Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Are the lighthouses still active?
Some of the lighthouses are still active with automated lights. The USCG automated most of the lighthouses in the 1980’s. Thomas Point Shoal was automated in 1986, making it the last manned lighthouse on the Chesapeake Bay.
Are any of the lighthouses still manned?
None of the lighthouses on the Chesapeake Bay are manned. The only lighthouse in America that is still manned is the Boston Harbor lighthouse. Congress declared that Boston Light always be a staffed station where light keepers must still turn the light on at night and turn it off at daybreak.
When were the lighthouses erected?
Most of the lighthouses were created in the 1860’s. The design of the lighthouses changed from the screwpile to the caisson in response to the damage caused by ice. Lights that marked shoals were in existence as early as the 1600’s, but the lighthouse structure is a relatively new development in the maritime legacy.
What time do I need to be at the dock for departure?
Please arrive 15 minutes before the time of departure. We will not start boarding before then.
Is there a bathroom on the boat?
There is a marine head on the boat.
How deep is the Chesapeake Bay?
The Chesapeake Bay is actually not a bay; it is an estuary and it’s fairly shallow. The average depth of the Chesapeake is 16 feet, although the channel off Bloody Point Lighthouse drops to more than 160 feet!
How long are the cruises?
Our tours are 2-hours, 4-hours, 10-hours and overnight. We strive to be on time, but sometimes the sun’s too warm, the breezes are too refreshing, and the colors are too magical to come back on time…
Where do we leave from?
The dock address is 6176 Tilghman Island Road in Tilghman, Maryland. From route 50, make a right onto route 33. Pass through Saint Michaels. Continue on this road until you come to the drawbridge. Make a right into Knapps Narrows Marina. As soon as you enter the marina, turn into the parking area on your immediate left. We are the last boat on the left, next to the bridge.
Is there parking?
There is plenty of parking at the dock and near Marker 5 restaurant which is also located in the marina.
Can I bring my dog?
On our private charters, yes, but Skippy must stay on her leash. Regretfully, on our scheduled trips, we have to say no. Other passengers might not be comfortable with Skippy, and we have to think of everyone on our trips. However, we can coordinate dog-sitting at $40 per hour. Please call before the day of departure to make reservations.
I’m pregnant. Is it safe for me to join one of your trips?
Chesapeake Lighthouses is all about lighthouse adventure! The nature of our trips takes us away from shore and away from emergency medical services. As a result, significant delays could result in the arrival of help. We would love to take you out to see lighthouses, but it might be a good idea to wait until after your miracle arrives.
Are tips included in the trip price?
No. The first mate works for tips, and your generosity is greatly appreciated. 15% gratuity is the norm.