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Charleston Harbor History Day-Time or Sunset Boat Cruise

Charleston, United States
Charleston Harbor History Day-Time or Sunset Boat Cruise

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Safety measures
icon1 hour 30 minutes  (Approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English


See the Charleston Harbor by boat with a leisurely sightseeing tour along the Cooper River to Fort Sumter National Monument. This fully-narrated tour focuses on Charleston history from Civil War sites to antebellum houses and landmarks, passes under Cooper River bridges, and explores a waterfront that’s home to bottlenose dolphins and pelicans.
  • Scenic Charleston Harbor tour
  • Travel by 80-foot sightseeing boat
  • See historic sites and wildlife
  • Fully narrated tour
  • Choice of several departures daily
  • Family friendly
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Narrated Charleston Harbor History Cruise aboard the Carolina Belle
Select from Morning, Afternoon, or Sunset Departure Times
All taxes, fees and handling charges
Alcoholic drinks (available to purchase)

Departure Point

10 Wharfside St, Charleston, SC 29401, USA

Return Details

Returns to original departure point
Begin at the Charleston Maritime Center, which is centrally located in Charleston’s French Quarter. Present your tour voucher before boarding the 80-foot sightseeing boat, then set off along the Cooper River.

Listen to stories from the boat captain throughout the tour, as you pass some of Charleston’s historic sites. Get close up views of Fort Sumter, the fortified island where the first shots were fired in the Civil War. Pass the Essex-class USS Yorktown, a ‘fighting lady’ aircraft carrier from the Second World War that earned eleven battle stars in her dramatic military career.

Take in Fort Moultrie and Fort Johnson, a pair of forts that housed Confederate and Union soldiers, and see St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, which survived Revolutionary and Civil War fighting by painting its steeple black. Pass elegant antebellum homes on the Battery, and navigate beneath the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, a modern span that links downtown Charleston to Mount Pleasant. Drinks are available for purchase onboard throughout the trip, which concludes with drop-off at the Charleston Maritime Center.
Pass By:  
Fort Sumter National Monument
While aboard the Carolina Belle your professional and licensed captain will narrate history, sights, and facts about the Charleston Harbor as you pass locations critical to United States history. You will  get close-up views of the Holy City's most famous and charming sights such as  Fort Sumter: One of Charleston's most popular landmarks, where the first shots of the Civil War were fired, USS Yorktown: the famous World War II “Fighting Lady," Confederate and Union army Forts Moultrie and Johnson, St. Michael’s Episcopal Church: A surviver of both the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, whose steeple was painted black so as not to be an easy target, Stately homes on the Battery: Symbols of Southern elegance and perseverance.
Pass By:  
Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge
You will also see the Cooper River Bridges, including the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge: A state of the art span that accommodates the largest ships in the world and connects downtown Charleston to Mount Pleasant. To add to this wonderful experience, don't be surprised if you see Dolphins skimming the surface of the water and pelicans diving for food. 
Pass By:  
Joe Riley Waterfront Park
Enjoy views of Charleston Waterfront Park
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Most travelers can participate
  • There is a flat pier out to the boat and the boarding ramp is about 30 feet long. Travelers will board on the top deck and there are stairs to the lower level. Restrooms are located on the top deck.
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 200 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Charleston Harbor Tours

All sales are final and incur 100% cancellation penalties.

  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Charleston Harbor History Day-Time or Sunset Boat Cruise?
The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
See all safety measures taken by Charleston Harbor History Day-Time or Sunset Boat Cruise.
What is the policy on sanitization during Charleston Harbor History Day-Time or Sunset Boat Cruise?
The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
See all safety measures taken by Charleston Harbor History Day-Time or Sunset Boat Cruise.
What is the maximum group size during Charleston Harbor History Day-Time or Sunset Boat Cruise?
This activity will have a maximum of 200 travelers.

See all safety measures taken by Charleston Harbor History Day-Time or Sunset Boat Cruise.

Traveler Photos

Traveler Tips

  • "Better for older kids (not so much for the preschooler" See review
  • "I highly recommend only going in cool seasons or evenings." See review
  • "we travel counter-clockwise so sit on the right side to see everything." See review


1,279 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 1,279 reviews
Great Cruise!
, Jul 2021
Great time, very informative and entertaining. Awesome family night out. Highly recommend the sunset cruise.
Unique and relaxing
, Jul 2021
Nice and unique experience of learning about a different facet of Charleston. Captain and crew were very helpful.
, Jul 2021
Everything was AWESOME my grandson really enjoyed himself!!! Captain Tripp was really funny and gave us some great details about Charleston
Charleston Harbor Tour worth your time and money!
, Jul 2021
Great Day! The Captain and crew were very knowledgeable and considerate. Beautiful day! Historic sights pointed out with additional insights, we even saw dolphins surfing the bow wake! All in all a relaxing time!
Charleston belle tour
, Jul 2021
Sights along the tour were really interesting. Narrator was easy to understand and very informative. Stories were interesting.
, Jul 2021
Very informational. Captain was a lot of fun. The trivial questions were fun and took up what would be dead space getting to the next sight.
Not worth the money
, Jul 2021
Not worth the money, boat dirty, old chairs, dirty windows. Views about old buildings near dock, new BMW cars etc.
HelpfulHelpful2 travelers found this review helpful
Family friendly excursion
, Jul 2021
Captain JP and his crew were very knowledgeable and did a great job. You definitely want to sit on the top RIGHT side. I would not recommend having young children on the top deck because of the heat, sunburn and just overall uncomfortable for them. The deck chairs are tightly packed so you’ll want to make you take care of bathroom and drink purchases before leaving the dock. My teenagers loved it and we even spotted a few dolphins.
Exceptional customer service!!!!
, Jul 2021
What a great experience! We mistakenly booked the wrong dates and didn't realize until after the fact. They were so accommodating and we are so excited to go on this tour. Exceptional customer service and care!
HelpfulHelpful1 traveler found this review helpful
Additional Info Needed
, Jul 2021
The route was beautiful and the staff were attentive/ friendly. There really needs to be more than a few sentences added to the narrative about the history of enslaved Africans. The history wasn't all good.

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