Charleston to Beaufort, SC
The scene of Revolutionary War naval battles, legendary pirate tales, and Civil War sieges, Charleston is alive with history. Visit historic Fort Sumter National Monument, experience the African-American influences of the area and stroll through magnificent parks and gardens. Warm Southern breezes, gas-lit lamps and cobblestone streets welcome you to the city that is best known as the site where the Civil War began.
Charleston City Tour
The city of Charleston is as exquisitely preserved and aesthetically pleasing as any city in the United States. The blend of antebellum architecture, cobblestone streets, flickering lanterns, and historic landmarks are a treat for the eye to behold. Tour the city with a knowledgeable guide who will take you to explore sights such as the colorful Rainbow Row, Catfish Row, the famous Battery, and more. Should you want to experience more of what Charleston has to offer, American Cruise Lines also offers a “hop on, hop off” shuttle which can bring you to any of your favorite attractions.
*Tour only offered on cruises ending in Charleston, SC
Beaufort’s history features European explorers, Native American cultural influences, British settlements and Civil War battles. Today, horse-drawn carriages clatter along the narrow streets of this historic district, past 18th and 19th century homes famous for unique Beaufort-style architecture. View historic forts and elegant homes to discover why Beaufort was once heralded as the “Newport of the South".
Beaufort Carriage Tour
After a Southern inspired luncheon, you’ll embark on a tour of Beaufort’s popular Bay Street from the comfort of a horse-drawn carriage. This narrated experience follows the historic tree-lined streets of Beaufort as you make your way to visit the area’s antebellum homes, parks, and shops. Many of the local buildings remain untouched and are preserved as they were originally constructed after being used as hospitals, offices, and commander’s quarters during the Civil War. At the conclusion of the tour, you’ll have free time to experience Beaufort and its Southern charm on your own.
Low Country Heritage Tour
Take a step back in time as we visit scenic Beaufort, and explore what life was like living on a Southern plantation. The experience begins the moment we dock when you’ll be introduced to our resident expert, Evelyn. She’ll greet you warmly in her period-specific hoop-skirt and with a welcoming smile. Evelyn will remain with as your guide as we depart for Lady’s Island, St. Helena where you’ll walk the grounds of a former plantation. You’ll explore the main plantation house, manicured grounds, and as a special treat, you’ll receive a live performance that highlights some of the soulful plantation-life songs. In the evening, Evelyn will return to the ship to perform a memorable private onboard concert for everyone to enjoy.
Other Beaufort Activities
The Parris Island Museum
This free museum is perfect for the military buffs in your travel group. A large collection of artifacts and exhibits help you learn about the history of the United States Marine Corps.
Hunting Island State Park
See why Hunting Island is South Carolina’s most popular state park by visiting its beaches, forests, marshes and other natural elements. Plan on taking a long walk around this park’s 5000 acres.
At the center of this city is a beautiful boardwalk, a favorite among visitors to the area. Even a short trip to Port Royal will illuminate its wonderfully bold and eccentric atmosphere.
Hilton Head Island, SC
Hilton Head is a first class resort known for its championship golf courses and miles of scenic beaches. A boat tour of The Sea Pines Forest Preserve gives you a close-up view of Hilton Head's indigenous plant and animal life, including the American Alligator.
Alligator & Wildlife Tour
We will anchor in Hilton Head and tender into shore, where we will be greeted by our local guide for one of our most popular shore excursions in the area. You’ll embark on a private boat tour of the Sea Pines Resort Forest Preserve. This 600-acre preserve features some of Hilton Head’s many indigenous plants and animal species, including the native American alligator. Your guide will provide an engaging and educational tour while you enjoy the breathtaking views of the freshwater lake. In the afternoon, you’ll have ample time to explore Hilton Head’s popular shopping district or relax back on board before the evening’s entertainment.
