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Cemetery Tourism Regulations
 

Types of Cemetery Tours

Cemetery tours may be conducted by walking, bicycles, tour service vehicles or other means approved by the Director of Cemeteries. Tours may be conducted between the hours of 8:00 am and 8:00 p.m., seven days a week.

Acceptable Vehicles

Tour service vehicles may include standard automobile, limousine, bus, van or trolley-type vehicles which are compatible with and not damaging to the infrastructure and ambience of the cemeteries. Any tour vehicles marked as haunted or involving ghosts are strictly prohibited from any of the municipal cemeteries.

Vehicle Restrictions

Motor coaches or vehicles over thirty-five (35) feet in length or over twelve (12) feet in height shall not be permitted in Bonaventure or Greenwich Cemeteries. Vehicles over twenty-five (25) feet in length shall not be permitted in Laurel Grove North or Laurel Grove South Cemeteries and shall be restricted to specific routes in Bonaventure and Greenwich Cemeteries. Vehicles with double-deck passenger compartments, combination or train-type vehicles, or amphibious or boat-type vehicles shall not be permitted on City cemetery property.

Cemetery Tour Registration

All cemetery tours must register with the Department of Cemeteries during normal work hours before entering a City cemetery. Normal work hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding City holidays.

Cemetery Tour Fees

All commercial tours and special events in the municipal cemeteries, including those during normal hours, will be required pay a fee established by the Mayor and Aldermen of the City of Savannah.

Cemetery Tour Conflicts

Tours may be prohibited from areas with open graves or funeral services. The Director of Cemeteries, or his or her designated representative, has the discretion to exclude tours from any portion of any cemetery. The tour guide must prevent guests from intruding upon any private service. Any tours or tour vehicles in close proximity to a funeral service should leave at once. Tour vehicles should not operate within sight of a funeral service.

Cemetery Tour Guides

All cemetery tours must have a tour guide who is responsible for the tour party. The tour guide must have a City of Savannah Tour Guide Permit or special authorization by the Director of Cemeteries to direct a tour in any cemetery. The tour guides must be familiar and agree to abide with the rules and regulations for City of Savannah Cemeteries. Copies are available at the cemetery office. Tour guides are responsible for the tour service vehicles and must follow the speed limit and traffic rules. No alcohol, firearms, or loud conversation will be permitted on cemetery property. Guests shall not be allowed to intrude upon a funeral party or loiter about an open grave. Tour guides must stay on the public rights-of-way within the cemetery and not enter or allow their guests to enter on cemetery lots.

Cemetery Tour Guide Responsibilities

Tour guides are responsible for the tour service vehicles and must follow the speed limit and traffic rules. No alcohol, firearms, or loud conversation will be permitted on cemetery property. Guests shall not be allowed to intrude upon a funeral party or loiter about an open grave. Tour guides must stay on the public rights-of-way within the cemetery and not enter or allow their guests to enter on cemetery lots. Tour guides must make every effort to portray truthful accurate information to their guests.

Waste Disposal

Each tour must provide its own means of waste disposal. No garbage from a tour is to be left on cemetery property. Cigarette butts are undesirable waste and are not to be littered or left on cemetery property.

Parking

Tour service vehicles over twenty-five (25) feet in length shall park in designated bus parking areas only. Engines of tour vehicles must not be left idling while vehicles are parked.

Rest Room Facilities

There are not adequate rest room facilities for tours or groups within the cemeteries. Tour guides should encourage guests to use rest room facilities prior to entering a municipal cemetery.

Damage Reporting

The tour guide shall report any damage to trees, shrubbery, turf, coping, lot markers, roadways, or structures, caused by the tour, the tour vehicle, or guests of the tour, immediately to the Department of Cemeteries. The tour company will be responsible for compensating the City for any damages caused to City property.

After-Hour Cemetery Tours

After hour (8:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m.) activities in Colonial Park Cemetery are not permitted. Permission for after-hour (5:00– 8:00 p.m. and 6:00 - 8:00 a.m.) activities in the other cemeteries must be requested at forty eight (48) hours in advance. Any tour in progress when a cemetery closes will be charged an after-hour access fee. After-hour fees shall be determined by the Mayor and Aldermen. Any cancellations made less than twenty four (24) hours before an event, for any reason, will be non-refundable.

Cemetery Walking Tours

Any cemetery tours in which guests leave a tour service vehicle will be considered a walking tour. Such tours shall be limited to 15 guests per tour guide and all guests may remain with the guide during the tour. Groups with more than 15 persons and/or groups which will split up must register as multiple tours and pay additional fees, if applicable.