Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Science Under Sail

The schooner Alliance in the York River.

This unique partnership between the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) and Yorktown Sailing Charters LLC allows paid guests to learn about Chesapeake Bay and its marine life from VIMS researchers during 2-hour Wednesday afternoon cruises on the York River aboard the 105-foot schooner Alliance.

For details, reservations, and pricing, visit

Spring 2015 Schedule
May 6: Drifters and Jellies

Graduate students Brandon Conroy and Josh Stone will collect zooplankton to discuss the wonderful variety of Bay "drifters" and the important role these creatures play in marine ecology and food webs.

May 13: Trash Talk

Come chat with researcher Dave Stanhope of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science as he discusses marine debris – from lost crab pots to plastic microbeads, and learn how scientists are working toward practical solutions.

May 20: Fishes near and far

Graduate student Mark Stratton of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science will cast a net to see what's swimming beneath the Alliance. Learn how fish are preserved and catalogued as you participate in a "show and tell" of preserved fishes from places near and far.

May 27: Shifting Sands

Join Dr. Grace Cartwright of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science as she explains how sand, silt, and rocks move around our rivers and oceans. You’ll also get an up-close look at scientific tools used for this research.