Galveston Historical Foundation

2024 ELISSA Day Sails

Join us for a one of a kind outdoor adventure aboard the 1877 Iron Barque ELISSA! 2024 sees the Official Tall Ship of Texas return to the waters of the Gulf of Mexico for her annual day sail series. As one of the oldest, and longest continuously sailed vessels in the world, the annual day sails keep her where she works best, with her sails down, sailing in the Gulf waters. 2024 dates are April 5 through 19.


GHF is able to offer a limited number of ELISSA day sail spots on board as a sail training student. As a sail training student, participants will experience what life was like as a 19th-century sailor. The program includes both hands-on and lecture learning, focusing on setting sails and maneuvering the 146-year-old ship through the Gulf of Mexico. Come with us on this journey through the past and experience your own piece of history. Reservations are $300 per person. Please read below for requirements and more information.


Sail Trainees must be:

  • Ages 10 and older. Children ages 10-17 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • Ambulatory without aids and comfortable with outdoor exposure for up to 6 hours. Trainees with disabilities must advise prior to the sailing date.

What is included:

  • 6-hour sail aboard the 1877 Iron Barque ELISSA
  • A course of instruction on how to sail a square-rigged ship
  • Lunch
  • Water and soda

Please Note:

  • Due to the historic nature of the ship, ELISSA is non-ADA accessible.
  • Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable. All trainees must sign a waiver of release in order to sail.
  • Smoking, vaping, and alcoholic beverages are not allowed on board ELISSA.
  • Should weather force cancellation of that day’s sail, we will try to honor your reservation on another day as space permits.
  • If the sail dates are canceled, GHF will hold your ticket and reschedule your RSVP on the next approved sail date.

DEPARTURE AND RETURN SCHEDULE: The time schedule for check-in and sailing is very important! You should arrive at Galveston Historic Seaport, Pier 22, by 9:00 a.m. (8 a.m. for the 4/19 sail) to check in and sign a release. We will board the ELISSA and leave the dock promptly at 10:00 a.m. (9 a.m. for the 4/19 sail), then proceed down the Galveston Channel. Soft drinks and bottled water will be available at all times. A light lunch will be provided. The ship will return to the Galveston Historic Seaport pier at approximately 4:00 p.m. (3:00 p.m. for the 4/19 sail)

ATTIRE: Dress comfortably for the weather of the day, with clothing that can be added or taken off as needed. If there is the remotest possibility of rain, bring an appropriate rain jacket (no umbrellas, please as many sailors consider them bad luck, and they can be dangerous even in moderate seas). Wear flat, rubber-soled, closed-toed shoes. Hats and sunscreen are always a good idea. So is a refillable water bottle. If you are concerned about motion sickness, check with your physician or pharmacist about medication and test the effects prior to the day of sail. You must bring your own medication, as we cannot dispense it.

CELL PHONES AND PAGES: Since a ringing cell phone or beeper sounds very similar to some of our electronic alarms, please help us avoid confusion by placing these devices in the “vibrate” mode.

PARKING: The closest parking is in the lot off Harborside Drive; enter at 21st Street. Additional parking lots are available in the lot behind Starbucks at 22nd and Harborside, and the parking garage at 21st and Market. GHF doesn’t operate these lots, and they are paid parking. Please allow ample time for parking. ELISSA cannot wait for late attendees.

If the above information does not answer all your questions, please call or email Valerie Smith at 409-765-3432 or email at valerie.smith@galvestonhistory.org.


Galveston Historical Foundation brought ELISSA, an 1877 square-rigged iron barque, from a scrap yard in Piraeus Harbor, Greece, to Galveston to begin restoration work in 1978. By 1982, GHF staff and volunteers completed restoration and transformed this rare, historic vessel into a floating museum that would actively sail. Today, ELISSA is one of only three ships of her kind in the world to still actively sail and welcomes over 40,000 visitors annually. She also serves as the Official Tall Ship of Texas, a National Historic Landmark, and a symbol of the Gulf Coast’s historic beginnings as a sea port and active waterfront.


GHF was formed as the Galveston Historical Society in 1871 and merged with a new organization formed in 1954 as a non-profit entity devoted to historic preservation and history in Galveston County. Over the last sixty years, GHF has expanded its mission to encompass community redevelopment, historic preservation advocacy, maritime preservation, coastal resiliency, and stewardship of historic properties. GHF embraces a broader vision of history and architecture that encompasses advancements in environmental and natural sciences and their intersection with historic buildings and coastal life and conceives of history as an engaging story of individual lives and experiences on Galveston Island from the 19th century to the present day.

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David shick
David shick
8 months ago

What’s the price to sail ⛵️

Gale Futch
Gale Futch
2 months ago


LynnEtta Manning
LynnEtta Manning
1 month ago

8 am – 3 pm sail on April 19 at $300 each or is there a different cost for non adults?
Also is the 19th the only sail date?

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