American Rover

The American Rover is a sailing ship with a tradition of excellence. One the Hampton Roads area's signature landmark sights has been the red "tan bark" sails of the American Rover since 1986. Cruises aboard the American Rover leave from the waterfront of downtown Norfolk at Waterside Marina. At 135 feet long, there is plenty of shaded seating available aboard the American Rover. The three masted topsail schooner also has two climate-controlled lounges below deck, as well as restrooms, a bar, and a store.

Downtown Norfolk is situated in the heart of coastal Virginia, eighty minutes from Williamsburg, and only thirty minutes away from Virginia Beach. American Rover cruises take place from April until October through the smooth waters of the Hampton Roads Harbor and along the Elizabeth River. There are two cruises to choose from: the Narrated Harbor Cruise and the Sunset Cruise. Both cruises last about 2 hours and depart from Waterside Marina daily. Guests can sit back and relax during the cruise, or they can try taking a turn at the helm or helping with the sails. American Rover



Cruises aboard the American Rover start at Waterside Marina, then head out north along the Elizabeth River and into Hampton Roads Harbor. Along the way during the cruise, the boat will pass by NOAA Headquarters, downtown Norfolk, Old Fort Norfolk, downtown Portsmouth, Portsmouth Naval Hospital, Portsmouth Marine Terminal, Metro and BAE Shipyards, Battleship Wisconsin, and Norfolk Southern Coal Piers. Giant cargo ships, Navy ships, yachts, and tugboats are often spotted as well. The captain of the ship does a tour as it sails out.

The two hour Harbor Cruise takes place during the day and more popular for families and children. Those aboard can help with the sails, try their skills at steering by taking a turn at the ship's helm, or just sit and enjoy the ride as the American Rover cruises through the Hampton Roads Harbor while the captain points out the sights along the way. These highlights include Private Shipyards, Battleship Wisconsin, and the downtown Portsmouth and Norfolk Skylines among others. Mega-yachts, tugboats, Navy ships, and even occasionally dolphins might also be spotted during the cruise.

The Sunset Cruise aboard the American Rover also lasts about two hours and takes place during the evening. This cruise is more popular for company outings, adults, groups of friends, and couples. Families and children, however, are also welcome. The cruise is both romantic and fun, and is an excellent thing to do for a relaxing but fun evening. The captain provides a short tour featuring highlights of the Hampton Roads Harbor, but afterwards music is provided by the ship's musician. Photo: American Rover

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The American Rover is one of the most popular venues in the Norfolk area for private events. Such events possible aboard the ship are retirement parties, promotion parties, birthdays, reunions, rehearsal dinners, weddings, and corporate events for up to 129 people. Entertainment, bar service, and catering are all available for private parties. During public cruises, guests can buy drinks and snacks from the ship's bar and store. Individuals can also bring food and non-alcoholic beverages on board with them. A picnic basket is allowed, but coolers are not. Groups are not allowed to use their own catering.

Back to: Norfolk, Virginia Address: 333 Waterside Drive, Norfolk, Virginia, website, Phone: 757-627-7245 Photo: American Rover

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American Rover in Norfolk, VA

  • Cruises, Photo: American Rover
  • Events, Photo: American Rover
  • Cover Photo: American Rover