One discounted ticket will guarantee you a spot on the Charleston Harbor Tour AND entitle you to a voucher for a Palmetto Carriage Works Carriage Ride that can be used for any date and time!
This combo package includes:
1) A ticket for a Charleston Harbor Tour
Aboard the classic, 85-foot Carolina Belle, cruise the scenic Charleston Harbor while hearing fascinating local stories and seeing more than 75 landmarks, some critical to our nation’s history, including:
- Fort Sumter - Charleston's premiere historic attraction
- Civil War Forts Moultrie and Johnson
- USS Yorktown: the famous World War II “Fighting Lady”
- St. Michael’s Episcopal Church
- Stately homes on the Battery
- Cooper River Bridges, including the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge
- Dolphins and pelicans skimming the surface of the water
The one hour carriage tour of Charleston’s historic district areas is an interesting blend of history combined with the witticism and humor of the tour guides. The licensed tour guides have passed a rigorous test in order to have the privilege to showcase the “old and the new” that is Charleston to our visitors.
Enjoy a relaxing opportunity to absorb the beauty of one of America’s most historic cities.
What Is Not Included?
- ------------QUESTIONS ABOUT THE COMBO OF THESE TWO TOURS------------
- How does the Combo Land and Sea Tour work?
- When you purchase your tickets for the Combo Tour, your space will be guaranteed on the Harbor Tour for the date and time for which you buy tickets and your purchase will also entitle you to admission for a Palmetto Carriage Works carriage tour. Exact location details will be provided upon purchase of your tickets.
- Where is the best place to get my Carriage Tour voucher if I plan to attend the Carriage Tour BEFORE my Harbor Tour?
- If you plan to go on the Carriage Tour first, then you may check in with your E-ticket or ticket code when you arrive at the Palmetto Carriage Works Big Red Barn.
- Where is the best place to get my Carriage Tour voucher if I plan to attend the Carriage Tour AFTER my Harbor Tour?
- If you plan to go on the Harbor Tour first, you will receive your Carriage Tour voucher at the Charleston Marina upon check in. Please make sure to bring your confirmation code. Once you have your Carriage voucher you can use it on the same day or any day thereafter.
- What is the difference between the Combo Tour and the regular Charleston Harbor Tour?
- The Combo Tour includes a ticket for the Charleston Harbor Tour AND also entitles you to admission for a Palmetto Carriage Works carriage tour. All for one reduced package price, which represents a 10% savings over purchasing the tickets individually. After you purchase these combo tickets, you will be guaranteed on the Harbor Tour for the date and time for which you bought tickets. You will also be able to take the Carriage Tour at any time. Upon arriving at Palmetto Carriage Works Big Red Barn, guests are admitted on a first-come, first-served basis. (If you decide that the stand alone Harbor Tour is a better fit for you, you can get information and purchase tickets by clicking on the "List of All Activities" link on the left of the page.)
- Do I have to do both tours the same day?
- No, there are no restrictions as to when you take the tour. You can do one tour one day and the other the next, leave several days in between or when you next return to Charleston.
- How far apart are the two meeting locations?
- The two meeting locations are only 15 minutes walking distance apart, making it easy to attend both on the same day if you’d like to.
- Do I have to purchase my 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 be purchased with a Visa, Mastercard or American Express.
- What type of ticket should I buy for a young child?
- For children ages 4 to 11, you should purchase a reduced price Child ticket. Children ages 3 years and under may attend for free, but you’ll still need to enter the appropriate number of Wee One tickets labeled “Free” when purchasing. All guests, regardless of age, must have a ticket, so please make sure your entire party is accounted for in this way.
- What happens if it rains?
- The Harbor Tours 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. The Carriage Ride may not run in severe weather conditions, including extreme heat or rain. You will get contact information for Palmetto Carriage Works after purchasing tickets. If you think the weather might prevent the tours from going out, you can contact the Palmetto Carriage Works on the day you would like to attend. If the tours are canceled for the day, you'll be able to attend on a different day, or keep your voucher and attend on a future date. All tickets are nonrefundable.
- Who operates each of the two components of this Combo Tour package?
- The two components are operated by different companies. The Harbor Tour is run by Charleston Harbor Tours, which is the oldest harbor tour company in Charleston, tracing its roots to 1908. The Carriage Ride is operated by Palmetto Carriage Works, the oldest carriage company in Charleston. (After purchase, you’ll receive the contact information for both companies.)
