For centuries, watermen have worked the creeks and rivers of tidewater Virginia, bringing the best the Chesapeake Bay region has to offer to markets nationwide. Now, through the watermen’s heritage tour program, visitors to Virginia can experience the time-honored history and traditions of our working watermen up-close and personal.
Explore these pages and find the perfect tour for you and your family or group. Once you decide on a destination, contact our participating captains directly to create your own personal Chesapeake Bay experience. Come and see the Bay through the eyes of an authentic working waterman, experience their culture and history and hear their individual stories (and take home a few of your own to cherish for years to come)!
Welcome home to tidewater Virginia – we look forward to seeing you out on the water.
Visitors can choose from a wide range of on-the-water, customizable activities, including:
Hands-on tonging, patent tonging, dredging and aquaculture operations for oysters.
Pulling crab pots, pulling bank traps or shedding operations.
Charter fishing, head boat fishing, gill or pound netting.
Local Historical Sites & Landmarks
Lighthouse tours, historic homes and/or places of interest .
Water-to-table Seafood Tastings
Shucking and eating oysters and clams, picking steamed crabs and enjoying other bounty of the sea!
Sunset cruises, transportation to local restaurants, "cruises to nowhere" or specific destinations as requested.
Wildlife / Birdwatching
Watching dolphins, pelicans, turtles, osprey, eagles or other wildlife seasonally.
"Floating Classroom" for Students & Teachers
Designed with teachers to dovetail with class curricula.
Customized Trips Tailored to Specific Needs
Wide ranging variety depending on the individual customer.
Meet the Captains
Captain Ludford comes from a family of working watermen and was himself a commercial crabber before starting his own business growing farm-raised oysters for local restaurants in the area.
See picturesque Mathews County by water as the guest of Captain Trey Sowers aboard the “Helen Elizabeth”, an authentic 34’ Chesapeake Bay Deadrise.
Explore Virginia’s Northern Neck and discover the scenic beauty of the lower Potomac River, Coan River and nearby creeks and tributaries with Captain David Rowe aboard the “Bay Quest”, an authentic 43′ Chesapeake Bay deadrise.