Schooner SULTANA

The 1768 schooner SULTANA is the ultimate teaching platform for introducing students to the history and environment of the Chesapeake Bay. The modern vessel is a full-scale reproduction of a 97’ topsail schooner that patrolled the mid-Atlantic enforcing the hated “Tea Taxes” for Britain’s Royal Navy in the years preceding the American Revolution. Aboard this unique tall ship, students work with SEF’s professional staff to trawl for fish and crabs, conduct tests to monitor water quality, and learn about maritime life in the 18th century. Teachers can custom design programs that emphasize history, Chesapeake Bay ecology, or a mix of both disciplines, and there are a multitude of curriculum aids available to provide students with pre and post-trip activities.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the minimum age group that sails on the schooner SULTANA?
SULTANA can accommodate students from third grade and older.
How many students/teachers can participate in a program aboard Sultana?
Up to 32 passengers can sail on SULTANA at one time (any combination of students + parents + teachers).
How long do educational sails last?
Typical educational programs on SULTANA last 2-3 hours.
What is the cost of a program?
The standard tuition for a three-hour educational program on SULTANA is $750. However, all Maryland Public Schools are eligible for significant discounts from this price. The Sultana Education Foundation is committed to seeing that all of its programs are affordable for any public school. Please call us to discuss potential tuition subsidies and discounts for your group.
Where can we go sailing on SULTANA?
In addition to running programs from its home port of Chestertown, Maryland, Sultana is a regular visitor to Annapolis, Baltimore, St. Michaels, Cambridge, and Solomons. Please call for details regarding SULTANA’s seasonal itinerary and to determine where you can schedule a trip.
When do you offer programs?
SULTANA’s spring sailing season for school groups runs from April 1 through mid-June, and the fall program runs from September 1 through the first week in November.
How far in advance should I reserve a program?
Educational programs on the schooner SULTANA are extremely popular. We recommend that you contact the Sultana Education Foundation up to a year in advance of the date you would like to sail.
What do students learn during a typical trip?
SULTANA educational sails can be tailored to address the specific needs of each participating group. The program offers a variety of hands-on activities focusing on Chesapeake Bay Ecology and Colonial History that support standards set forth by the Maryland State Department of Education. Ecology topics covered during science-based programs include learning about adaptations of marine life in the Chesapeake Bay, examining plankton under microscopes, and conducting tests to monitor pH, salinity, and dissolved oxygen levels. History topics include colonial trade, 18th century navigation, sail handling, and life on board.
Do you actually sail?
Yes! Unless it is too windy or rainy, every trip attempts to sail or at least practices raising one or more sails. SULTANA also has an auxiliary engine.
Can a SULTANA program be combined with another Sultana Education Foundation Program?

Yes! SULTANA educational sails based in Chestertown can be combined with programs based at the Foundation’s Holt Education Center or Lawrence Wetland Preserve. Combining an under-sail experience with land-based programming is a great way to create full-day experiences that accommodate up to 64 total participants (students + parents + teachers).

Using this hybrid programming model, two classes arrive in Chestertown in the morning. While one class sails aboard Sultana, the other participates in activities at the Holt Center or the Lawrence Wetland Preserve. After convening for lunch, the groups switch activities in the afternoon.

Do students have to wear lifejackets?
All students are required to wear lifejackets aboard SULTANA.
Do students ever get seasick?
Due to the fact that SULTANA generally sails on protected waters, it is rare that anyone gets seasick.