Visit Baltimore Launches New Signature Experiential Program for Group Tours

Friday, January 9, 2015 - 10:45am


BALTIMORE (January 9, 2014) – Visit Baltimore today announced the launch of the organization’s new experiential program – a collection of 14 immersive and behind-the-scenes tours designed for groups. 

The launch of this new program provides group tour operators with a menu of 14 new products to offer customers who are either returning to Baltimore or visiting the city for the first time. Activities range from the art of Neapolitan pizza making and the science of wine to a journey into the beginnings of the American railroad and an investigation into the life and legacy of Edgar Allan Poe. 

Group tours returning to Baltimore can experience the city’s top attractions from a new and different perspective. Groups who are visiting Baltimore for the first time will get to know the city by uncovering truly unique and memorable experiences. 

“After our successful tourism year that included the War of 1812 Bicentennial celebration in September, we wanted to introduce new programs to showcase our wealth of attractions and museums to new and returning visitors,” said Tom Noonan, president and CEO of Visit Baltimore. “We look forward to offering customizable experiences that are easy for group tour operators to plan and book and for their guests to enjoy.”

Visit Baltimore worked with experiential tourism expert Joe Veneto of Opportunities Unlimited to develop the experiences, from scripting, staging and testing the experiences to the training of all staff and volunteers. Each new experience was specifically designed to accommodate group tours of various sizes and price ranges, including motorcoaches and family reunions.  

“Baltimore has an incredible richness of historical, cultural and iconic attractions that contribute to the overall flavor of the city,” said Veneto. “These new experiential offerings get you beneath the surface, behind-the-scenes and hands-on to discover Baltimore’s story.” 

Visit Baltimore’s new signature experiences include the following: 

Signature Experiences at the National Aquarium

The National Aquarium offers groups three opportunities for experiential tours.

Veterinarian Tour 

Groups can take the “Veterinarian Tour,” a behind-the-scenes tour led by a staff veterinarian where guests learn firsthand how aquarium vets provide medical care to animals. 

Price: $55 per person 

Minimum: 2

Maximum: 10 

Duration: 75 minutes 

Dolphins 101: The Art of Teaching Dolphins 

In “Dolphins 101,” guests join the aquarium for an exclusive teaching session with its dolphins before the building opens to the public. 

Price: $45 per person 

Minimum: 10 

Maximum: 200 

Duration: 90 minutes 

Insider’s Tour

In the aquarium’s “Insider’s Tour,” get a head start and see some of its most popular exhibits, including the newest exhibit, Blacktip Reef, before doors open to the public. 

Price: $60 per person 

Minimum: 2

Maximum: 70

Duration: 2.5 hours 

Signature Experiences at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine

Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine offers groups two opportunities for experiential tours. 

War in the Chesapeake – The Key Story! 

During “The Key Story!” at Fort McHenry, participants learn about the soldiers, sailors and regular citizens who became the unsung heroes of the War of 1812. 

Price: $7 per person; groups of children under 16 are free 

Minimum: 20

Maximum: 60 

Duration: 45 minutes 

Note: Student group tours should visit http://nps.gov/fomc for specific information. 

Broad Stripes and Bright Stars: The Flag Talk 

During the interactive “Flag Talk,” participants join a National Park Service ranger in unrolling the 30-by-42-foot replica Star-Spangled Banner flag on the site where it flew 200 years ago. 

Price: $7 per person, groups of children under 16 are free 

Minimum: 20

Maximum: 100 

Duration: 45 minutes 

Note: Student group tours should visit http://nps.gov/fomc for specific information. 

Signature Experiences at Terrapin Adventures

Terrapin Adventures offers groups three opportunities for experiential tours. 

Team-Building Adventure Package

Put your teamwork skills to the ultimate test with the “Team-Building Adventure Package.” After some icebreaker activities, participants are divided into groups of approximately 12-15 team members and led through a series of low ropes course challenges – mentally and physically stimulating games and exercises, no more than two feet off the ground, that are meant to develop trust and improve communication. 

Price: $99 per person 

Minimum: 10

Maximum: 150 

Duration: 4 hours

High Ropes Adventure Challenge

Soar through the air and defy gravity! The “High Ropes Adventure Challenge” course features three levels of physical, strategic fun. Test your skills and challenge yourself as you traverse your way across obstacles like the Burma Bridge, Wobbly Log, Cargo Net, Vine Walk and more. 

