Over a hundred mermaid statues are scattered across Norfolk, a true maritime city, with reams of naval history and a lively downtown area. Tucked between the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, there's a scenic waterfront where tall-masted, historic ships float, and colourful bunting flutters in the gentle sea breeze. Immerse yourself in the history of the South’s splendid colonial houses, or visit the fort to learn of Civil War history. View more
The romance of the seas, small ship sizes and intimate atmosphere, Silversea has long been a leader in the ultra-luxury market. Travelling to both iconic and secluded ports, Silversea’s award-winning itineraries inspire wanderlust and exploration. With over 900 destinations, longer port stays and more late-night departures than ever before, even the savviest traveler will find something new. A butler for every suite, a complimentary in-suite bar stocked with your preferences, all-inclusive exquisite dining, award-winning onboard entertainment and an unparalleled space to guest ratio all contribute to the Silversea experience. Not forgetting our famed Italian hospitality, where new faces become old friends. Bienvenuti a bordo.
Your tour begins with a leisurely drive to Williamsburg traveling through the historic Virginia Peninsula and the Hampton roads area. En-route, your professionally licensed guide provides an interesting and informative narration of what you are about to see on this trip back in time. Additionally, they will discuss the significance and history of Colonial Williamsburg and its restoration, as well as the historic triangle which includes Jamestown and Yorktown. The restoration of this colonial capital was originally financed by the famous philanthropist J. D. Rockefeller, Jr. in 1926 with the research by archaeologists and historians continuing today.
The restored capital of the British Colony of Virginia, colonial Williamsburg sprawls over 301 acres and includes more than 500 period buildings, many of them original 18th-century structures. Upon arrival, you will begin your visit with a guided walking tour. During your walk, you will receive a historic and cultural overview of the town.
Following your guided tour, lunch will be provided at a Colonial Williamsburg tavern. After lunch, enjoy touring homes, public buildings and craft shops on your own. The tradesmen, retailers and guides all dressed in period costume lend the experience even greater authenticity.
One of the most impressive sights you will visit is the Governor's Palace built in 1722 to house Virginia's royal governor. Located at the end of a broad greenspace, the imposing palace was intended to instill the colonists with respect for executive power. You will also see the Capitol, the colonial seat of government where laws and justice were made and administered.
Enjoy free time to further explore our country's largest living history museum as you walk through the many unique specialty shops in the picturesque Merchants Square. At the conclusion of the day, rejoin your coach for a 1 hour drive back to the pier in Norfolk where your tour concludes.
Board your air-conditioned motor coach and depart for Jamestown Settlement, the birthplace of 17th-century Virginia with the arrival of English colonists in 1607.
At the recreated village of Jamestown Settlement, you will step back in time through a portal of living history. Costumed interpreters are your guides to the past supported by exhibits that include replicas of the three ships that arrived at Jamestown in 1607. Here you will also view replicas of the Powhatan Indian Village and the James Fort.
Next up is a stop at a beautiful indoor gallery that weaves together the ethnic groups who have contributed so much to create today's Virginia and United States with artwork form Native Americans, Europeans and African Americans.
Enjoy lunch at the Jamestown Settlement Café while participating in a hands-on legacy learning experience with some free time after lunch to enjoy the area. Re-boarding your motor coach for the beautiful drive along Colonial Parkway built during the Depression by WPA workers connecting Williamsburg, Yorktown and Jamestown. This historical road winds along beside the James and York Rivers. The Parkway continues to remain free of commercial traffic and signage reminiscent of the road that the early colonists would have taken in the 1700's.
Next, visit the beautiful new American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. Through comprehensive, immersive indoor exhibits and outdoor living history, the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown offers a truly national perspective, conveying a sense of the transformational nature and epic scale of the Revolution. Guest will enjoy a guided tour followed by free time to further explore exhibits or at their leisure.
