Public Programs

With more than 11,000 miles of shoreline, the Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in North America and home to some of the most historic and environmentally significant waterways in the United States. The Sultana Education Foundation offers a variety of programs for individuals, friends, and families to get out and experience this national treasure in our midst. In addition to the scheduled programs outlined below, SEF also works with organized groups to arrange custom programs.

Some of our Public Programs are currently suspended due to Covid-19.
Please note that Public Paddles and Family Paddles are available (revamped for Covid-19 guidelines).
We will resume all other programs as the situation permits.

**in case of inclement weather i.e. rain or extreme heat, Public Paddles may be rescheduled. You will be contacted by Sultana staff with alternate dates or if necessary, refund information.

Ages 12+ / $30 / 2.5 Hours
August thru October

Join our staff for a unique kayak excursion on the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail. Most paddles take place on Maryland’s upper Eastern Shore, and each paddle features a unique theme. Kayaks and gear are provided so all you need is water, a snack, and your binoculars! Minimum age to participate is 12. The Foundation is taking extra steps to ensure the safety of its staff and program participants. Social distancing guidelines will be followed, each paddle will be kept to 8 participants and held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 AM-11:30 AM to avoid crowds.

Photo Album

Ages 3+ / Free - $150* / 2-3 Hours 
*Email for Details
Now thru October

Family paddles are an incredible way to get outside of the house this summer in a safe and fun way for kids, adults and friend groups. Explore, fish, seine for critters, or just mosey down the is completely up to you and your party. Morning, afternoon or evening, our staff is happy to accommodate the needs of each group. Excursions are limited to 9 participants or less. 

To arrange or for more information email

Ages 5+ / $30 per / 2 Hours
May thru October/November (dependent on Downrigging Festival)

A trip on the 1768 schooner SULTANA is a great way to experience the Chester River onboard a traditional schooner. Passengers are encouraged to help raise the sails, steer using SULTANA’s seven-foot tiller, and explore the authentically reproduced crew’s quarters below-decks. Sultana Education Foundation will offer special and full-day sails to organization and groups, prices for these trips may vary. Unless noted otherwise, all sails depart and return to the Chestertown Marina, 207 S. Water Street, in Chestertown, MD. Sails are two hours long and cost $30 for adults and $15 for children under 12. Minimum age aboard is 5.
Photo Album

Ages 3-5 / FREE! / 20-30 Mins.
Fridays, January 22-April 9

Virtual Toddler Time lets children explore the natural world through stories, songs, games, crafts and interactions with wildlife - all led by SEF's professional staff. Held each Friday at 10:30 am from January thru April, Toddler Time is both education and FUN! At this time the program will be held virtually via ZOOM and broken into 4 sessions (see schedule). Program supplies will be available for pick-up the Wednesday prior to each session at SEF's Holt Center, or dropped off within a 20mile radius of Chestertown, MD. Questions? Booking for a pre-school group? Contact Beth Lenker at
Click to View Schedule (PDF)

Photo Album

Tall Ships and Bluegrass are at the heart of Sultana’s annual Downrigging festival. Hosted at the end of the schooner SULTANA’s sailing season (late October or early November), Downrigging attracts thousands of visitors to Chestertown to sail on the assembled fleet of ships, listen to great music, and support the Sultana Education Foundation’s education programs.

Downrigging Website

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