Smith Island Cruises take you to the middle of the Chesapeake Bay

Michelle & Karl Teel

Looking for a low-dollar, high-memory, cruise experience? Consider a bay cruise to Smith Island.

Named after Captain John Smith, who discovered the island in 1608, it is Maryland’s only inhabited offshore island. Today, tourists visit Smith Island by boat for a day trip or vacation in the communities of Ewell, Rhodes Point, and Tylerton.Smith Island

You can enjoy these unique water-bound communities as well as 800 acres of amazing salt marsh scenery, wildlife, and delicious crab cakes. You will likely see blue herons, snowy egrets, osprey, and native plants, plus other marine animals such as rockfish, seahorses, and the bay’s famous blue crabs.

Imagine talking with locals as you enjoy delicious local seafood or as you gaze upon wildlife at this picture-perfect island. You’ll hear explanations of what you are seeing and tasting, as well as some cool local history.

Tylerton is separated by water from the other two villages and can be reached by either a charter boat or kayak. Once there, it’s easy to get around by foot. Ewell and Rhodes Point are only 2 miles apart and connected by a road, so the trip between them is simple whether by foot, bicycle, or golf cart.

 

The fun of getting there

The best way to visit is aboard either the Chelsea Lane Tyler or the Twister via Tyler’s Smith Island cruises. Options range from day trips to a three-day getaway, as well as special charters. You have many options with the Tyler’s, and you’ll be amazed at the hospitality and memories you will take back with you.

Every day at 12:30pm, the trip departs from Somers Cove Marina in Crisfield for the roughly 50-minute cruise to Smith Island. Once you arrive, you’ll have about 2-1/2 hours to enjoy the island. Tickets are only $26 for adults and half-price for children 3 to 11 years old, and are available at the Captain Tyler Motel.

Rent a golf cart or bicycle from the Bayside Inn if you like to cover a lot of ground comfortably. Kayak rentals are also available to explore the marshlands and creeks.

Don’t want to drive to Crisfield? Consider the departures from Point Lookout State park in St. Mary’s County, Md. The cruise is approximately 1-1/2 hours each way. You still get to enjoy the 2-1/2 hour stay on the island and tickets are only $40 for adults and $20 for children 3 to 11. The Point Lookout departures are available Thursday through Sunday at 10:30am.

Looking for something more in-depth? For just $375, you can make it a two-day adventure and spend the night. You’ll even get a $20 voucher to use at Bayside Inn Restaurant, Bayside Gifts, or the Bayside Rentals, plus a $50 coupon to dine at Chesapeake Crabhouse and Tiki Bar for dinner. Spend the night at either the Cove or the Captain Tyler Motel, and by day explore nature’s scenery, the narrow streets of the quaint island towns, or the museum.

Make it a three-day/two-night trip for just $575. The extra day adds in a cruise to Tangier on the Steven Thomas.

Plan you trip today. Cruises run Memorial Day Weekend through Oct. 15.

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