Shearwater is a classic Newport-style schooner yacht, only recently recognized as a national landmark in 2009. The vessel was built by Rice Brother Corporation in East Boothbay, Maine, back in a time when yachting was a rare combination of elegance and adventure; Rice Bros. were well known for building luxury pleasure yachts and produced some 4,000 hulls over a period of 64 years. The keel was laid down on January 4, 1929 and a news clip from the Boothbay Register reflects alongside a photograph "Tyler Hodgon at the old Tide Mill is getting out timbers for the schooner to be built at Rice’s. Vessel to be built of native white oak." Traditionally built from hand-hewn native white oak, she was the last boat to be constructed at that yard - likely due to the ensuing Great Depression brought on by the Stock Market Crash that occurred later that autumn. East Boothbay was a small coastal town with shipbuilding being its only industry. About 40 workmen were employed for the construction of SHEARWATER.
Her designer Theodore Donald Wells was born in Hudson Falls, N Y on October 22, 1875. He was a naval architect and marine engineer, a member of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers and also the Institute of Naval Architects London. His education included post-graduate work at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. He began his career as a member of the firm Herreshoff and Wells, N. Y. City in 1902. Working with Herreshoff no doubt had an influence on his designs, which bear similarities to many of the famous Herreshoff designed yachts of that time. From 1903 to 1907 he worked for Wintringham and Wells and then began practicing his profession under his own name. Mr. Wells joined the Navy Department in March 1917 and became Superintending Constructor of the Baltimore District U. S. N. Notable yachts designed and constructed under his supervision are "Viking" a 272 foot steel motor yacht built for George F. Baker in 1929 by Newport News and "Karina" a three masted schooner built for Robert E. Tod in 1932 by Staten Island Shipbuilding. Mr. Tod was a well-known offshore yachtsman as was his former yacht ‘Thistle", which competed in the Emperors Cup ocean race.
SHEARWATER was launched on May 4, 1929 and photographs in the Boothbay Register reflect her graceful and elegant lines. Her first Captain, Leon Esterbrook of Edgarton, MA, arrived to take charge of the fitting out. Her owner Charles E Dunlap was a member of the Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club, Oyster Bay, NY and this became SHEARWATER’s first homeport after her completion in late September 1929. It was there in Oyster Bay that she first started to thrill those who sailed in luxury aboard her and those who were privileged to crew her on race day.
Since her launching and documentation in Lloyd’s Register of American Yachts in 1929, she has had a colorful history and has been carefully maintained and restored to standards that few contemporary vessels are able to match and is truly a piece of American Maritime History.
On November 7, 1942 SHEARWATER was requisitioned by the War Shipping Administration and became a member of The United States Coast Guard’s Coastal Picket Patrol during World War Two. She was painted gray and bore the numbers CG67004. Based at Little Creek, Virginia she patrolled the waters east of the Chesapeake Bay entrance and south towards Cape Hatteras. Her skipper during that period reflected on how they used their free time while out on submarine patrol to race against other yachts and in his own words "sailed in tandem with the schooner Lord Jim, racing in and out of port, up and down the east coast and winning." She was designed and built as a gaff rigged schooner but during this period was changed to a Marconi rig. She carries over 2,550 square feet while under full sail.
A true veteran world cruiser, she first transited the Panama Canal in July 1946 and in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s completed a two and a half-year global circumnavigation.
In December 1971 Mrs. John B. Thayer of Rosemont, wife of a former trustee and treasurer, donated SHEARWATER to the University of Pennsylvania’s Institute of Environmental Medicine. She was used by the university as a laboratory for research on physiological responses to the stresses of living and working underwater. Captained by James Shearson, she was fitted with compressors, generators, monitoring instruments and a small decompression chamber.
She has participated in many Ancient Mariner and Classic yacht races in U S waters as well as racing in the Bay of Islands in New Zealand while on her circumnavigation in the early 1980’s. It is rumored she was once dismasted in the famous Newport to Bermuda race. She was last raced by the current owners in San Diego in May 1995 in the American Schooner Cup and finished second overall.
