August 15, 2006
This fall, take a voyage back in time with American Cruise Lines' American Glory as it offers the themed "Pirates, Pearls and Patriots of the South." Return to the cavalier days of doubloons and daggers, beards and booty, ransom, sword-fights and scurvy. Throughout this journey into the past, you'll meet up with the ghastly visages of famous pirates such as Blackbeard and Luis Aury, the French pirate.
The seven-night cruise will walk the plank aboard the 49-passenger American Glory on December 2, 2006. American Cruise Line is also in the process of planning future Pirate-themed voyages.
With its itinerary focusing on piracy during the Antebellum South, an era when sea bandits ruled the surrounding ports and waterways, the cruise beings in Charleston. There, crew members will force passengers to relive the helpless horror of common southern folk as they watched Captain Blackbeard blockade the entire harbor, and pluck up several fat nobles for the purposes of ransom. The dues were paid, and Blackbeard took his vessel, Queen Anne's Revenge, to head for cover in Beaufort, South Carolina. In his haste, he's reputed to have run aground on a sandbar, lampooning several of his men in the process. It is at this historic point that American Glory will make its second eerie stop.
Then it's on to Daufuskie Island, where the famous pirate hunter David "Money" Mongin made his trade. As a result of his success in reducing the pirate scourge, English king George III granted Mongin control of the island. Together with its neighbor, Hilton Head Island, legend has it that these lands are home to untold buried treasures!
All aboard as the ship heads to Savannah, birthplace to the legends of some of history's most fearsome marauders. It was on a nearby isle that a chest full of the finest riches was reportedly buried. Perhaps a lucky guest will uncover the treasure! A stop in Savannah will also give guests the chance to enjoy traditional pirate victuals and revel in pirate lore at the world famous Pirate's House restaurant.
Passengers will then move on to St. Simon's Island, where buccaneers of the late 17th century made repeated raids, pillaging the villages of the Native American Guale peoples, who were uprooted, never to return...
As the haunted voyage continues southward to Jekyll Island, Blackbeard's body emerges once more from the depths' of Davy Jones' locker. Many a well-worn rogue has claimed that Blackbeard stashed one of his greatest treasures here, marking the location with a copper hook embedded in an oak tree.
The final stop on the Pirate tour is Amelia Island, Florida, where French pirate Luis Aury made his "X" on history. Aury arrived in 1817 claiming to be a Mexican officer only to annex the island in the name of his supposed country. The Americans arrived three months later and crushed his efforts, but it's whispered that his ghost still haunts the jail on third street where he was kept.
And as passengers retrace the careers of these professional brigands, they'll enjoy swashbuckling shore excursions on the very lands where the pirates once set foot. Naturalists, historians, and even local jewelers will come aboard to offer insights on the rich pirate heritage that colors the history of Southern U.S. waterways.
American Cruise Lines, one of a handful of U.S.-flagged lines that specializes in domestic enrichment cruises, was founded in 2000 by the Chesapeake Ship Building Company. The East Coast-based line currently operates three ship, American Glory, American Eagle and American Spirit. A fourth, American Star is due out in 2008. The ships are known for their intimate sizes that offer personal cruise experiences, stops at less-trafficked cruise ports, as well as fine food and upscale accommodations.