Welcome to America’s Great Loop, and to Captain John’s Website where you will find your introduction to the safest greatest boating adventure in North America.
In the history of the world few figures have been more envied, more fascinating, or more captivating than the explorer in a boat. Whether you wear a Ballcap, Panama hat or Pith helmet, you will be the explorer on this incredible, epic adventure.
Averaging 2,000-miles longer than the Amazon or Nile rivers, America’s Great Loop is not only an epic adventure; it is the ultimate voyage of freedom, discovery, and achievement. While the average Looper cruises very near 6,000-miles, some Loopers report cruising 7,000-miles or more. In fact, depending on your route and the side trips you can make, your Great Loop voyage could easily exceed both the miles and the months, it took Columbus’ on his first voyage to the Americas. Now that’s epic!
The great news is, cruising America’s Great Loop, you will never be far from land or home. If you live somewhere in the U.S. or Canada in the eastern half of North America, no matter where you are on the Great Loop, you will never be more than minutes from shore an Uber ride, rental car or a flight home. You will always be boating in areas readily accessible by emergency medical personnel and convenient to pharmacies, hospitals, banks, post offices, rental cars, airports, restaurants, museums, and countless number of historic and popular tourist attractions.
Along the way you will cruise by Castles and Cathedrals, Mountains and Marshlands, Giant Cypress trees and Civil War battlefields. You will cruise along rolling hillsides and lush vineyards, Antebellum mansions, century old towns and enchanting riverside Vistas. This voyage will take you through exceptionally beautiful waters with sandy beaches and pink granite freshwater islands populated only by pine trees and maybe a few bears. From hundreds of historic Lighthouses to hundreds more fabulous waterfront restaurants. This is an aquatic highway filled with hidden gems, marvelous adventures, amazing sites, and incredible destinations.
From the East Coast’s Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway and the Outer Banks to the mighty Mississippi and Inland Rivers and Waterways, this voyage will take you in your own boat from the Florida Keys to Canada’s Trent-Severn, North Channel and Georgian Bay, with options of cruising Canada’s fabulous Heritage Canals to Ottawa and Montreal. You will experience Southern hospitality, European charm, exquisite regional cuisine, cobblestone streets and sidewalk cafes; not to mention countless waterfront restaurants, Tiki Bars, and Ice Cream Parlors. This is boating adventure where the destinations you reach are as exciting as the journey. It all makes up magnificent views with such amazing beauty it has inspired countless writers’ musicians, novelists, poets, photographers and a few thousand Loopers before you.
This journey can take your boat as close to the Arctic Circle as the Tropics of the Equator. You can boat from Chicago to the Chattanooga Choo-Choo, and even the Great Smoky Mountains. It is all made safe and possible by a series of connected Inland Rivers, Lakes, Intracoastal Waterways, Manmade Canals, Land Cuts and Locks. In the process, Locks will lift your boat from sea level to a height of almost 1,000-feet above it and back down again.
Instead of taking you miles away from shore into the deep blue sea, this incredible adventure might take you along the shoreline through 20 U.S. States or more, with the option of cruising through two great Provinces of Canada. As epic as this boating adventure is, greater still are the immeasurable sights, sounds, and destinations along the way. Many of which are only reachable by boat.
You will cruise through all the defining moments of America’s history. America’s Great Loop’s main route will take you through 9 of the original 13 Colonies with the opinion of cruising all 13 colonies. From lighthouses older than America, to historic places, you will discover rich and fascinating cultures with postcard-perfect landscapes. You will cruise by numerous big and lively cities, notable small towns, quaint little fishing villages and hidden destinations that present you with an unlimited number of tempting places with friendly natives offering scrumptious regional foods, unique one-of-a-kind shopping, and charming waterfront attractions.
Possibly the Greeks said it best when they first described the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. They used the word “theamata” which translates best into English as “must see, must experience”. This is where Loopers discovered the road less traveled isn’t a road but a waterway. It is proof positive America the beautiful is even more beautiful when seen from the water.
Baby Boomers make up the majority of Loopers and many have made it their permanent method of retirement. Current estimates indicate over 300 boaters a year are making all or part of this voyage. The vast majority are making this journey in vessels between 26′ and 39′ with the average size being very near 36-feet. The most popular vessels for cruising the Loop are recreational Trawlers, Tugs, Sailboats, Cabin Cruisers and even Cuddy Cabins. Not that we would advise it, this voyage has been completed by some ‘adventurous types in everything from jet-skis, customized pontoon boats, open bow boats and center consoles.
Understandably, most vessels cruising the Loop are at least semi-comfortable to live aboard. They can be new or used, sail or power, and equipped with fresh water, cooking appliances, sleeping quarters, refrigeration, marine toilets & showers. Some vessels have central air & heat, and some even have clothes washers, dryers, and a dishwasher.
By far, most Loopers are cruising in practical boats on affordable budgets. While you might meet a Looper in brand new Flagship vessel over 40 feet, most of us are cruising in safe, suitable, humble vessels purchased on the used market.
Looper’s previous boating experience varies greatly. For most, cruising America’s Great Loop is the Looper’s very first long-distance boating adventure. It is most often the boaters first time to cruise through unknown and unfamiliar waters. While some have boating experience on either inland lakes, rivers, or tidal waters, very few have experienced them all. Many more have never been through a Lock, under Lift Bridge or in tidal waters. This makes cruising the Loop full of brand-new experiences for most of us.
On America’s Great Loop, the natives are friendly, their food is fantastic, and this is where you will discover your most indulgent luxury is time. You will want to spend as much of it as possible cruising America’s Great Loop.