From the Bay to the Blue Ridge, National Harbor

Ahoy Matey! The Pirates have arrived in National Harbor!

Ahoy Matey! The Pirates have arrived in National Harbor!

By Lani Gering
PirateCaptain John Sparrow most certainly started the pirate craze a few years ago with the first installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean movie. In fact, they have been invading Fells Point in Baltimore since 2008 and extended their fleet to the Georgetown waterfront next and now they have arrived at the East Pier here in the Harbor. They even had a new vessel commissioned for this new venture. The new boat has a passenger capacity of 90 and is almost twice the size as their Fells Point vessel.
For those of you unfamiliar with Urban Pirates, it is a local group of self-acclaimed “swashbucklers and bucklerettes” that don their finest in pirate gear and treat the public to an adventure on the water. They officially opened April 23rd and are up and running at full speed.
In addition to the regular harbor cruises that will run 7 days a week from *Memorial Day to Labor Day, Urban Pirates have a Family Adventure Cruise ($22 – 3 and over, $12 – 2 and under) that features an hour and a half adventure with a lively crew who will teach you how to talk, dance and play games like a pirate and you will have the opportunity to blast enemies with water cannons. All this while navigating treacherous waters and discovering vast treasures. I think my personal favorite is going to be the Adult BYOG (Bring Your Own Grog) Cruise ($25 for all riders). Like they say “Real” Pirates bring their own grog to enjoy with the modern music and games. Birthday packages are available as are private charters!
* May 1 – Memorial Day and Labor Day through October the cruises will set sail Thursday through Sunday. For information on cruise check-in and departures log on to their website at
Our friends at the Gaylord National Resort are getting in on the Pirate action as well. Guests visiting the Resort and Convention Center this summer will discover hidden treasure, a pirate’s feast, swashbuckling adventures and more during its SummerFest celebration featuring Pirates on the Potomac. The resort has partnered with Urban Pirates, to bring pirate festivities, packages and other summertime fun on weekends from May 27 through Labor Day.
Capt’n Bones Buccaneer Breakfast
A pirate crew will invade the resort’s alfresco restaurant, Pienza Marketplace, during the Capt’n Bones Buccaneer Breakfast on Saturdays, Sundays and select holiday dates. Guests will enjoy a bountiful meal made from scratch including Blackbeard’s Scrambled Eggs, Captain’s Bacon and Sausage, Cannon Ball Pancakes and more. Children also will experience pirate games, as well as take home a pirate craft.

First Mate’s Treasure Hunt
Gaylord National introduces a new summer quest for the entire family through its free scavenger hunt. Participants can scour the resort’s 1.5-acre atrium to discover missing parrots and receive a reward worthy of a pirate upon completion. The First Mate’s Treasure Hunt is available daily.

Swashbuckler’s Story Time Adventures
Overnight guests can bring their little ones to join the hotel’s pirate pal for an adventurous tale during the Swashbuckler’s Story Time Adventures. The free experience will take place on Fridays, Saturdays and select dates at 8:15 p.m.

Pirates Pool Invasion
Overnight guests can enjoy free pool-side fun with pirates on Fridays, Saturdays and select holiday dates. Kids will play pirate games, win prizes and more. The Pirates Pool Invasion is from 5 to 6 p.m.

Atrium Antics
Guests will be delighted by an array of strolling, pirate-themed entertainment on Friday and Saturday evenings. Enjoy face painters, jugglers, caricature artists and more throughout the resort’s 1.5-acre atrium from 4 to 7 pm.

For more information on the Resort and its summer offerings, visit: or call 301-965-4000.

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