Recognized as the country’s first planned city, Savannah is still a bustling seaport with renowned historic districts that preserve its phenomenal 19th century wealth and opulence. Join a narrated tour of Savannah’s “Historic and Victorian Districts," brave an evening Ghost Walk, or explore the area's magnificent shops.
Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum
The Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum houses an impressive collection of WWII aviation memorabilia. Upon entering the museum, you’ll immediately be awed by the breathtaking collection of fully restored aircraft that helped serve our brave troops during the war. You’ll be welcomed by a tour guide who will provide the group with an overview of the museum and a brief history lesson regarding the famed Eighth Air Force Division. After introductions, you are welcome to either experience the museum on a self-guided tour or stay with your guide to be personally escorted around the museum grounds. Your visit includes an educational film, engaging World War II exhibits, airman memorials, and the rare collection of planes that served the Mighty Eighth men and women.
Trolley Tour of Savannah
Our ship will dock directly in the famous River St. area, which is full of open-air shopping, world-class restaurants, and Southern hospitality. On the dock, you’ll meet directly with your guide, who will provide you with a personalized city tour. This highly acclaimed experience visits many of the important city attractions including Factor’s Walk, the Cotton Exchange, along with the various squares that make up the city. After the tour, you can retreat back to the boat or continue to explore the city on your own. As part of the trolley tour experience, you can continue to use the trolley system throughout the remainder of the day. Trolleys run all day and meet at designated spots within the city limits.
Guided Walking Tour
Amid the bustling River St. section of Savannah, you will meet with our local guide who will lead the group on a narrated walking tour of historic Savannah. Here, you’ll visit key attractions which include Savannah’s oldest neighborhood, Colonial Park Cemetery, Savannah’s squares, and a visit to the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. Your guide will highlight the various gardens, architecture, city history, and tailor the tour based on your interests.
Experience the forested uplands, salt marshes, and beach dune systems that make up Sapelo Island. Take a narrated island tour to visit the top attractions of Sapelo's Hog Hammock Community, the local lighthouse, and the mansion of the islands' last millionaire owner, R.J. Reynolds.
Narrated Island Tour
As you tender in from just offshore, you will have a grand view of the Sapelo Island Lighthouse while on your way to meet up with J.R.,your private local guide for the day. Once you arrive, J.R. will take you on a tour of the island, including a stop at the famous R.J. Reynolds mansion. After your tour of the 29 bedroom estate, partake in a delicious oyster roast before tendering back to the ship.
St. Simons Island / Jekyll Island, GA
Discover the compelling history of Jekyll Island and St. Simons Island. Today, Jekyll Island is part of Georgia’s Sea Isles and boasts “Millionaire’s Village”, 240-acres of extravagant homes and winter cottages, now recognized as a National Historic Landmark. St. Simons Island offers guests a vivid past of momentous 18th century battlefields and sprawling, antebellum plantations.
St. Simons Island Tour
St. Simons Island is the largest of the Golden Isles and has a deep-rooted history spanning over four centuries. Nowhere is the island’s rich history better told or preserved than the Bloody Marsh Battle Site or Christ Church. Our lively private tour guide, Bunny, will take you through the battlegrounds and explain the military strategies employed by both sides. Afterwards, visit Christ Church, one of St. Simons most treasured landmarks. The magnificent stained glass art is sure to leave you in awe.
Lady Jane Shrimp Boat Tour
After a hearty breakfast, meet your skipper for the day at the gangway of the ship before making your way to the Lady Jane. Relax while the refreshing scent of salt water fills the air as you sail to your captain’s favorite shrimping grounds. As the retired shrimping vessel makes its way through the scenic Marshes of Glynn south of St. Simons Sound, be sure to be on the lookout for wildlife such as dolphins and pelicans. Once you arrive at your captain’s favorite spot, you will have the opportunity to pull in your very own catch!