Finally, you will take a riding tour through the quaint village of Yorktown passing the Revolutionary War Battlefields, the oldest custom House in the United States, Grace Episcopal Church built in 1697 and the charming historic homes in this community founded in the late 1600's. This visit will also take you past Surrender Field, where General Cornwallis surrendered to General George Washington in 1781.
Sit back, relax and enjoy the 1-hour journey back to the pier.
Travel to a nearby Virginia State park to will kayak the tranquil waters and witness the beauty of this unique tidal environment in a way that few ever experience. On this small-group, guided kayak tour, your guide will lead you past awe-inspiring views and native wildlife such as: Herons, Egrets, Kingfishers, Ospreys, sometimes even Dolphins and bald eagles on occasion. Paddle for 2 hours under majestic oaks covered in Spanish Moss until you reach Eagle Point, one of the tallest dunes in Virginia Beach. Here you will be greeted with a breathtaking view across White Lake and the marshes of First Landing. Your guide will touch on some local history as well as any local wildlife you may encounter.
Head back and prepare for a short 30 min ride to the pier.
Get to know Norfolk on a leisurely two-hour guided walking tour. See public buildings that feature a variety of architectural styles and unique public art while learning the history of this bustling seaport city. Recent years have seen a renaissance in downtown Norfolk with the addition of a state of the art cruise and celebration centre, numerous Chefs owned and operated restaurants, vibrant arts district and renovated waterfront area.
Begin your walk at Nauticus, an innovative museum that's part science centre, aquarium and interactive museum. From here you'll pass by the mighty U.S.S. Wisconsin, the largest and last battleship built by the U.S. Navy and has seen service in World War II, the Korean War and the Persian Gulf War.
Nearby is the ornate Taiwanese Pagoda, a gift from the Republic of China in 1983 which features exquisitely manicured grounds and gardens on a one acre plot. Then, you'll walk to the quaint Freemason area, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and recently named one of America's Top Ten Neighbourhoods. As you walk along its tree lined cobblestone streets you'll see many beautiful pre-Civil War structures that date back to the 1790s. Learn about the history of this charming seaport as your guide shares local legends, folklore and stories.
Crossing in to downtown proper, walk by St. Paul's Church, Norfolk's oldest building, and The Moses Myers House, one of the first brick homes built after the Revolutionary War. Pass by the General Douglas MacArthur Memorial, final resting place of the general and Mrs. MacArthur and regarded as one of the finest military museums in the country.
See unique public art throughout downtown and learn about the country's smallest light rail transit system, The Tide.
Your walking adventure will conclude at the Pier or you may stay downtown and walk back to your ship.
Please Note: This tour requires a moderate amount of walking for approximately 2414 metres (1.5 miles) sometimes over cobblestones. This tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or those who utilise a wheelchair. We recommend guests wear weather appropriate clothing, comfortable closed toes shoes, a light jacket and bring bottled water from the ship
Board the motor coach with your tour guide to the Norfolk Botanical Garden, hosting 175-acres of colorful landscapes, 52 distinctive themed gardens, 95 species of birds and 30 kinds of butterflies. The garden also features one of the largest collections of Azaleas, Camellias, Roses and Rhododendrons on the East Coast.
Visit the Hermitage Museum and Gardens nestled on 12 beautifully landscaped acres alongside the picturesque Lafayette River. This Tudor-style mansion was built in 1908 and features an outstanding collection of Eastern and Western art. The museum's collections are displayed in a unique home-like setting and represent the arts of America, England, France, Italy, Persia, Russia, Spain, and the Far East. Included in the collection are paintings, sculptures, ivories, ritual bronzes, jade, Oriental rugs, tapestries, laces, embroidery, and furniture. The docent guided tour gives visitors a sense of the life and artistic interests of a wealthy family during the first half of the 20th century.Since the early 1920s, the home's 12 acres have served as a unique landscape for wildlife, nature and semi-formal gardens.
