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
July thru August
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.
Ages 3+ / $150 / 3 Hours
July thru August
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 river...it 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 paddling@
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.
Ages 3-5 / FREE / 10:30am-11:30am
Fridays November thru March (see schedule)
Toddler Time lets children explore the natural world through stories, songs, games, crafts, and other hands-on activities - all led by SEF’s talented and professional staff. Held most Friday mornings between November and March at SEF’s Holt Education Center (200 S. Cross St., Chestertown), Toddler Time is both educational and fun! No pre-registration is required, but program sizes are limited! Adults must stay for the entire program.
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.