Jekyll Island Tour
Aside from its renowned history of wealth and opulence, the geography of Jekyll Island has made it an ideal nesting ground for sea turtles. Your daily adventure will begin with a self-guided tour of the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, where you see firsthand the hardships of a young sea turtle as it grows from an egg to adulthood. Afterward, take a tram tour of the Jekyll Island Historic District and learn all about the Jekyll Island Club, once named “the richest, most inaccessible club in the world,” and even tour one of the famed mansions on the island.
Other Jekyll Island Attractions
For self-guided exploration of the island, many visitors choose to travel by bicycle. Jekyll Island features more than 20 miles of paved trails that allow for exploration of a broad range of scenery, from beaches to forests to Jekyll Island’s own Historic Landmark District and campgrounds. Free trail maps are available at the Jekyll Island Welcome Center.
You might want to saddle up and experience Jekyll Island on horseback. Guided tours originate from the Clam Creek picnic area and make way though maritime forests and along the salt marshes, returning at beautiful Driftwood Beach. Reservations are required and can be made Monday through Saturday at Victoria’s Carriages and Trail Rides.
Kayaking & Canoeing
Jekyll Island’s natural beauty is meant to be explored. One of the best ways to experience its intriguing ecosystem is by kayak or canoe. The Tidelands Nature Center offers a three-hour guided tour along Jekyll Creek, where an experienced naturalist leads visitors through the island’s salt marshes. For self-guided exploration of Rixen Pond, canoe rentals are available at the Tidelands Nature Center. Rentals, instruction and guided tours are also available.
Cruising to Amelia Island, FL
Discover the natural beauty of Amelia Island, with its miles of quartz beaches and rolling sand dunes. Fernandina Beach, the island's only city, now harbors a treasure trove of history, antiques, and collectibles. Join a walking tour of Centre Street's Historic District, with 50 blocks of restored 19th century Victorian homes and shops.
Amelia Island River Cruise
Take in the view of Florida’s third oldest city, beautiful Fernandina Beach, from the water on a relaxing river boat tour. A benefit of touring the island from the water is the increased chance of seeing the unique marine life that inhabits the islands surrounding waters. In addition, your tour will include the island’s main attractions such as Fort Clinch and the Amelia Island Lighthouse.
Historic Walking Tour
Join us for a walking tour through the Victorian seaport of Fernandina Beach. You will stroll through the town's historic Centre Street, past the Florida House, and into the Silk Stocking District. While on the tour, you will be introduced to many great historical figures that influenced the architecture and business of Fernandina Beach.
Other Amelia Island Attractions
The Great Florida Birding Trail
The Great Florida Birding Trail begins at Fort Clinch. The trail makes it easy for all birders to find new birding sites throughout the state. Guides detailing what species to expect at each site and the best times for viewing can be obtained at the Chamber of Commerce Welcome Centers, Fort Clinch, and Little Talbot State Park.
Old Towne Carriage Company
Take a narrated horse-drawn carriage ride through Amelia Island's historic district lasting 30 minutes. Enjoy the ride as you see the landmarks of the 50-block downtown district, which is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. All of the tours include a guide who describes the landmarks and the history of the area.
Bird Emergency Aid and Kare Sanctuary
The Bird Emergency Aid and Kare Sanctuary is located on Big Talbot Island and specializes in caring for Florida's wild birds. Peacocks, pelicans, owls, eagles, ostriches, vultures and emus in various stages of rehab are nursed back to health.
Kelly Seahorse Ranch
Kelly Seahorse Ranch offers one of a few beach-riding opportunities in the nation. Through Kelly Seahorse Ranch, enjoy the scenery of Amelia's fantastic, white-sand beaches and the beauty of the ocean by horseback.
Jacksonville, FL Area (Amelia Island)
Take in the beautiful weather of northern Florida as you disembark from your tour of the South. Jacksonville offers a number of wonderful activities, including a tour of Cummer Art Museum, which houses an exclusive collection of art, including rare porcelain.