Gather your students, climb aboard a Yorktown schooner and prepare yourself for a Virginia adventure the kids won’t stop talking about for months. No matter if you’re sailing at night or in the afternoon, on Schooner Alliance or Schooner Serenity, in pirate garb or plain clothes, Yorktown Sailing Charters is guaranteed to deliver an experience that will open your students’ eyes and minds to the romance and beauty of the nautical world.

The Ships


Alliance: Built in 1995, Alliance gets her name from the French-American agreement that solidified an American victory in the War of Independence. This graceful ship can carry 49 students on day excursions and 12 on overnight adventures. Alliance sticks to the balmy waters of Yorktown during the summer but come winter, she sets sail for the Caribbean.

Serenity: At 65 feet long, Alliance’s younger sister, Serenity, is a slightly smaller boat that can carry up to 24 students on day sails and offers the perfect opportunity for smaller classes.

All Aboard!

Exploring the waters on a Yorktown schooner is an experience that students of all ages will enjoy. Whether your group is made up of elementary schoolers or teens, Alliance and Serenity will deliver the perfect adventure. Between the two boats, Yorktown Sailing Charters offers three river adventures every day between April and November, plus a children’s charter and private charters.

Set Sail

Historic Yorktown 2-Hour Cruises: The ships depart at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and sunset, which varies slightly depending on the timing of your visit. All adventures are two hours long and give your students the chance to either relax and enjoy the sights of the York River or lend a hand in the actual sailing process. Common sights include, dolphins, working watermen, a variety of local birds and, of course, historical Yorktown landmarks.

Captain Mayhem’s School of Piracy


This children’s charter is perfect for elementary and middle school students. It gets kids involved in the sailing process under the playful guise of a pirate school. Students will learn how to raise sails, steer the ship and tie a knot, all under the friendly tutelage of a crew decked out in pirate costumes. At the end of the 1½-hour sail, each adventurer will get to watch the crew fire the cannon and choose their very own pirate-themed temporary tattoo.

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Private Charters

If the two-hour historic sail or pirate school don’t seem quite right for your student group, Yorktown Sailing Charters is more than happy to get together and customize the perfect trip for you. Customizable options include catering, beverage services and personalizing the theme of the cruise.

Fast Facts


Where do we go: The schooners sail the protected waters of the York River, a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. At the Yorktown Sailing Charters headquarters at 425 Water St. in Yorktown, Virginia, you’ll find public restrooms and a convenient motorcoach drop-off area. Many shops and restaurants are within walking distance.

How much: Prices for the charters vary by time, group size and more. Explore the pricing options at

5 Tips for Planning a Student Cruise with Yorktown Sailing Charters

  • Before or after your cruise, take your students to the sandy beaches of the York River or try strolling along the scenic Riverwalk. Exploring the cruise area on land will only enhance the nautical adventure that awaits you.
  • If you can, book a cruise during one of Yorktown’s events and festivals.
  • Save money by reserving a box lunch for each of your students to eat during the cruise. Snacks and drinks are available onboard, but if you choose to help man the sails and steer the ship, you will surely work up a much bigger appetite.
  • Plan ahead! Cruises fill up quickly.
  • Alliance is handicap accessible, so don’t hesitate to discuss any accessibility concerns.