Luxury schooner to cruise Bay


Annapolis already has its share of headboat schooners running daysailing excursions, but this summer and autumn Arabella — a three-masted, 135-foot (LOD) staysail schooner — arrives to offer five-night cruises for 40 passengers.

Cruising New England waters in mid-summer out of Newport, R.I., and the U.S. and British Virgin Islands out of St. Thomas in winter, Arabella begins her first Chesapeake Bay cruises May 7 to June 1 and June 3 to 8. She will return for four autumn cruises in October and November.

Arabella, an air-conditioned aluminum schooner built by Palmer-Johnson in 1983, was rebuilt in 2000 and extended by 40 feet. She has 20 staterooms, each with a porthole, and private head and shower. The vessel, 160 feet overall, has a beam of 24 feet and draws 12 feet. Her typical Bay cruise itinerary will board passengers in Annapolis for an overnight, and sail the next morning to St. Michaels, Md., on the Miles River. On Day 2 the vessel sails out of the Miles and Eastern Bay, and around Tilghman Island to the Choptank and Tred Avon Rivers for an overnight anchorage in Oxford.

On the third day Arabella sails back out the Choptank and crosses the Bay from the Eastern Shore to Solomons on the Western Shore. The next day Arabella sails across the Bay to the Choptank for an overnight anchorage off Cambridge. On Day 5 she returns to her deep-water anchorage off Annapolis.

Cabins offer a queen-sized bed at $1,500; double at $1,300 and $900; and upper/lower at $1,100. Rates are per-person based on double occupancy. Breakfast and lunch with one dinner are included, but cruisers are responsible for meals on shore.

For information, call (800) 395-1343.