Ahoy Matey! Pirate Cruises That NJ Kids (and Parents) Will Love

Kids follow a treasure map, dress up and have a lot of fun aboard pirate ship adventure cruises at the Shore.

Young adventurers aboard Pirate Adventures Jersey Shore
Young adventurers aboard Pirate Adventures Jersey Shore cruises are given a map to find a hidden treasure. Photo: R.C. Staab

Each summer, from Ocean City to Wildwood Crest, Beach Haven to Brick, young pirates are being recruited, swearing oaths, and shooting water cannons at dastardly foes who have absconded with their treasures.

Take, for example, the parents and grandparents who are lured by the sign that brazenly reads “Pirate Adventures” on the banks of the Metedeconk River in Brick. Here, kids are enlisted in a 75-minute adventure aboard the Sea Gypsy II, which holds up to 43 passengers. Adults are encouraged to attend, mostly as an audience for the crew’s corny pirate puns.

After paying an enlisting fee to Pirate Adventures Jersey Shore that starts at around $30, the children are given pirate nicknames, and their arms and faces are painted with tattoos by the crew.

pirate boat

Photo: R.C. Staab

As new recruits, the group walks under a sign that reads “Walk the Plank,” and they head to the ship, where they all take the oath to become official pirates, mostly to remind kids to keep both feet on the deck and to share water cannons with their mates.

Aided by a treasure map that looks like a beach towel, the newly initiated pirates set sail to discover a secret message in a bottle: Pirate Pete has stolen the keys to the treasure. They hunt down Pirate Pete, who is, shamefully (for a pirate), wearing a life jacket and goggles. The young pirates grab water cannons, defeat Pete, take his key to a treasure, find and hoist the treasure chest filled with gold coins, and share in the spoils of their victory by drinking Pete’s Grog (aka iced tea).

Snack time and naps await, so back to shore and into the minivans they go, having made more memories than can be garnered on any amusement park ride.

Pirate Adventures Jersey Shore, under the ownership of Jessica and Rob Corring, has been sailing from Brick for 15 years.

Unsurprisingly, there is jostling among the pirate captains about who first brought pirates back to the Shore. Joel Richard, owner of Pirate Voyages in Ocean City, boasts that he was the first to build and run a pirate ship, the Sea Dragon, off the coast. Describing his adventure “like a play on the water,” Richard jokes that he employs a script “handed down over generations of pirate-tour-boat operators.”

[RELATED: One Thing You Must Do in Every Shore Town]

Other pirate experiences include Dark Star Pirate Cruises in Wildwood Crest and Black Pearl Pirate Tours on Long Beach Island.

Most adventures are designed for kids aged 3-10 are offered several times a day through at least Labor Day.

Private charters and sunset cruises with real grog are available for adults through some of these companies.

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