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Tall ships sail into St. Pete this week

Bill DeYoung



NAO Trinidad, a Spanish-flagged replica of Columbus' ship Santa Maria, is part of the Tall Ships St. Pete Festival. Photos: Tall Ships America.

The Miriam-Webster online dictionary defines a tall ship as “a sailing vessel with at least two masts.” Synonyms include merchant ships, motor ships, square-riggers, brigantines, brigs, aircraft carriers, yachts, superliners and schooners. Wikipedia says they’re “traditionally rigged.”

Whatever. They’re big. They’re tall.

A handful of tall ships arrive in St. Petersburg this weekend, as part of the national Tall Ships Challenge Maritime Festival. Sailing to the downtown waterfront: The historic 1877 Barque Elissa and the Spanish-flagged Nao Trinidad, which is a replica of the legendary Santa Maria of Christopher Columbus fame. Additional tall ships are Pride of Baltimore II and Ernestina-Morrissey.

George S. Patton’s schooner When and If, restored, will also be here for the four-day event.

Rounding out the fleet-on-tour are the restored schooner When and If (originally designed for General George S. Patton), Suncoast Horizon and Jolly II Rover.

The first-time local event is called the Tall Ships St. Pete Festival. It begins with a Parade of Sail from 3 to 6 p.m. Thursday (March 30), ands continues with a dockside festival (a marketplace with maritime vendors, live music and more) and deck tours. The vessels will be here through Sunday.

Although many festival events are ticketed, the opening Parade of Sail can be viewed, without cost, from anywhere on the waterfront, including the St. Pete Pier, Demens Landing and Vinoy Park.

Find all details, and tickets, here.


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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    Danny White

    March 28, 2023at3:57 pm

    A replica of the Santa Maria. Interesting.

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