Norfolk, Virginia offers students an endless array of opportunities to explore, perform, and learn! With a multitude of festivals, internationally acclaimed museums, performing arts and attractions, you will find that no other Mid-Atlantic destination offers students more!
Arrive late afternoon and set sail across the Elizabeth River on the American Rover Sailing Cruise, a passenger operator topsail schooner! This majestic, three-masted tall ship is modeled after the cargo schooners that once sailed the Chesapeake Bay. Tours leave from Downtown Norfolk for a narrated two-hour harbor cruise. Educational classes and DJ cruises are available for student cruises.
End the evening with a live performance with the Virginia Arts Festival. This brings dozens of student-friendly performances to Coastal Virginia. Past performers include Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, Yo-Yo Ma, Dance Theater of Harlem, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Kristin Chenoweth and Renee Fleming.
The Virginia Arts Festival offers student groups customized pre-performance opportunities for choirs, bands, ensembles and dance groups. These opportunities include discussions with artists, directors, producers, masterclasses and workshops and behind-the-scenes immersive learning experiences.
Start the morning off aboard the Victory Rover with a two-hour tour of the world’s largest naval installation, Naval Station Norfolk. Cruise past the vessels that ensure our freedom—destroyers, cruises, submarines, aircraft carriers and more.
Time to perform! Choral, band and instrumental groups are all welcome to perform aboard the Battleship Wisconsin, one of the last and largest battleships built by the U.S. Navy. Feel the excitement of being aboard a historic warship and performing in front of a public audience.
After the performance of a lifetime, it’s time to play at Nauticus. Scientists will lead the groups of students showing them live demonstrations and many great educational programs. The museum features more than 150 exhibits, including computer and video interactive films on a giant screen, exotic aquariums, touch pools, shark petting, and national-caliber traveling exhibits. Then stroll through 200 years of naval history at the Hampton Roads Naval Museum. Students can enjoy lunch at the BB-64 Café.
After lunch, head off to the city of Hampton to visit the Virginia Air and Space Center in Hampton. Learn the history of flight from its inception to the future of our nation’s space programs through interactive, hands-on exhibits. One example is the hands-on laboratory experience, where students prepare for a cross-country flight that will take them on a tour of various NASA research centers.
The music doesn’t stop! Time for dinner and dancing aboard City Cruises by Hornblower. Students can enjoy a nautical setting dancing to live music all while admiring Norfolk’s skyline.
Time to head home, but before you leave, make a stop at the Mariners’ Museum and Park in Newport News. Discover one of the largest international maritime history museums, filled with prized artifacts that celebrate the spirit of seafaring adventure. Explore over 60,000 square feet of gallery space with rare figureheads, handcrafted ship models, USS Monitor artifacts, paintings and much more.