Chatham Harbor Boat Tour

RATES:                    2 hrs         4 hrs
1-6 Persons            $395        $595

Private tours daily by reservation.

*All charters include the services of a licensed captain and complimentary bottled water.  Additional food and beverage service is available upon request.

*Please refer to our online calendar for exact departure times as they may vary.  If your preferred date and time is not available, please call us to discuss other options.

Leave the crowds behind and experience a different perspective of Cape Cod’s finest seaside town.  Our Chatham Harbor Boat Tour provides a wonderful introduction to the bay’s shifting sandbars and beaches, its historic fishing camps, rolling surf and magnificent waterfront homes.  We currently offer both a short and long version of this tour:

Short (2 hrs):  Starting from our dock we’ll travel past the windswept dunes of the Cape Cod National Seashore and North Beach Island, one of the most beautiful barrier beaches in the world.  The local colony of grey and harbor seals will be impossible to miss along the way.  In Chatham harbor, the Municipal Fish Pier offers a fascinating glimpse into perhaps the Cape’s best known industry.  We’ll get an up-close look as the colorful fishing fleet migrates “through the break” and unloads their daily catch.  Nearby, the Chatham lighthouse and its weather-wracked history still actively aids in the navigation of these treacherous waters.

Long (4 hrs):   Includes the short version of our Chatham Harbor Tour plus the opportunity to enjoy some beach time on North Beach Island, a pristine barrier beach only accessible by boat.  Bring your towel and enjoy 2 miles of uncrowded soft sand and sweeping views of the open Atlantic Ocean.  Time permitting, guests can also experience the northern half of the bay, called Little Pleasant Bay.  Featuring picturesque islands and a number of locally crafted sailboats – called catboats – this area offers a more sheltered, tranquil feel.


Pleasant Bay Explorer Boat Tour

RATES:                       2 hrs
1-6 Persons               $375

Private tours daily by reservation.

*All charters include the services of a licensed captain and complimentary bottled water.

*Please refer to our online calendar for exact departure times as they may vary.  If your preferred date and time is not available, please call us to discuss other options.

Let our captains give you a glimpse into one of New England’s richest, most diverse eco-systems on our Pleasant Bay Explorer Boat Tour excursion.  All boat tours are tailored to your interests and provide a hands-on, educational experience for youngsters and adults alike.  Activities include:

  • Get up close and personal to one of the the largest concentrations of gray and harbor seals in North America.  Enjoy seals playing in the surf, sunbathing and also taking a keen interest in us!
  • Learn about our growing population of Great White Sharks!  Download a smartphone app and track the latest sightings off the coast of Chatham.
  • Get a glimpse into the anatomy and life-cycle or our local “bugs” as our captains demonstrate how lobster traps are hauled and constructed.  Guests can help re-bait the traps, hold lobsters, starfish, crabs and other creatures.
  • Learn how to find and dig for your own shellfish on the flats surrounding the bay – steamers, quahogs, little necks, cherry stones, razors and more.
  • Grab a pair of binoculars and observe the diverse assortment of migratory bird species which rely on the bay to nest, feed and rest.


Frequently Asked Questions: Pleasant Bay Tours

What if I need to cancel my reservation? What if there is bad weather?

For cancellations made 48 hours or more in advance a full refund will be issued.  Cancellations made less than 48 hours in advance will be charged 50%.  No-shows and cancellations made less than 3 hrs before the trip will be charged full price.  We regret that we cannot make exceptions for personal emergencies as a cause for late cancellation.

We will not operate in hazardous weather conditions such as heavy rain, thick fog, high winds or thunder and lightning.  However, no guarantees can be made that every day will be perfectly sunny.  So we will operate as usual in overcast conditions, light fog and in intermittent sprinkles.  The final decision on weather related cancellations rests with us and reservations should be considered upheld unless you speak with us directly over the phone.  If weather cancels your reservation we will make every effort to reschedule for another day.  Otherwise, a full refund will be issued.  If weather cuts your trip short, we will prorate the unused portion.

All refunds will be at the sole discretion of Down Cape Charters & Boat Rentals, Inc.

How early should I show up for my reservation?

To leave enough time for our check-­in procedure, we recommend your party arrive at least 20 minutes before your scheduled departure time.  Leave yourself some margin for traffic or parking related delays, pre-departure bathroom stops, etc.  Private charters arriving late must still return at the regularly scheduled time.  There will be no refunds for those arriving late.  Trips are often scheduled multiple times per day and keeping a strict schedule ensures that all of our reservations are honored.

Will I get seasick?

In all of our years of operation, we have had zero instances of seasickness within the protected waters of Pleasant Bay.  The ocean swell and chop that you encounter on some charters simply is not present for any of our Pleasant Bay Tours.  Nevertheless, concerned passengers are welcome to experiment with over-the-counter remedies containing ginger, which has been shown to calm an upset stomach.  Consult your physician if you have any further questions or concerns.

What should I wear? What should I bring?

The only things you need for your charter are a form of payment and your personal items (hat, sunglasses, sunscreen – preferably not the spray kind, camera).  It is always a little cooler on the water so a windbreaker or sweatshirt might come in handy.  Please wear boat shoes or non-scuffing white-soled sneakers.

May food and drinks be brought on board?

Yes, feel free to bring your own food and beverages.  All of our trips include complimentary bottled water.  Additionally, we recommend finger foods (small sandwiches, cheese and crackers, etc) as they are easiest to eat on a boat.  Foods with sauces will stain clothing and upholstery so are not recommended.  For adults over 21, reasonable amounts of beer and wine are also allowed (please avoid glass containers).  No hard liquor allowed.

Any excessive use of alcohol will result in the immediate termination of the trip with no recourse.

Are there any age restrictions or physical restrictions?

There are no age restrictions on trips staying within the bay.  We have happily hosted everything from 6 month olds to 90 year olds.

Those with mobility issues must be able to walk down the resort dock (which has ramps) and step up into the vessel.  Very rarely is this an issue, but it should be mentioned.  Our team will assist in any way they can to ensure those with mobility issues are comfortable.

Are pets allowed on your vessels?

We currently do not allow pets on any of our boats.

Are we allowed to keep the lobsters or clams we catch?

Unfortunately, our state issued license prohibits us from giving away or selling the clams or lobsters caught on our tours.  These trips are strictly for educational purposes only.

Do you provide life jackets for children?

Yes, we have life jackets for all shapes and sizes (even infants).  While we recommend that everybody wear a life jacket on our boats, by law only those 12 and younger have to wear one at all times.  Your boat will have enough life jackets on board for everybody in your group.  Younger children are welcome to bring their own life jacket if they are more comfortable, provided it is Coast Guard approved (no arm floaties).

We have a group of 7. Can we squeeze onto a trip listed at a 6 person capacity?

Unfortunately, no.  Each of our vessels is rated for a certain capacity by the United States Coast Guard.  Ignoring that capacity is against the law and endangers everybody on board.  A 6 person capacity means six human beings – ­ the USCG does not differentiate between children and adults.

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