Fredericksburg is located approximately 45 miles south of Washington, D.C., and is considered part of the Northern Virginia region. It was a prominent port during the colonial era and was the site of Battle of Fredericksburg. The Rappahannock River is nearby, which is a great way to explore the area.
Rappahannock River Cruises
The Rappahannock River is just under 200 miles long, and there are several options for travelers looking to explore this historic region; however, most cruises are some distance from Fredericksburg. There are a couple located within one to two hours of Fredericksburg itself.
The Fredericksburg Riverboat used to operate directly out of Fredericksburg, but a drastic rise in silt has resulted the river being too shallow for the longtime riverboat. Consequently, owner and captain Tommy Pearson opted to move out of the area in 2015 after 25 years in business.
River’s Run Boat Tours
River’s Run Boat Tours is located south of Fredericksburg in Deltaville and offers a three-hour cruise of the Rappahannock River between Stingray Point and the Route 3 Bridge. Light refreshments are served and guests can enjoy views of the river, commercial fishing boats, and area wildlife.
Sable, a 32-foot Chesapeake Marine Industries Chesapeake Bay Deadrise Cruiser, is the company’s main boat. It has air conditioning and heating, propane stove, TV with DVD player, microwave/toaster oven, and berthing for two to four persons. It can be chartered for sightseeing tours, fishing, and overnight accommodations. They also have a smaller 18-foot Grady White Center console that can be used for quiet cruises in very thin waters when needed.
If you’re bringing your pet on the sightseeing cruise, owners Wes and Danielle also offer several sizes of life jackets for your dog. However, you are the one who is ultimately responsible for your pet during the tour.
Other tours available include cruises to Deltaville Harbor and Urbanna, or activities like fishing and crabbing.
Pricing and Reviews
Tours are available by charter only so you’ll need to contact them directly to build your own tour. Ask for applicable pricing by sending an email to [email protected] Charter prices generally run around $85 for the first hour and $50 for every hour after that. You can also spend the night on Sable for an average of $90 a night. Reviewers note how clean and spacious the boat was, along with the great amenities that owner Wes included.
Tangier Island Cruises
Tangier Island Cruises operates out of Reedville and departs daily for Tangier Island aboard the Chesapeake Breeze. The full day, seasonal (10:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.) cruise gives travelers a look at Chesapeake Bay and they are able to spend a couple of hours on Tangier Island.
Guests can bring alcohol on board the boat. This is important to know if you plan to drink on Tangier Island, as it’s a “dry” island. You cannot purchase alcohol anywhere on the island.
Getting around the island is easy; walk or rent a bike or golf cart. You can hire a guide as well who can give you a tour and have them show you all the points of interest. If you’ve ever thought about visiting Tangier Island, now is definitely the time since it’s quickly eroding away. The island is only a few feet above the surrounding waves and is home to around 500 people.
Tangier Island Tour Prices
Pricing for the upcoming 2018 season has not been published yet, but it’s typically $30 for adults and $15 for children ages 4-12 to return the same day, or $40 for adults and $20 for children with an overnight trip. Reviewers note it’s a nice day trip option, but if you are prone to motion sickness, definitely take medicine as the water crossing the bay can get rough.
Exploring the Area
Fredericksburg is one of Virginia’s most historic areas, and the Chesapeake Bay region is also of great importance. George Washington and Robert E. Lee were born in the region, and Native American lands are located within the bay. Visit Ingleside Vineyards in the Northern Neck and Westmoreland Berry Farm in Colonial Beach, famous for their jams.