Following departure from the Hermitage, learn about Norfolk's colorful history of over three centuries as you ride through the lovely historic district and restored areas with your tour guide pointing out areas of interest along the way. View the stately homes along the Hague, old St. Paul's Church, Moses Myers House, Chrysler Museum of Art, MacArthur Memorial, historic Freemason District, Nauticus, a maritime center, Battleship Wisconsin and the restored waterfront area. Downtown Norfolk has undergone a complete transformation in the last decade and features the beautifully renovated Town Point Park with the Armed Forces memorial.
Before returning to the pier, enjoy a stop at Doumar's, home of the world's first ice cream cone machine. Abe Doumar created the first ice cream cone at the World's Fair of 1904 in St. Louis. It was so successful that he designed a four-iron waffle machine that he launched during the Jamestown Exposition of 1907. Today, the family business still bakes cones on the original cone machine.
While at Doumar's, you will be treated to a fresh baked waffle cone with choice of ice cream flavor before embarking on the bus for a 30 minute drive to the pier.
Discover the ocean side city of Virginia Beach and the Military Aviation museum on this half day excursion.
Military Aviation Museum
Depart the pier with your tour guide and head to the nearby ocean side city of Virginia Beach! Your first stop is a visit to the Military Aviation Museum, one of Virginia Beach's most revered attractions. The museum is home to one of the largest private collections of World War II and Korean War era fighters, bombers, trainers and seaplanes in the world. Many aircraft have been fully restored to their World War II condition and are used for flight demonstration, movie production or commercials. Enjoy a guided tour of the galleries and shopping in the gift shop which is stocked with all things flight related.
Ocean Side Virginia Beach
Next, enjoy beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay as you learn about the history of Virginia's largest city and get the pulse on current day in Virginia Beach. Ride down the resort strip; see the historic Cavalier Hotel as well as the Tidewater Veterans Memorial, a unique structure which pays homage to veterans everywhere.
See the First Landing Cross at Cape Henry where the English colonists first came ashore in 1607 prior to settling at nearby Jamestown. Walk out on the overlook to see where the bay and the ocean meet, and where the famous Battle of the Capes took place during the Revolutionary War. Enjoy a stop at the Old Cape Henry Lighthouse, built in 1792, this lighthouse was active until the late 1800's and is currently a Virginia Historic Landmark. Guests may choose to climb to the top of the Lighthouse or shop in the gift shop for all things Lighthouse related.
Please Note: This tour requires a minimal to moderate amount of walking mostly at guest's discretion. This tour is suitable for guests with limited mobility and those who utilise a wheelchair however guests must be able to get in/out of the vehicle on their own or with the assistance of their travelling companion. The lighthouse is not handicap accessible and requires 5 steps to enter and 191 steps to reach the top. There is a lift to reach the Military Museum's second floor. We recommend guests wear weather appropriate clothing, comfortable walking shoes, and a light jacket and bring water from the ship. There is a gift shop at the Lighthouse and Aviation Museum. Credit cards and USD cash are accepted.
Depart via motor coach for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation Campus where you will tour the Brock Environmental Center, one of the world's greenest living buildings. Take an in-depth look at the first commercial building in the U.S. to capture and treat rainwater for drinking and take a taste of the water yourself.
Learn about the magical world of the oyster, one of the Chesapeake Bay's most important natural filters, as you build an oyster cage that will be suspended in local waters. Once you are done building this natural habitat you will also have the opportunity to sample an oyster fresh from the bay. Enjoy lunch at a local seafood restaurant with delicious food and beautiful views.
Next, you will take a driving tour of Virginia Beach to see the First Landing Cross at Cape Henry where the English colonists first came ashore in 1607 prior to settling at nearby Jamestown. Walk out on the overlook to see where the bay and the ocean meet and where the famous Battle of the Capes took place during the Revolutionary War.
Make a final stop at the Old Cape Henry Lighthouse, built in 1792 and active until the late 1800's before returning to the pier.