She entered the yacht charter industry in 1966 whilst on the West Coast sailing to the Channel Islands and was again used to generate income to keep her shipshape while owned by the University of Pennsylvania. During the chartering industry’s infancy in the Caribbean, SHEARWATER was known as the " Queen of the Fleet". Today she continues this tradition offering the most unique sailing experience and has passed rigid Coast Guard inspections and can carry up to 49 passengers.
We welcome you to join us for an excellent opportunity to experience the ambiance of a vintage sailing vessel while delighting in the splendors of The Manhattan sky-line, the Statue of Liberty or the beauty of the oceans beyond.
Madam Tussauds Amsterdam
Enjoy the glitter and glamour of Madame Tussauds Amsterdam.
With 10 interactive zones and an amazing television studio, you will have the opportunity to meet and greet your heroes. From the Dutch Royal Family, world famous DJ’s Martin Garrix and Armin van Buuren, artists like Vincent van Gogh and Rembrandt van Rijn and of course your real Marvel superheroes.
Dive into the studio and sing a duet with Adele, take a picture with your favourite actors such as Michiel Huisman and Ryan Gosling or project your face on Zayn Malik’s chest.
Step in front of the camera in the brand new television studio and create your own talk show. The autocue is ready for you. Time for action! Time for superstars! Time for Madame Tussauds Amsterdam!
The Amsterdam Dungeon
Do you have a great sense of humour and nerves of steel? Then you are at the right place in the Amsterdam Dungeon.
Come face to face with over 500 years of Amsterdam’s darkest history. The chillingly amusing characters of the ‘bad old days’ come to life before you in all their glory. You will be able to see and sense them during the thrilling attraction
The Gallows Fields
The place where the bodies would be put on display for the people; a reminder of your fate if you were ever to commit a crime. The dangling corpses were the hallmark for an “effectively functioning” legal system.
You would think this place would be avoided by everyone, however, the contrary was true, it was an attraction.
Murder on the Zeedijk
Immerse yourself into this ghost story and meet the ravishing Dina and her less refined sister Helena, in the oldest streets of Amsterdam with it's haunting history
Hell on the Batavia
Feel the fear creep up on you aboard the 17th century VOC ship, the Batavia
1 Day Hop-On Hop-Off (24 hrs. )
Official City Tour and Sausalito Tour
See the most iconic sites of San Francisco! The 1 Day Hop-On Hop-Off Pass combines two diverse tours on one incredible value ticket! It gives you the opportunity to explore Downtown San Francisco, the world famous GoldenGate Bridge, Golden Gate Park and charming Sausalito with unlimited hop-on hop-off use for 24 hours. You can hop on and off the bus at any of the designated City Sightseeing stops to explore all major sights of San Francisco at your own pace.
AUDIO GUIDE in VARIOUS LANGUAGES:
The tour is available with audio guide in English, Spanish, German, Mandarin, and Korean on every other bus throughout the day. Please ask at the City Sightseeing office for further information.
Official City Tour
The tour departs from Fisherman’s Wharf, taking you along the Embarcadero, Barbary Coast, the Ferry Building,Financial District, and right into San Francisco’s central shopping area at Union Square, before heading to the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. At South Vista Point you can walk across the 1.7 mile span of the bridge, or you can explore the Golden Gate Bridge Welcome Center and the Presidio. The tour continues into Golden Gate Park, one of the world’s largest man-made havens and one of the most popular places to see in San Francisco. With several stops throughout the park, you can visit the California Academy of Sciences, the De Young Museum, the Japanese Tea Garden, or the Botanical Gardens. Continuing the tour through Haight Ashbury, you will experience the so called “Hippie District”, before we head into the Civic Center area with many architectural landmarks, such as our impressive City Hall, the Opera House, Symphony Hall, the Asian Museum of Art and the public library. Passing Union Square, the tour continues into Chinatown and North Beach with its world-famous crooked Lombard Street, before returning to Fisherman’s Wharf, stopping at various waterfront locations, including Pier 39 where you can see the popular sea lions and explore the restaurants, shopping and many attractions for more fun in San Francisco.
