Discover the tranquility of cruising the York River on board a stunning vessel, powered only by the wind in our sails.
Sights may include:
- 18th Century homes
- naval warships, and submarines
- The Yorktown Battlefield where our country won its independence!
- Victory Monument on the banks of the York River
- The scenic Riverwalk
- Dolphins or osprey
Lend a hand at setting sail, enjoy a beverage or snack from the ship's galley, or just listen to the sound of the wind as we glide along under a cloud of canvas.
This trip is so much more than just a sail - it's an opportunity to experience an exciting and unique time in America's history!
Please keep in mind that while our trips are relaxing cruises on the river and not narrated tours, you are always welcome to ask the captain and crew any questions about what you are seeing.
Please also note that sails run from mid March through the beginning of November. If the date you desire to attend is not yet on the calendar, please check back soon!
What Is Not Included?
- Do I have to purchase tickets in advance?
- Advance purchase is strongly recommended, and sails often sell out quickly. To maximize your chances of getting the day and time you prefer, please buy your tickets well in advance. Tickets can only be purchased with a Visa, Mastercard or American Express.
- Which schooner will I be on?
- You will set sail on the Schooner Alliance. If the Alliance is sold out then you will sail on the Schooner Serenity. The Alliance is a 105' Tall Ship and the smaller Serenity is a 65' gaff topsail schooner. Both boats offer an amazing sailing experience and will allow you to soak up the history and beauty of the York River.
- Is the sail narrated?
- Our sails are meant to be relaxing cruises on the river, not guided tours, so there will not be narration. However, you are warmly welcomed to ask your captain and crew any questions about what you are seeing.
- What happens if the sail is sold out?
- Unfortunately, we do not have a wait list for our sails, so please book well in advance. However, if you find the sail you are looking for is full, check out a day sail instead!
- Is there parking and how much is it?
- Yes, there is free parking at the meeting location. Details will be provided upon purchasing your tickets.
- What type of ticket should I buy if I'm bringing a very young child?
- For the sunset sail there is only one standard ticket price. Children of all ages must purchase a full priced ticket in order to attend. We recommend that children under the age of 12 attend a day sail instead, but you are welcome to bring any children with you as long as they have a ticket!
- Can pregnant women attend the sail?
- Yes! Because we sail in protected waters, the sail should be calm and easy for pregnant women. However, if you are in your last trimester, it is always a good idea to consult your doctor before purchasing tickets.
- Can I bring a pet?
- You may be able to bring a small pet if it is well behaved. If you're interested, please click “Contact SailYorktown” and let us know what you'd like to do!
- Is food served during the sails?
- Food and beverages are not included, but a variety of snacks and drinks will be available for purchase on board. Hot dogs ($3, Alliance only), chips and other bagged snacks ($1), sodas or water ($1), beer ($3-4), and wine ($5-7) will be available for purchase on board. Sorry, no credit cards accepted on the ship and bringing your own food is not allowed.
- How about drinks? Should I bring those?
- We sell soda and bottled water for $1 each. You may bring one bottle of water per passenger but other than that, personal beverages are prohibited. There will be beer and wine available for purchase during the sail (beer for $3-4, and wine for $5-7). Bring extra cash and valid ID with you if you'd like to purchase alcoholic beverages on board. No credit card sales on board.
- Are the Schooners Alliance & Serenity safe?
- Absolutely. The Schooners Alliance and Serenity are both Coast Guard Certified and fully equipped with modern safety equipment.
- How steady is the sailing? Am I likely to get seasick?
- The Schooners Alliance & Serenity are steady, gentle vessels. It is very rare for our guests to become seasick since we stay on the York River in protected waters. While most people do not experience any sea sickness on the schooners, you may want to consider light medication if you normally take it for motion sickness. We cannot officially advise you to take any medication, however!
- Is there a bathroom on the boat?
- Yes, there will be a clean marine head on board. That unisex bathroom is accessible at the bottom of a steep ladder on board. There are also men's and women's bathrooms at the head of the dock at our meeting location, and we strongly encourage you to use the bathrooms before boarding, especially if you have limited mobility.
