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Fort Sumter questions

naperville, illinois
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1,598 posts
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Fort Sumter questions

After looking at the authorized tour operator/tour boat for Fort Sumter, I am unsure if it is possible to just obtain transportation only from them and then walk around the fort on our own, or is this not possible? From what I saw, there is a 30 minute narrated cruise going to the fort, then you are met by a park ranger for a one hour tour/visit to the gift shop and then back on the boat. Is there any option to tour on your own, and then return when you wish, or do you have to adhere to a set schedule to/from the fort? I understand the value of having the park ranger guide you, but what if we wanted to linger longer?

Thanks!

Charleston, South...
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for Charleston, South Carolina, Telluride
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1. Re: Fort Sumter questions

As far as I am aware, no, that is not possible. The fort is mostly in ruins.

Charleston, South...
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2. Re: Fort Sumter questions

Fort Sumter is very small, self-contained on a small island. From the boat, everyone goes thru the sallyport into the fort. A ranger meets the group, and conducts a 15-minute talk. Then roam around the fort by yourself. Interpretive signs everywhere, rangers easy to find and very well-informed. You can absolutely skip the group talk. Either way, the group is not led thru the fort by a guide.

Most people find an hour at Fort Sumter more than ample. If you're extremely into it, there's an alternative. Boats leave from Patriots Point and from Liberty Square (downtown next to the Aquarium) on a staggered schedule. When you're at the fort, they give 10 & 5 minute warnings before departure. Hide in a back corner, miss the boat, spend another hour at the fort and leave on the next boat. They don't check tickets for the return because you couldn't have gotten out there except on their boat. The catch: it's a staggered schedule, so if you started downtown and miss the return, the next boat will take you to Patriots Point. You'll have to wait another half-hour or so to get the Harbor Ferry (and pay for it) to will take you back to Liberty Square. I've done it.

Edited: 7:37 pm, April 09, 2014
naperville, illinois
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1,598 posts
111 reviews
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3. Re: Fort Sumter questions

Great information! This is just what I needed to know.

Thanks!

4. Re: Fort Sumter questions

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