Take this tour from South Vista Point to have the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge from an open top bus while driving across the bridge to North Vista Point. From there you have breathtaking views of the San Francisco Bay (weather permitting), and on a nice day you can see the San Francisco skyline, Alcatraz Island and the Bay Bridge, making it a great photo stop for every visitor. The tour continues into Marin County and stops in charming Sausalito where you can hop off the bus, stroll around, shop, dine, visit various art galleries and enjoy a relaxing lunch by the waterfront.
Upon takeoff enjoy full panoramic views of the Sydney skyline, Pacific Ocean and the historic Port Botany. Within 5 minutes your professional pilot will have you over the beautiful Sydney Harbour flying past icons such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House before heading West following the Parramatta River until you reach the Blue Mountains National Park, where your pilot will land at Katoomba Airfield in the heart of the bush.
The Rocks to Rainforest 4WD tours offers a unique opportunity to visit some amazing remote wilderness in the Blue Mountains World Heritage area. Guests are taken away from typical tourist destinations in our luxury 4WD vehicles. The ground component of the tour is really up to you, you can choose to stay in the 4WD or if you are more adventurous then get out and about and go for a bushwalk.
You will see fantastic panorama escarpments, unique rock formations, deep canyons with ancient rainforest and occasionally kangaroos in the Megalong Valley. You will then enjoy a gourmet sandwich lunch in either a cave or rainforest, depending on the weather on the day.
A day of fun in the sun on the Gulf Coast of Mexico at Clearwater Beach
A day of fun in the sun on the Gulf Coast of Mexico at Clearwater Beach
Enjoy a relaxing day at the beach
Café lunch to enjoy at your leisure
Free time to enjoy the beach, walk along the pier, take a swim etc
SANDWICHES (served with French fries & coleslaw)-Hot & Cold varieties
SALADS Greek-Caesar-Chef-Chicken or Tuna
PASTAS-Choice of Spaghetti-Ziti (Variety of sauces)
GREEK SPECIALS-Chicken Souvlaki-Gyros SEAFOOD (served with French fries & coleslaw)-Fish & Chips-Grilled Grouper Sandwich
KIDS-Burgers-Hot Dog-Chicken-Fingers-Fish & Chips
Click here for a complete list of current attractions included with the San Francisco Explorer Pass
Frequently Asked Questions
Is this just a discount card? Will I still need to buy tickets?
No. Passes include admission to each attraction; no need to pay anything at the gate. Some attractions may offer upgrades or special exhibits for an additional fee.
Do I need to choose my attractions in advance?
Nope, choose as you go. The pass is good for any combination of the number of attractions you purchased.
My child is under 3 years old. Can I get them a San Francisco Explorer Pass?
Child Passes are recommended for children ages 3-12. Many attractions offer free admission for younger children. Please consult the attraction websites for more details.
How will I get my pass?
When your order is complete you will receive an email with printable and Smartphone version of your pass. There is nothing to Redeem, you can go right to first attraction you want to visit and start using your card immediately.
How do I activate my pass?
Easy: simply visit your first attraction!
Is the pass valid all day?
You bet! Feel free to visit the attractions any time of the day as long as they are open or operating.
How much will I save?
Compare the price of the pass to the gate prices of the attractions you want to visit to see how much you can save. Many customers save 50%. We give you the flexibility to create your own itinerary and choose the attractions you want to visit depending on your interests.
Can I visit an attraction more than once?
No. Your pass includes only one visit per attraction.
Does a San Francisco Explorer Pass expire?
Yes. You have one year from the date of purchase to begin using your pass. After one year, it will expire.
Do I need to make reservations to visit the attractions?
Attractions that require a reservation will display a symbol on the guidebook page. Some attractions require a credit card to hold a reservation. In these cases, your credit card will not be charged unless you do not show up for your reservation.
Can I use my San Francisco Explorer Pass to ride the cable cars?
Your San Francisco Explorer Pass may be used for a 1-day Muni Visitor Passport, which includes a full day of unlimited rides on the cable cars, muni trains, and muni buses. However, be sure to pick up your passport prior to boarding. There are two locations to do this — one in Fisherman's Wharf and one in Union Square. Both are just a short walk from the cable car boarding locations.