- Is the Carriage portion of the Combo tour handicapped accessible?
- Yes. In the Big Red Barn we have a ramp that raises you to the level of the carriage, from there it is just a small step over into the carriage. The barn is also equipped with handicap accessible restrooms.
- Is the Harbor Tour portion of the Combo handicapped and wheelchair accessible?
- The Carolina Belle is Wheelchair friendly, we are able to accommodate guests with wheelchairs for the most part. Entrance to the boat is via a 30-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.
- If I am handicapped, should I notify the Charleston Harbor Tour crew before I board the boat?
- Yes. Please ask about the tide and how you will be boarding and disembarking on the day of your tour if you are concerned about this. Our crew will be able to tell you what the tides are like that day, as well as whether or not you will be able to board on and disembark from the same level. They will assist you as much as they can, but if the tides are uncooperative and you feel unable to attend or uncomfortable doing so, then we will gladly reschedule your tour to a different time. Refunds, however, will still not be granted in this situation.
- How do you normally board the vessel? Will we have to use the stairs?
- Normally stairs are not required for boarding or disembarking from the Carolina Belle, we use a ramp to load passengers directly on to the upper deck, where the boat's restrooms are located. Stairs are required to get to the lower level which is enclosed and climate controlled. Please make sure you consult with our staff before boarding if having to use the staircase will pose problems for you.
- Are gift certificates available for the Combo Package?
- 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.
- -----QUESTIONS ABOUT THE HARBOR TOUR PORTION OF THE COMBO-----
- Is the Harbor Tour portion of the Combo Package the same as the regular Historic Charleston Harbor Tour?
- Yes! The first part of your Combo Package is the popular 90 minute Charleston Harbor Tour. This tour is identical to the Harbor Tour that you can also book as a standalone tour.
- Is the viewing equally good on both levels of the vessel?
- Yes, you will have a panoramic view from either level.
- What exactly do we see on the Harbor Tour?
- Some of the sites you'll see and hear about on the Harbor Tour include: the white steeple of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church which was saved from destruction during the Revolutionary and Civil Wars because it was painted black so as not to be an easy target; the stately homes along the Battery - a symbol of Southern elegance and perseverance; the three forts – Moultrie, Sumter, and Johnson that have played a significant role in our history from the Revolution through World War II; Patriot’s Point, the home of the Yorktown, the famous “Fighting Lady” of World War II; and Charleston’s landmark Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, a new state of the art span that accommodates the largest ships in the world. You can also 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 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 on board?
- There is a snack bar aboard the Carolina Belle that has soda, bottled water, wine, beer, mixed cocktails, chips, hot dogs, burgers, candy bars, cookies, etc. The snack bar accepts cash or charge on board.
- Can I bring my own food or drinks on board the Harbor Tour?
- 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 Harbor Tour run year-round?
- No, the public Harbor Tour runs from mid-February through Thanksgiving, with weekend cruises in December. Please check the calendar for the most up-to-date schedule information!
- What should I wear?
- Please dress appropriately for the weather conditions. For the Harbor Tour, please keep in mind that the temperature on the water is significantly lower than on the land, so you may want to bring a sweater in the cooler months.
- Are there any stops along the way on the Harbor Tour?
- 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 three or four depending on the number of passengers. She is certified for 300 hundred passengers to cruise the inland waterways, harbors and tributaries 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 there any narration on the tour?
- Yes, the Harbor Tour is fully narrated.
- Do we see dolphins and other sealife or birdlife?
- During the Harbor Tour 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 of the Harbor Tour?
- Yes, a limited amount of free parking is available at the Charleston Maritime Center 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.
- Is there a restroom on the boat?
- Yes, the boat is equipped with clean restrooms.
- 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.
- Where does the Harbor Tour finish?
- The tour finishes in the same place that it departs from, the Charleston Maritime Center, near Calhoun and Concord Streets.
- Is smoking allowed on board the Carolina Belle?
- Smoking is not allowed on the Carolina Belle per the City of Charleston ordinance against smoking in restaurants, bars, and other public areas.
- Are dogs allowed on board the Carolina Belle?
- No, Department of Health regulations prohibit animals on board with the exception of service animals.
- ----QUESTIONS ABOUT THE CARRIAGE RIDE PORTION OF THE COMBO----
- How do I reserve my spot for the Palmetto Carriage Works portion of the combo?