- Is there an age limit for these sails?
- While there is no age limit for the sails, we definitely recommend families with children under 12 years of age attend a day sail in the morning or afternoon rather than a sunset sail.
- Can I stow anything (eg, my briefcase) during the sail?
- There is limited room on board to stow personal belongings. Please do not bring any heavy or large items such as luggage on board - leave them in your car!
- What should I wear?
- Please wear flat soled shoes and avoid heels or platform shoes. Also bring a jacket or sweater with you since it does get cooler after the sun sets.
- Where does the sail finish?
- Our sails will end at the same pier from which they departed.
- Do you ever cancel sails due to bad weather?
- The sail usually runs in light rain and other moderate weather situations. The only time we cancel a trip is in the event of severe or unsafe weather conditions. Our captains monitor the radar to watch fronts and cells in the area on days when inclement weather is possible. Cancellations are made on the day of the sail, by the Captain, up to 1 hour prior to sail time. If you have purchased tickets for a sail that is cancelled, you will have the opportunity to to reschedule your tickets (subject to availability) or receive credit towards a future event.
- What happens if it starts raining when we're out on our sail?
- In the event of mild rain, we'll still continue the sail! We have covering on the boat and a little rain never hurt anyone.
- Is gratuity included in the price of the sail?
- Gratuity is not included in the price of the sail. If you've enjoyed your experience, tips for our hardworking crew are greatly appreciated!
- What is the difference between the Alliance and the Serenity?
- The Alliance is larger than the Serenity, at 105 foot and carrying up to 49 passengers. The Serenity is 65 foot and carries up to 30 passengers. Both provide an intimate and relaxing sailing experience.
- Are the boats handicapped accessible?
- The Alliance may be handicapped/wheelchair accessible depending upon your situation. There is an 8 foot gangway with two steps at the end, but we can help you on board as long as you have limited mobility and can make it up the steps with assistance. If you have a small, non-motorized wheelchair, we may be able to bring it on board with us. If you have a large or motorized wheelchair, you may leave it on the dock under the supervision of the dockmaster. The Serenity cannot accommodate a wheelchair. For any additional questions, please click “Contact SailYorktown”.
- Is there an easy way to get there from Williamsburg?
- Yes! There are convenient and frequent shuttles that run between Williamsburg and Yorktown - details will be provided upon purchasing tickets. The shuttle is at least 30 minutes. If you come by car the drive is about 30 minutes from the Colonial Williamsburg Visitors Center via the Colonial Parkway.
- Is there assigned seating on the sails?
- No, seating is first come first served on the sunset sails. Please arrive at least 10 minutes before the sail is scheduled to depart, as we will begin boarding exactly 10 minutes beforehand.
- Is there shade/covering on the boat?
- The sails provide some shade on deck. The Alliance has an awning over the aft deck and a small deckhouse for protection. The Serenity does not have an awning or deckhouse.
- Can I book a private charter sail?
- Private sails are available on the Alliance and the Serenity. If you are interested in a private charter, please click “Contact SailYorktown” to the left of the page to make a request!
- Are gift certificates available for this sail?
- Yes, gift certificates are available and make a great unique gift for any special occasion! Please click “Contact SailYorktown” if you’re interested in purchasing a gift certificate.
- 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 may be cancelled due to severe weather.
- The activity usually runs in light rain and other moderate weather conditions, but the seller may cancel the activity up to an hour before the start time in the event of severe or unsafe weather conditions. If the seller cancels the event, ticket-holders will be allowed to reschedule tickets (subject to availability) or receive credit for a future event.
- All participants are required to have tickets for this event.
- Our boats are United States Coast Guard documented for a certain amount of passengers and we cannot exceed the capacity. This means that all passengers including infants and toddlers must have a ticket.
Schooners Alliance & Serenity
Their two schooners include the gaff-rigged 105' schooner the Alliance, and the 65' gaff topsail schooner the Serenity. Both boats give you the opportunity to explore the Chesapeake Bay tidewaters!
For those who love history, yearn for romance, or have dreamed of experiencing a true sailing adventure, your ship has just come in!