Plan Your Family's Trip to Jekyll Island Ga via Intra-Coastal Waterway

If you're looking for a relaxing change of pace on your trip to Jekyll Island Ga, and if you own a cruising-type vessel, just go with the flow - consider making a cruise down the Intra-coastal Waterway a part of your Jekyll Island Family Adventure.

The Intra-coastal Waterway (sometimes informally called "The Ditch") is a 3000 mile long interweaving network of bays, salt water rivers, sounds, natural inlets and constructed canals which enable recreational cruisers and commercial ship traffic to travel a safe passage away from the sometimes fickle Atlantic Ocean - or the Gulf of Mexico.

Atlantic Intra-coastal Waterway to Jekyll Island Ga

There are two "legs" to the Intra-coastal Waterway. One, the Gulf Intra-coastal Waterway, runs from Florida to Brownsville, Texas. The other (and the one that will take you to Jekyll Island from those cold, unforgiving northern climes) is the Atlantic Intra-coastal Waterway, which meanders from Norfolk, Virginia, to Key West, Florida.

To Jekyll Island Ga from Way, Way North!

However, additional waterways not officially part of the Intra-coastal Waterway connect Norfolk with points north all the way to the Manasquan River in New Jersey.

If you want to go even further, this entire network of interconnected waterways extending the length of the Eastern Seaboard is part of the Great Loop - an adventure in itself.

Traveling the Atlantic Intra-coastal Waterway is toll-free for recreational voyagers. It's a safe, family-friendly water adventure. For the most part, it's a sheltered passage, although a few sections (like the run across Albemarle Sound), might get a little hairy with weather.

The entire waterway was mandated by Federal law to be a minimum depth of 12', but funding for maintenance was sparse; parts of The Ditch are only 7' to 9' deep. So make sure your boat's draft is adequate, or you'll (embarrassingly) find yourself aground.

Try explaining that to your spouse!

Planning Your Watery Journey to Jekyll Island Ga

If you plan to travel the Intra-coastal Waterway, think ahead. Get the latest Intra-coastal Waterway maps and nautical charts, and study them. Make note of marinas on your route, where fuel docks are located, and dining spots. Also know where you can re-supply with groceries and other family needs. Pin-pointing pump-out stations is also a good idea.

Knowing these things ahead of time will lead to peace of mind and a more relaxing, enjoyable passage. Hey, this is supposed to be fun, remember?

Another thing to think about that some of us don't consider until it's too late - your vessel's vertical clearance height. Bridges are supposed to have a maximum clearance of 65', but some were built slightly low. If your boat is taller than 62', beware! You could run into more than just another embarrassing situation.

You might consider drafting a tentative "day plan" for each day you'll be on the Waterway. Don't get hung up on this - this is a vacation, after all. But you need to do that "Captain" thing (hey, you're in charge of this tub, aren't you?) so take a few minutes to study your charts and plot your course. This little bit of insurance makes for a good night's sleep.

Build your plan around bridge opening times, fuel stops, and marina accessibility - and develop contingency plans and alternatives. Know where you'll stop each night, and try to build in some time for unforeseen delays. Murphy's Law rears it's ugly head at the most inappropriate times.

Prepare with safety in mind, and you'll soon be sailing into Jekyll Harbor Marina, eager to start your Jekyll Island Family Adventure.

Cruise to Jekyll Island Ga in Style!

Don't have a boat? You can still travel the Intra-coastal Waterway via small cruise ship.

American Cruise Lines is a leader in small-ship cruising, and offers the Historic South and Golden Isles Cruise. This scenic cruise visits ports-of-call in Charleston and Beaufort, S.C., Hilton Head, S.C., Savannah and Sapelo Island, Ga., St. Simons and Jekyll Island Ga, and Amelia Island, Fl.

Imagine you're a son or daughter of the Old South, sipping a mint julep and surveying your domain from the deck of your very own vessel. You'll cruise in style aboard one of American Cruise Lines ships:  Independence, American Star or American Constellation, relaxing in some of the most spacious, elegant staterooms in the industry. Ahhh, the luxury! There's no finer way to experience the Golden Isles!

To book an Historic South and Golden Isles Cruise, contact 1-800-460-4518.

If you want your journey to Jekyll Island Ga to be as memorable as your stay there, look into traveling the Intra-coastal Waterway. Whether by your own vessel or small cruise ship, the Intra-coastal Waterway passage will surprise and delight you. And if nothing else, your kids will get a different perspective of what coastal life is like - a "watery" perspective!

Cruise On Back to Jekyll Journey from Jekyll Island Ga