Chart Your Course: Top Boating Adventures for Your Bucket List!
Date Posted: April 18, 2023
Source: Staff Report

In honor of National Bucket List Day on April 24th, we've put together the ultimate bucket list for cruisers! Add these exciting boating adventures to your list.



The Bahamas Loop

The Bahamas Loop is an adventurous route that takes boaters on a journey through beautiful islands in the Bahamas. This unique route allows boaters to experience all major cruising spots without ever having to backtrack, making it a popular choice for those looking to explore as much as possible. You'll enjoy crystal-clear waters, pristine beaches, and vibrant coral reefs teeming with colorful marine life. The timeline for this cruising adventure can range from 4 to 6 months, depending on your preferred pace. Learn more about this loop here.

Purchase the Waterway Guide Bahamas 2023 Edition or a Print + Digital Subscription to help you navigate The Bahamas Loop.



The Albemarle Loop

The Albemarle Loop is a charming and scenic mini loop that links marinas and waterfront towns from Manteo to the Albemarle Sound. Originally established through joint tourism marketing efforts, this 200-mile journey covering 450 square miles of water is a perfect small summer adventure that offers a glimpse into the rich culture and natural beauty of the region.

Along the way, you'll experience a diverse range of experiences, from small towns throwing big festivals to breathtaking views of the Dismal Swamp. Learn more about The Albemarle Loop's member marinas and upcoming events at

Purchase the Waterway Guide Atlantic ICW 2023 Edition or a Print + Digital Subscription to help you navigate The Albemarle Loop.



The Chesapeake Bay Loop

The Chesapeake Bay Loop is a boating adventure offering a 400-mile journey around the Chesapeake Bay from Norfolk, Virginia, to Rock Hall, Maryland, and back without crossing your own wake. This incredible route allows you to explore one of the largest tributaries in the United States, surrounded by Maryland, Virginia, and the Eastern Shore, and experience all the natural beauty and cultural richness of the region.

While the Chesapeake Bay can get rough at times and put you at odds with weather systems, the good news is that you can dodge, skip, hunker down, and gunkhole your way to adventure and comfort if you pay attention to the weather and tides and plan accordingly. 

The Chesapeake Bay Loop offers the perfect opportunity to put your boating skills to the test while exploring some of the best boating regions in the United States. With a 3 to 4-week itinerary, you can enjoy the journey and soak in all the natural beauty, history, and culture of the region, from quaint waterfront towns to bustling cities, historic landmarks to scenic vistas. Learn more about The Chesapeake Bay Loop, here.

Purchase the Waterway Guide Chesapeake Bay 2023 Edition or a Print + Digital Subscription to help you navigate The Chesapeake Bay Loop.




The Triangle Loop

The Triangle Loop is a less demanding route compared to The Great Loop, but no less exciting and adventurous for cruisers. On this loop, you'll cruise in U.S. and Canadian waters, so have your passport and appropriate boat papers ready. 

Over the course of 4 to 6 months, you'll embark on a clockwise journey from the Hudson River to Lake Ontario, traveling north through Montreal and Sorel before circling back to Troy, NY. Along the way, you'll navigate through 99 locks, 7 rivers, and 4 lakes, taking in some of the most picturesque scenery in this northern boating region.

The Triangle Loop is not just a great adventure in its own right, it's also an ideal practice round for those who dream of tackling The Great Loop in the future. Even if you're already planning to take on The Great Loop this year, the Triangle Loop is a fantastic side trip that will give you an even greater appreciation for the beauty and diversity of the waterways of North America.

Learn more about The Triangle Loop, here.

Purchase the Waterway Guide Great Lakes, Volume 1 or a Print + Digital Subscription to help you navigate The Triangle Loop.


The Great Loop

The Great Loop is not only one of the most iconic boating routes in North America, but also in the world. It's a journey that takes you through the heart of America, revealing the diverse cultures, history, and beauty of the eastern part of the continent.

The 6,000-mile boating adventure starts in Chicago and traverses the Great Lakes, cruises down the historic inland rivers of America's heartland, then meanders down the scenic Intracoastal Waterway before finishing up in Florida. From there, you'll head back up the eastern seaboard and up the Hudson River before returning to your starting point in Chicago.

The Great Loop can take anywhere from 6 months to a year to complete, depending on your pace and itinerary. It's a trip that requires careful planning, as you'll need to navigate through a range of waterways, locks, and bridges, and deal with constantly changing weather conditions.

It's a journey that will test your skills as a boater, and reward you with memories that will last a lifetime. Whether you're an experienced sailor or a first-time boater, the Great Loop is an adventure that should be on every boater's bucket list. Learn more about the boating adventure of a lifetime from the folks at the America's Great Loop Cruisers' Association

Shop the Ship Store for Print Guides & Print + Digital Subscriptions to help you navigate The Great Loop.


Whether you're an experienced boater looking for your next big adventure, or a newbie looking to explore new waterways, these boating adventures are sure to make your bucket list. From the crystal-clear waters of the Bahamas to the historic rivers of the heartland, these routes offer a diverse range of experiences that will thrill and inspire any boater. So, start planning your next big adventure and get ready to cross some of the world's most iconic boating routes off your bucket list!

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