Floating bed and breakfasts are the chance for your own personal cruise ships

“Aqua camping” is growing in popularity along the Eastern Seaboard.

This summer, exercise your sea legs.

Through sailboat charters and houseboats, you can stay at a bed-and-breakfast that’s not just near the water, but on the water.

Missy Mellor, who recently launched her sailboat charter company Little Dutch, out of East Hampton, dubs the trend “aqua camping.”

“My boat’s beautiful, it’s very comfortable, but it’s not one of these yachts with four-crew members,” said Mellor. “It’s asking people to be involved in their vacation a little bit.”

Little Dutch joins a growing community of these floating bed and breakfasts on the Eastern seaboard.

“I think sailing charters are becoming big,” said Susan Brooks Stephenson, who’s going into her seventh season operating her companies A Bed and Breakfast Afloat, and Sea Witch Sailing Charters, out of Martha’s Vineyard. “It’s like your own personal cruise ship.”

If you’re looking to stay on the sea, here’s what’s available in nearby waters:



Little Dutch Sailing Charters Littledutchsailing.com

Captain Missy Mellor, a certified U.S. Coast Guard captain and trans-Atlantic sailor, founded this floating bed-and-breakfast this year. Learn how to sail, or just relax on the deck, on a weekend charter. If you want to stretch your sea legs, guests can be brought ashore in a dinghy to visit beaches, restaurants and shops.

Serving: The Hamptons, North Fork and Shelter Island

Stays: Weekend or weeklong (half-day, full-day and sunset sails also available)

Boat: Whitby 42 sailboat

Accommodates: Up to four

Potential sights: Coecles Harbor in Shelter Island, Fishers Island in Long Island Sound, and Three Mile Harbor in East Hampton; longer tips to Block Island, Rhode Island, and Cuttyhunk and Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, can also be arranged.

Season: May through mid-October

Rates: $1,250 per person for weekend charters (includes meals)



A Bed and Breakfast Afloat Abedandbreakfastafloat.com

Get the sailboat experience without braving the waters with this floating bed and breakfast. The boat stays docked in a marina, so you can come and go as you please, exploring downtown Oak Bluffs or watching the sunset from the deck.

Serving: Martha’s Vineyard

Stays: Two-seven nights

Boat: 40-ft. Island Cutter Sailboat

Accommodates: Up to four

Potential sights: Explore Martha’s Vineyard while docked at the Oak Bluffs Marina.

Season: June through October

Rates: Starting at $275 per night for two, $350 per night for four (two-night minimum stay, three during holiday weekends)

Sea Witch Sailing Charters Seawitchsailingcharters.com

Book your own personal cruise ship with this sailing charter, run by the same people behind A Bed and Breakfast Afloat. During the summer, you can find it in and around Martha’s Vineyard.

Serving: Falmouth Heights, Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard

Stays: Weekend or weeklong (two-, four-, 8-hour, sunset, lunch and dinner cruises also available)

Boat: 58-ft. LOA Pearson Ketch Cutter

Accommodates: Up to four

Potential sights: Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, the Elizabeth Islands, Cutty Hunk and Hyannis/Chatham Cape Cod

Season: Mid-June through mid-September

Rates: $7,950 for two, $9,950 for four for seven nights

Outer Cape Sailing Outercapesailing.com

Explore Nantucket Sound with a licensed captain with the 10-year-old Outer Cape Sailing. If you’re itching to learn yourself, the company also offers lessons.

Serving: Nantucket Sound

Stays: Overnight (with a licensed captain)

Boat: 27-ft. Catalina-New Bedford, 35-ft. Catalina 350-Cataumet

Accommodates: Up to four on Catalina 27; up to six on Catalina 35

Potential sights: Buzzard’s Bay, Nantucket Sound, to Martha’s Vineyard/Nantucket and the Elizabeth Islands

Season: June 15 through Labor Day

Rates: $900 for two-night charter on Catalina 27; $1,260 for two-night charter on Catalina 35



Golden Slipper Bnbafloat.com

A pioneer of “aqua camping,” this floating bed and breakfast is docked in Lewis Wharf, so you can come and go as you please, as well as explore Boston Harbor during a day or sunset cruise.

Serving: Boston Harbor

Stays: Overnight to weekly

Boat: 40-ft. Catalina Chris Craft

Accommodates: Up to six nightly, five weekly

Potential sights: Boston Harbor islands

Season: May to October 31

Rates: Starting at $225 a night



Finger Lakes Water Adventures Fingerlakeswateradventures.com

Explore the Erie Canal from a luxurious houseboat. Many come equipped with a full kitchen, bar, outdoor grill, patio or even hot tub, so you can spend the week exploring the Finger Lakes or stay docked lakeside and check out local attractions, such as the Finger Lakes Wine Trail.

Serving: Seneca Lake

Stays: Weekly

Boat: Houseboat

Accommodates: Up to 10

Potential sights: Seneca Falls, Cayuga Lake, Clyde, Fairport, Lyons

Season: June to mid-October

Rates: $4,450

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