is there a restroom on the boat?
- Yes, the boat is equipped with a clean restroom.
- Can I stow anything during the cruise?
- We do have limited closet space for wheelchairs and strollers on board. If you have a backpack or other item, we ask that you keep it under your seat. We are not responsible for lost or missing items.
- Are dogs allowed on board?
- No, unfortunately dogs are not allowed on this cruise.
- Are gift certificates available for the trip?
- Yes, gift certificates are available and they make perfect gifts for holidays, birthdays or any other occasion! To purchase a gift certificate please click on the "Gift Certificates: Purchase" link in the box above.
- Can I book a private trip?
- Yes! We can accommodate a variety of special requests. Please click “Contact HarborTours” to inquire further about special group rates.
- Non-refundable, cannot be rescheduled.
- Once purchased, tickets cannot be refunded and cannot be rescheduled because your space is being guaranteed at the event.
- Activity takes place rain or shine.
- The activity runs regardless of weather conditions. In the rare situation where the seller is forced to cancel the event, ticket-holders will be allowed to reschedule to another time (subject to availability).
- Tobacco Free Event
- Charleston Harbor Tours is proud to be a smoke free / tobacco free environment. Smoking is not permitted on our vessels.
Charleston Harbor Tours
The company specializes in introducing its guests to the beauty and history of Charleston, the Holy City. Your captain and staff will be eager to make your experience aboard the Carolina Belle a pleasant and enjoyable one.
The Carolina Belle is Charleston Harbor Tours’ newest vessel. Featuring graceful, classic lines, the boat is 85 feet long. It can accommodate up to 300 passengers and has a standard operating crew of four.