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Galveston Historical Foundation

Visiting Vessels: TALL SHIPS® GALVESTON

A fleet of tall ships will sail their way along the Gulf Coast to participate in the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Gulf Coast 2023 series, with public maritime festivals held in each port. While in port, the ships will be open to the public for viewing and sail away opportunities, and many will feature dockside exhibits and lively interactions with the crew. Each ship has its own educational program and mission, providing the public with a wide array of ways to participate and sail.

1877 ELISSA

BUILT:
1877 – Abdereen, Scotland
HOMEPORT:
Galveston, TX
LENGTH:
205′
SAIL AREA:
12,000 sq. feet
HULL:
Iron

Galveston Historical Foundation brought ELISSA, an 1877 square-rigged iron barque, from a scrapyard 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 seaport and active waterfront. Learn more here.

ERNESTINA-MORRISSEY

BUILT:
1894 – Gloucester, MA
HOMEPORT:
New Bedford, MA
LENGTH:
156′
SAIL AREA:
8,323 sq. feet
HULL:
Wood

SCHOONER ERNESTINA-MORRISSEY, was built in 1894 at the James and Tarr Shipyard for the Gloucester fishing fleet. Under Captain Bob Bartlett, she sailed to within 600 miles of the North Pole and later brought immigrants to the U.S. under the power of sail. Returned to the US in 1982 as a gift from the newly independent Cape Verdean people, she sailed as an educator until 2005. Learn more here.

GLENN L. SWETMAN

BUILT:
1989 – Biloxi, MS
HOMEPORT:
Biloxi, MS
LENGTH:
79′
SAIL AREA:
2,800 sq. feet
HULL:
Wood

Take a step back in time onboard an authentic replica of a Biloxi schooner. The GLENN L. SWETMAN is a 65′ two-masted, gaff-rigged, Biloxi Oyster Schooner. These “White Winged Queens” once sailed the Coast from the late 1800s to the early 1900s; however, the introduction of marine engines and the changes in oyster harvesting laws caused these beautiful crafts to disappear. The Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum has recaptured a piece of history with the GLENN L. SWETMAN. Learn more here.

NAO TRINIDAD

BUILT:
2016 – Punta Umbría, Spain
HOMEPORT:
Huelva, Spain
LENGTH:
84.9′
SAIL AREA:
3,229 sq. ft.
HULL:
Wood

The Nao Victoria Foundation is a non-profit entity that specializes in promoting and spreading historical events, which are supported by the construction of historical ships (the Nao Victoria, El Galeón, and the Nao Santa María) that are sailed throughout the world’s ports. The vessels are a powerful, unique, and very attractive marketing and educational platform that have been used successfully to support great world events during the last decade. Our vessels have taken part in national and international expositions and events with great media exposure and publicity. Learn more here.

PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II

BUILT:
1987 – Baltimore, MD
HOMEPORT:
Baltimore, MD
LENGTH:
157′
SAIL AREA:
9,018 sq. ft.
HULL:
Wood

America’s star-spangled ambassador! Pride of Baltimore II was hoisted aloft and launched from her Inner Harbor birthplace on April 30, 1988. After being fitted out and rigged, she was commissioned on October 23, 1988, at Brown’s Wharf in Fells Point, just blocks from the shipyard where Chasseur, the original “Pride of Baltimore,” had been built in 1812. Since her commissioning, Pride II has sailed over 250,000 nautical miles and visited more than 200 ports in 40 countries in North, South, and Central America; Europe; and Asia. Each season the vessel visits dozens of ports of call, and welcomes aboard over 100,000 people for private sailing charters and dockside receptions; deck tours and day sails; youth programs; and overnight guest crew experiences. Learn more here.

WHEN AND IF

BUILT: 1939 – Wiscasset, ME
HOMEPORT: Key West, FL
LENGTH: 80′
SAIL AREA: 2,400 sq. feet
HULL: Wood

When General George S. Patton commissioned one of America’s greatest designers to conceive him a boat to be built by F.F Pendleton of Wiscasset, Maine, in 1939, he had the ultimate ambition in mind: “When the war is over, and If I live through it, Bea and I are going to sail her around the world.” WHEN AND IF was a new idea: a yacht that would maintain all her classic beauty and hold her own in recreational racing whilst being sturdy, comfortable, safe, and luxurious enough to take a family on the voyage of a lifetime. Early in 2012, Doug Hazlitt, well known in yachting circles, purchased the WHEN AND IF with plans to return the vessel to its original and Bristol condition. Following an extensive two-year restoration, she is back in all her glory and ready for you to come and sail her away! Learn more here.

THOMAS JEFFERSON

BUILT: 1991 – Moss Point, MS
HOMEPORT: Norfolk, VA
LENGTH: 208′
BEAM: 45′

NOAAS Thomas Jefferson (S 222) is a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) hydrographic survey vessel in service since 2003. The ship was built for the United States Navy as USNS Littlehales (T-AGS-52) serving as one of two new coastal hydrographic survey vessels from 1992 until transfer to NOAA in 2003 when it was named after Founding Father and third U.S. president, Thomas Jefferson. Learn more here.

ABOUT TALL SHIPS GALVESTON®

The 2023 Tall Ships® Galveston festival hosts tours of participating ships, numerous special events, sail-away excursions, music, food, and fun in a family-friendly format. Galveston Island serves as one of three ports for the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Gulf Coast 2023 Series, which features a fleet of ships traveling across the Gulf of Mexico as they visit other participating cities. Learn more here.

ABOUT THE TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE®

The Tall Ships Challenge® is a series of annual events organized by Tall Ships America. These events draw hundreds of thousands of people to witness beautiful tall ships from the age of sail and provide a unique opportunity for the participants to interact with the crews of different vessels in friendly rivalry as they race from port to port. The series began in 2001 on the Great Lakes and saw vessels from six countries and visited seven US and Canadian ports. Since its launch, the Tall Ships Challenge® series has visited dozens of North American cities, bringing millions of spectators down to the waterfront to experience the tall ships and creating a cumulative economic impact of hundreds of millions of dollars for host communities. It has continued to grow every year and is an eagerly anticipated event in the seaside communities that host the vessels and beyond. Learn more at tallshipsamerica.org.

ABOUT GALVESTON HISTORICAL FOUNDATION

Galveston Historical Foundation (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. Learn more at galvestonhistory.org.

PLEASE NOTE: TALL SHIPS® GALVESTON tickets are non-refundable. The festival is open, rain or shine. GHF is not responsible for independent transactions between visitors and vendors. All ships are viewable from the pier. However, on-board tours are not handicap accessible. If we can assist with arrangements, please contact us at 409-765-7834 in advance of your visit. Pets and ice chests are not allowed. Scooters, skateboards, rollerblades, skates, Segways, and other recreational “wheels” are forbidden. Guests bringing in costume weapons and props will have them secured by on-site security and will be asked to go through additional screening.



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