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On a recent unseasonably mild July weeknight, we carted our coolers and collective snacks down the docks in Canton to board the 42 foot yacht “Howling at the Moon” for a sunset cruise aboard Art’s Cruises.

With more than 50 years of boating experience, Art Murray launched his Baltimore cruising business a few years ago, offering trips that last from 3 hours (spanning the local Baltimore scenery) to 3 or 4 days (as far as Kent Narrows, Chestertown, or Oxford). Since we all had to be up bright and early on Friday morning, we opted for the 3 hour tour (non-Gilligan style, I promise).

After setting out spreads on the kitchen’s granite countertops and the living-room-style-space’s coffee tables, (and filling the fridge with wine and brews, of course), we quickly got the lay of land… or boat, to be more precise.

On a brief tour, we departed the living room and kitchen space (sporting plenty of seating and an appropriately sized flat-screen) and checked out the two decks – one covered, one un-covered – as well as the 2 bedroom quarters, and we even got a handy how-to on the boat bathroom (this is important, people). We also learned that Art also keeps a grill on hand (Burgers on the bay? Yes, please!), and that there is wifi as well as iPod hookups, and plenty of heat options, were we cruising in the cooler months.

Before toasts with Prosecco could even be made on the wicker chairs on the stern, or the cushioned seats on the bow, motors were running and we departed.

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Our tour ran the gamut of Baltimore’s waterfront. All onboard were Baltimore natives or long-time residents who routinely dine and drink from the land with a view of the water. The inverse perspective, from water to land, is a rare opportunity, and one that should be wholly appreciated by locals and tourists alike. On a basic level, we appreciated seeing some changes to the Inner Harbor that we might not have otherwise seen (because locals don’t often visit there, right?) that sparked conversation. On a more historical level, we appreciated that Art could precisely point out spots like where Francis Scott Key sat while composing the Star Spangled Banner.

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We neared the bridge to watch sunset, then turned and returned slowly to the docks, beers and wine glasses in hand, chatting about a lot, but mainly about Baltimore. Our 3 hour tour actually turned into a bit more… and not only in terms of time, but appreciation and reflection, as well.

 

Thanks to Art for our cruise! If you’re looking for a different or unique night out for family or friend events, bachelor/bachelorette parties, book clubs, and other get-togethers, Art’s Cruises has affordable pricing with flexible schedules and locations. For about $50/person (depending on group size), guests on Howling at the Moon can experience a similar night to ours, or customize a trip. Check it out at: http://artscruises.com/.

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