Inspired by her own kids' love for all things pirate-related, a local mother founded Urban Pirates in 2008. The swashbuckling crew whisks families on one-hour voyages around the Baltimore Inner Harbor in the 52-foot ship Fearless, regaling them with songs, games, and activities. But the passengers aren't mere spectators—they become real members of the crew, donning pirate costumes complete with drawn tattoos and drawn facial hair and manning water cannons to help protect the ship when it's stormed by rival pirates.
The charismatic buccaneers can also personalize their charters, whether by distributing eye patches and other goodies to birthday-party guests, hosting on-the-water weddings, or guiding corporate groups through team-building exercises. On evening adult cruises, they even encourage patrons to bring their own grog from home. And, though the Fearless stays moored for the winter, the crew hardly abandons their mission to spark young imaginations. Rather than take to the sea, they visit Baltimore libraries and put on free pirate-themed story events that also incorporate games and songs.