Spirit of Baltimore Lunch Cruise
Baltimore, Maryland, USA
- The harbor: One of America's oldest ports is one of its most vibrant. See Fort McHenry, the 1,200-foot Francis Scott Key Bridge, and other landmarks.
- The boat: The luxurious Spirit of Baltimore has panoramic windows and spacious decks that make it easy to take in the sights. Come inside for drinks and dancing.
- The buffet: Spirit cruises are known for dining excellence. Treat yourself to organic salads, your choice of five gourmet entrees, and an array of delightful desserts.
About this Baltimore, Maryland tour
There are plenty of famous landmarks in Baltimore's historic harbor, but the star of this tour is easy to Oh-say-can-you see.
Fort McHenry, the star-shaped citadel that kept the British from taking Baltimore in the War of 1812, had only been completed in 1800. The five points of the star weren't for decorative effect: They allowed an artillery and small arms crossfire to be directed at attacking ships, in a harbor that was ideally shaped for defense anyway. But the mightiest navy in the world sailed in with condescending confidence, determined to capture a city labeled a "nest of pirates" back home.
Scores of Baltimoreans fled at the sight of British sails, and at a Britishly precise 6 a.m., the fleet opened up on the city and the fort. The bombs kept bursting in air until 7 the next morning.
When the smoke cleared, little damage had been done to either side – the vaunted British navy demonstrated surprisingly poor aim, and McHenry's cannons didn't have enough range. But lawyer/poet Francis Scott Key, watching from a British ship after a failed truce attempt, decided it had been a "perilous fight" – and thought "the broad stripes and bright stars" of the fort's victory banner had the makings of a chart-topping hit.
The tune his brother-in-law suggested came from a song popular at the time with a British gentlemen's club. (Note: This was not a fancy way of saying "strip joint" back then.) Key's version, initially called "Defence of Fort M'Henry" (the printer's problem with the 'c' is not clear) caught on quickly in America.
Believe it or not, it wasn't until 1929, when the syndicated Ripley's Believe It or Not! cartoon strip noted in disbelief that America had no national anthem, that anyone gave this matter any thought. Two years later, John Phillip Sousa came out in favor of Key's ditty. Congress passed the legislation, President Hoover signed it, and a nation in the depths of the Depression had one less thing to worry about.
If you decide to catch an Orioles or Ravens game while you're in town, and players and fans rise for the national anthem, be sure to tell everyone around you the whole story. They'll think you're a real Baltimorean.
Hey, it's not as easy as it looks in the movies!
That fiercely fanged submarine at Pier 3 sank the last enemy warships of World War II. The USS Torsk torpedoed two Japanese frigates on August 14, 1945 – five days after the second atom bomb demolished Nagasaki. The crew must have been relieved to end the war with two bangs; all 10 of their previous shots, going back five months, had missed.
Departs from the Inner Harbor on Light Street: 561 Light Street (between the new Visitor's Center and the Maryland Science Center)
Please plan to board the ship 30 minutes prior to cruise departure.
No-host bar service is available if you wish to purchase alcoholic and other non-alcoholic beverages.
The Spirit has a deck and restrooms that can accommodate most standard-sized wheelchairs. Crew will assist travelers who need assistance. Let us know if you have any accessibility concerns to ensure that you are seated on an accessible deck.
Boat Tour, Family Friendly, Food and Wine, Scenic
Beverages - Unlimited coffee, hot tea, iced tea and water
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated mild. To participate fully, you may be required to walk over primarily even surfaces at a leisurely pace. You may encounter a limited number of steps, cobblestones, or uneven surfaces, and you may have to stand for extended periods of time.
Suitable for all ages. Children 2 years of age and younger participate free of charge. You must be 21 years of age or older to indulge in alcoholic beverages, available for purchase. Bring your ID.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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