- Your Combo ticket provides you with admission on a Carriage Tour. All guests are admitted to the tour on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Is there parking nearby the carriage tour departure point?
- Yes. If you purchase the Harbor Tour/Carriage Combo, you will get free parking at the Palmetto Carriage Works parking lot next to the Big Red Barn. There is both metered parking and City Parking garages available near the carriage departure point. If you are attending both the carriage ride and the Harbor Tour on the same day, you may leave your car at the Charleston Maritime Center parking lot for free for the duration of both tours.
- When do the Palmetto Carriage Works tours run?
- Check in begins at 9am and the last tour departs at 4 pm in the slow season or 5pm in the busy season. Tours leave every 20 minutes, so come by the Big Red Barn when you'd like to attend and wait for the next available carriage. Sometimes wait time can be one hour or longer for your carriage tour so be prepared to wait in a busy time. Palmetto is right in the heart of the market so there will be plenty to keep you busy as you wait for your carriage tour time. You must check in by 4 (3pm in the slow season Feb, first week of March, Nov, Dec) if you want to take the carriage tour on that same day.
- How long does the Palmetto Carriage Works tour last?
- The ride lasts approximately one hour.
- Where does the Palmetto Carriage Works tour leave from?
- The carriage ride leaves from the Big Red Barn on Guignard Street, between East Bay and Anson Streets (one block north of the world famous open air market) in Historic Charleston. Exact location details and directions will be provided when you purchase tickets. Transportation is not provided between the two tours, so even if you attend on the same day, you'll need to get to Guignard Street on your own.
- How long is the wait for the carriage tour?
- Carriages run continuously from 9am to 4pm daily and guests board on a first-come first-served basis. Carriages generally are less busy earlier in the day.
- What exact areas do you visit?
- You will see the historic old market area, historical houses maintained in a timeless fashion, beautiful gardens, artistic wrought iron gates and decorative entrances to the many mansions. As the tour winds through the 25-30 block area you will see parts of the old walled city and some of the many churches that give Charleston its designation of the “Holy City.” Your tour guide will acquaint you with the history and architecture which makes Charleston one of the grandest cities in the United States. Most importantly you will gain a better understanding of the people that lived in Charleston over the past 300 years, walking the very streets that you are traveling.
- Can I bring food or drinks aboard the carriage?
- Yes, you can bring food and non-alcoholic beverages and snacks.
- Are we alone on the carriage ride?
- No, the carriage can hold up to 16 guests, so you will be sharing the carriage with the other tour participants.
- Is the carriage ride narrated?
- Yes, the carriage tour is fully narrated by a professional tour guide.
- Where does the carriage ride finish?
- The tour finishes in the same place that it departs from, the Big Red Barn on Guignard St (near East Bay St).
- Is the carriage ride safe?
- Yes, Palmetto Carriage Works is Charleston’s oldest carriage company and has been the leader in carriage tours in Charleston for over 25 years.
- Can I store anything on the carriage?
- There is room to store small backpacks and bags under your seat. Otherwise you may leave larger items, such as strollers, at the Big Red Barn (where the tour meets). Palmetto Carriage Works cannot be held responsible for lost or missing items.
- Will we stop to use the restroom during the tour?
- There is no scheduled bathroom stop during the tour. We will only stop in the event of an emergency, so please use the facilities beforehand. There two restrooms in the waiting area at Palmetto Carriage Works.
- Non-refundable, can be rescheduled with 24 hours notice.
- Once purchased, tickets cannot be refunded. You may reschedule your tickets (subject to availability) only if you do so at least 24 hours in advance.
- Charleston Harbor Tour takes place rain or shine.
- The Harbor Tour 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) or receive credit for a future event.
- Palmetto Carriage Tour may be cancelled due to severe weather.
- The carriage tour usually runs in light rain and other moderate weather conditions, but the operator may cancel the activity in the event of severe or unsafe weather conditions, including extreme heat. If the operator is forced to temporarily cancel tours, ticket-holders will be allowed to attend on a different day (subject to availability) or keep their voucher and attend a future event.
Charleston Harbor Tours
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.
Palmetto Carriage Company is the oldest carriage company in Charleston. Their goal has always been to offer the best value in sightseeing tours, while providing customers with the absolute best service available.