Price: $49 per person 

Minimum: 10

Maximum: 30

Duration: 2 hours 

Escapade Party Package

During the “Escapade” experience, guests enjoy a series of fun, hands-on games and activities and two low ropes course elements, all of which are full of high-energy fun. Work with teammates to get everyone through a human-sized spider web, test balancing skills on the Wild Woozy, figure out how to operate the Flying Carpet or try to get everyone on the giant Teeter Totter. Afterward, experience one of two thrill challenges, either the zip line or giant swing. 

Price: $30 per person 

Minimum: 10

Maximum: 40 

Duration: 2 hours 

Additional Baltimore Signature Experiences

In Full Glory Reflected: Maryland in the War of 1812

The “In Full Glory Reflected: Maryland in the War of 1812” experience at the Maryland Historical Society teaches participants about the heroes and symbols that emerged during the War of 1812. Travel back in time 200 years and explore the area where the war was fought; hear gripping stories of devastating raids, heroic defense, gallant privateers, fugitive slaves and threatened lands; and see firsthand one of America’s greatest national treasures – the original manuscript of Francis Scott Key’s “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Price: $20 per person 

Minimum: 10

Maximum: 20

Duration: 90 minutes 

America Transformed: A Journey from Roads to Rails 

At the B&O Railroad Museum, groups can journey back to 1827 to see how a small group of Baltimore businessmen came together to fund a new type of transportation – the American railroad in “America Transformed: A Journey from Roads to Rails.” The highlight of this experience is a behind-the-scenes tour of the B&O Office Car #908, a private rail car that was used by railroad executives, businessmen and even former U.S. presidents. 

Price: $21 per person

Minimum: 10 

Maximum: 50 

Duration: 90 minutes 

Edgar Allan Poe: His Life, Literature and Legacy 

Discover the secrets of Edgar Allan Poe’s life in Baltimore at the Enoch Pratt Free Library and the Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum. Participants get an exclusive look at the library’s exciting Poe collection, which features rarely seen artifacts. Next, travel to the Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum, an important National Historic Landmark where Poe lived in the 1830s, to walk on the same floors and stairs as Poe and see more one-of-a-kind artifacts.

Price: $21 per person 

Minimum: 10 

Maximum: 15

        Duration: 2 hours 

Science of Wine Uncorked 

In “Science of Wine Uncorked” at the Maryland Science Center, novices and connoisseurs alike learn the basics of wine production and consumption. The interactive program includes a sit-down learning session, tasting and time for the group to socialize. 

Price: $49 per person 

Minimum: 40

Maximum: 80

Duration: 2 hours 

Ms. Masie’s Jim Crow Maryland 

At the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture, travel with your guide, Ms. Masie, to immerse yourself in the African American experience. Through dramatic interpretation, discover pivotal moments in history as Ms. Masie leads you on a journey of her memories of Jim Crow Maryland. 

Price: $15 per person, $20 per person with add-on enrichment experience (a genealogy session, Q&A with the actor or a learning session focused on the museum’s hat collection)

Minimum: 15

Maximum: 30 

Duration: 75 minutes, additional hour for add-on enrichment experience 

The Art of Neapolitan Pizza 

At Verde, discover “The Art of Neapolitan Pizza,” a hands-on, interactive group activity where guests feel fresh, fluffy dough; sample house-made mozzarella; and taste at least three different pizza offerings. This experience is a “must” for foodies and pizza fanatics alike! 

Price: $35 per person; option to upgrade to $48 per person (price includes experience and two beer or wine beverages)

Minimum: 20

Maximum: 30 

Duration: 2 hours 

Group Tour Operators may plan and book experiences through Visit Baltimore’s Director of Group Tour Sales Eric Masterton at emasterton@baltimore.org or 410-659-7090. 

To learn more, visit http://baltimore.org/experiential.

About Visit Baltimore

Visit Baltimore is the official sales and marketing organization for Baltimore that generates economic benefits for stakeholders through the attraction of convention, group and leisure visitors. For more information, please visit http://baltimore.org.

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Christina Perry

Public Relations Manager

410-659-7032

cperry@baltimore.org