Climb aboard the Palmetto, our 45ft catamaran, versatile enough to handle the harbor's waters smoothly. With a capacity of only 49 passengers, everyone will experience a personalized atmosphere.
*Please note, if less than 10 people booked on tour smaller boat may be taken out*
This one-of-a-kind history tour spans the historical inception of Charleston and its harbor to present-day times and events. Each cruise is narrated by a knowledgeable, local historian who will tell you all about:
- American Revolutionary War and Civil War battles
- Fort Sumter: where the Confederate Artillery opened fire to mark the beginning of the Civil War
- Fort Moultrie: forced the retreat of nine warships saving Charleston from British occupation
- Hunley: a sunken Civil War submarine rescued from the floor of the Harbor in 2000
- Pirate tales, shipwrecks, the Plantation era, and much more!
Get a taste of Southern charm as you explore Charleston's rich heritage and colorful maritime history!
What Is Not Included?
- Do I have to purchase tickets in advance?
- Advance purchase is strongly recommended, and cruises often sell out quickly. To maximize your chances of getting the day and time you prefer, please book well in advance. Tickets can be purchased with a Visa, Mastercard or American Express.
- What type of ticket should I buy if I'm bringing a child?
- For children between the ages of 3 and 12, you should purchase a reduced price Child ticket. Children ages 2 and younger ride for free, but you’ll still need to enter the appropriate number of Wee One tickets labeled “Free” when purchasing. All passengers, regardless of age, must have a ticket, so please make sure your entire party is accounted for in this way.
- Why does the schedule only list events running in the next couple of weeks?
- The Sandlapper is a very popular choice for private charter sailing. We therefore only open the boat to public sails a few weeks in advance. If the date you are looking for is not currently listed in the schedule, please check back at this website frequently for updates, or contact Sandlapper Tours by clicking the "Contact Sandlapper" link. New events and sail times are added quite frequently, especially as the sail date draws near.
- What exactly do we see on the tour?
- On this one of a kind tour, you'll experience a scenic cruise all around the Charleston Harbor and see historically significant sites including forts, landmarks, and churches.
- Are drinks or food served on the tour?
- Beer, soft drinks, and bottled water, as well as a full snack bar are available for purchase on board.
- Can I bring my own food or drinks on the tour?
- While you are allowed to bring a sandwich or a small boxed lunch, we ask that you refrain from bringing your own drinks. A full array of beverages and snacks is available for sale on board.
- What happens if it rains?
- Your captain and crew watch the weather forecasts closely and want to ensure your cruise is a safe, enjoyable, memorable experience. In the event the current or forecasted conditions get in the way of that happening, requiring us to cancel, we will contact you as soon as possible to join us at another date/time.
- Does the tour include any stops?
- No, we will be on the water, cruising the entire time. If you would like to explore the areas that we pass on the tour, just ask your guide or captain. They'll be happy to point you in the right direction after the tour.
- Are there restrooms on the boat?
- Yes, the boat is equipped with a bathroom that is accessible at all times. We call it a "marine head" and it is unlike the bathroom you use at home. It involves pumping and there are simple directions posted in the bathroom on how to use it.
- What should I wear?
- We recommend that you dress appropriately for the weather. It can often be a few degrees cooler out on the water in spring and fall. Also flat-soled, closed toed shoes are a good idea. The Harbor gets sunny so bring sunglasses, sunblock, and a hat.
- Can I stow anything during the tour?
- You can bring any items that you would like to enjoy on the tour, but we do have limited storage space, so please try to keep large items to a minimum. Please keep in mind that while the captain will always be on board, we cannot take responsibility for any broken, lost or missing items.
- Where does the tour finish?
- Our tour will end at the same pier from which it departed.
- Is the Palmetto safe?
- Your safety is our number one priority. The Palmetto is a stable, gentle vessel run by USCG certified Captains. We provide life jackets for every passenger on board and our crew is there to help you in any way.
- Will I get seasick?
- Passengers usually find the Sandlapper to be a very steady vessel. However, you can choose to take something in advance if you're prone to motion sickness.
- Are gift certificates available for the trip?
- Yes! Gift certificates for Sandlapper trips are great for any occasion. To purchase a gift certificate, click on the "Contact Sandlapper" link.
- Can I book a private charter?
- Yes! In addition to our public tours, Sandlapper Tours also offers group and private charters. We can make your wedding party or reception, or birthday party even more memorable with an oyster roast or a Lowcountry boil on a barrier island. For more information, please click on the "Contact Sandlapper" link.
- Does the Palmetto have handicapped/wheelchair accessibility?
- The Palmetto’s handicapped/wheelchair accessibility is somewhat limited. There are 4-5 wide, sturdy steps to board the Palmetto, but once on board there is plenty of space. Family or friends in your group would just need to provide some assistance with boarding, to account for the steps. If you do have any questions or concerns, please click on the “Contact Sandlapper” link to inquire.
Sandlapper Tours, Inc.
The goal of Sandlapper Tours is to provide quality, guide narrated tours of the Harbor. Locally owned and operated, Sandlapper is dedicated to outstanding customer service and giving guests the most entertaining and educational experience.