Can I use my San Francisco Explorer Pass® to visit Alcatraz Island?
No. The Escape from the Rock Cruise option does not include a visit to Alcatraz Island but does circle the island and include a narrated account of the most feared institution in the American penal system.
What’s the catch?
There’s no catch. San Francisco Explorer Pass has a partnership with all of the participating attractions to make your visit to San Francisco as memorable as possible and to help you save time and money.
Can I share my pass with a friend or sell it?
No. The San Francisco Explorer Pass is non-transferrable and may not be re-sold.
What happens if an attraction is closed or a tour is cancelled due to weather or other problem?
While we do our best to ensure that all attractions are available, events happen that are out of our control. The great thing about a San Francisco Explorer Pass is that there are so many attractions to choose from. If an attraction is closed, or cannot be visited for some reason, we know you'll find a fun alternative in your guidebook!
Click here for the Top View Tours Welcome Package
Duration: Approx 2 Hours
Our Double Decker downtown tour is the quintessential New York tour. Departing from the heart of Times Square, this hop on, hop off bus tour will take you to the must-see sights of the city including: Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller Center, The Empire State Building, The 9/11 Memorial, Greenwich Village, Chinatown, Little Italy and more!
Duration: Approx 2 Hours
Academic, Spiritual, Entertaining! Who would have thought a tour could offer so much? But our Uptown loop delivers this and so much more! Your visit include Harlem, renowned as an African American cultural and business center since the early 20th century and home to the 'Harlem Renaissance' during the 1920's and 30's. See The Cathedral of St John the Divine and Columbia University and Grant’s Tomb. Visit places like The Apollo Theater and The Cotton Club or Hop Off and dine at Sylvia's Famous Soul Food Restaurant. Your NY sightseeing bus will continue along Central Park’s 5th avenue border down Museum Mile where renowned cultural and artistic accomplishments can be viewed at places like The Jewish Museum, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Frick Collection.
Brooklyn Bus Tour - This tour does not make any stops
Duration: Approx 1 hour, 30 minutes
Welcome to Breukelen! If you thought all the action was limited to Manhattan, think again. Brooklyn is teeming with activity and you have a front row seat! From the moment you gaze upon the world famous Brooklyn Bridge you begin a trip into its vast visual and oral history. This New York Tour will take you past The Botanical Gardens, the NY Transit Museum with its collection of vintage subway cars, the magnificent Grand Army Plaza, Ebbet’s Field, The Brooklyn Museum and finally the incredible Brooklyn Bridge!
Night Tours - This tour does not make any stops
Duration: Approx 1 hour, 45 minutes
Our New York Night Tour is one of our best bus tours! NYC at night is like no other city in the world! When the sun goes down, New York lights up! Our double Night Tour takes you from Times Square down 5th Avenue past the Empire State Building illuminated by a system that is capable of displaying 16 million colors, which can change instantaneously!! The bus continues down through Greenwich Village to Chinatown and Little Italy. Next stop--Brooklyn! From Brooklyn you can see some of the very best views of New York’s incredible skyline. As you cross back over the Manhattan Bridge, the Brooklyn Bridge looks like a gorgeous diamond necklace. Back in Manhattan, you go through the Lower East Side, the East Village and Gramercy Park before getting back to Midtown. After passing the United Nations one of the most beautifully illuminated buildings comes into view--the Chrysler Building and as you head west on 42nd Street pass Grand Central Terminal saved in the 1970’s by Jackie O.! Soon you’re back in Times Square an absolute sight to behold at night--one you won’t soon forget!
Liberty Cruise NYC is the best way to see the Statue of Liberty and other awe-inspiring sites around the harbor. Liberty Cruise New York passes by all of the sites two times which doubles the opportunity to observe them and take pictures of New York Harbor's priceless views. It is a great opportunity to learn many historical and interesting facts about New York harbor. All Downtown Cruises are narrated by live and licensed tour guides. Some of the sights that you'll see include: The Statue of Liberty, The World Trade Center, The Brooklyn Bridge, Battery Park, Wall Street, The Manhattan Bridge and The South Street Seaport.