The backstories of most famous pirates are filled with ruthless deeds and dangerous raids. Inspired by their own kids' love for all things pirate-related, two mothers founded Urban Pirates. The swashbuckling crew whisks families on one-hour voyages around the Baltimore Inner Harbor in the 52-foot ship Fearless, regaling them with maritime 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 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, such as teaching a parrot to say "profits are up!" 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.