Cumberland Island National Seashore
Cumberland Island National Seashore has announced a special Christmas Tour of the Plum Orchard mansion. Circa 1898, Plum Orchard is one of the homes built on this Georgia barrier island by Lucy Carnegie. A magnificent “Classical Revival” mansion of 22,000 square feet, step through the grand entry into another era of Southern comfort.
Ferry To Plum Orchard
This annual Christmas Tour is happening on Saturday, December 7, 2019 (tickets are $10). This is a once-a-year opportunity for boat transportation to Plum Orchard. Visitors will take a special ferry ride to the Plum Orchard dock, located about seven miles north of Sea Camp.
Christmas Past: Tour Mansion Circa 1898
Plum Orchard will present the Christmas spirit of the past. Tour this historic Carnegie home and stroll through rooms decked out in “traditional early 1900’s decorations,” according to the NPS. Guests will learn about holiday customs of the time from volunteers and staff dressed in period costume.
Refreshments & Choir
In addition to touring the mansion, enjoy seasonal refreshments and create a souvenir of your visit. Also wander the estate’s grounds, including opportunity to play some old-fashioned lawn games. Christmas carols by the Camden County High School elite choir, “Volume One,” will be part of the tour.
Cumberland Island Ferry Schedule
The Cumberland Island National Seashore ferry service departs from St. Marys, Georgia. Schedule the 9:00 a.m. ferry departure on December 7, 2019, if you’d like to allow time for exploring the Dungeness ruins area in the morning. Then enjoy the Plum Orchard tour in the afternoon. To only take the Christmas Tour, book a reservation on the 11:45 a.m. ferry departing St. Marys to Sea Camp. The special ferry to Plum Orchard will depart Sea Camp dock at 12:45 p.m. Tours of the mansion will be from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Ferry & Tour Reservations
Plum Orchard Christmas Tour tickets are $10 per person in addition to the round-trip ferry ticket ($30 per adult plus taxes & fee), and the additional $10 National Park Service entry fee. To guarantee space on the ferry and the Christmas Tour, make reservations by phone at 877-860-6787, and be sure to ask for the Plum Orchard Tour.
This once-a-year ferry to the Plum Orchard dock is a more convenient (and less costly) opportunity to tour the mansion, due to its more remote location, about seven miles north of Sea Camp. The rest of the year, for day trippers, getting to Plum Orchard requires seeing it as one of the stops along the “Lands & Legacies” van tour (a five to six hour tour that costs $50.85 per person with taxes and fees).
Biking To Plum Orchard
For day trippers, the other option to see Plum Orchard, during the rest of the year, is by bicycle. Figure pedaling about 14 miles round trip from the Sea Camp ferry dock. This, along with logistics of getting to Plum Orchard within the limited time constraints of the regular daily Sea Camp ferry schedule (and the Plum Orchard tour hours — daily at 11 am, 1 pm and 2 pm), means a trip to the mansion is not feasible for many.
See past article with lots more about this historic home, “Tour Plum Orchard on Cumberland Island.”
Learn more about visiting this Georgia barrier island with highlights and travel tips, “Cumberland Island, Delightful Day Trip.”
Questions about the Plum Orchard Christmas Tour, not related to the ferry? Contact Pauline Wentworth at 912-882-4336 x254 or send eMail to: [email protected]