For the first time ever, a fleet of tall ships will sail and race their way along the Gulf Coast making their first stop in Galveston April 5-8 for the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Gulf Coast 2018 series of races and public maritime festivals.
Expect to see some of the most beautiful ships in the world, according to Dwayne Jones, Galveston Historical Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer. “This first-time event for the Gulf Coast will bring the world of sailing historic vessels to Galveston Island. It’s a rare opportunity to step aboard a historic tall ship and learn about our maritime history.”
Between each of the ports, the ships will race to the next event. While in port, the ships will be open to the public for viewing, and many will feature dockside exhibits and lively interactions with crew. Each ship has its own educational program and mission, providing the public with a wide array of ways to participate and sail. In addition to touring the ships, visitors will also embark on the ships for exhibition sails during the festival.
Our Very Own Tall Ship
ELISSA (1877) – 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.
Tall Ships Also Attending the festival:
- LYNX (2001)
- OLIVER HAZARD PERRY (2015)
- OOSTERSCHELDE (1918)
- PICTON CASTLE (1928)
- WHEN AND IF (1939)
Sail Away Excursions
Ready to feel the wind in your face on open water? Guests to the 2018 TALL SHIPS® GALVESTON will be able to do more than just walk across the decks of visiting ships! A select group of participating ships will be available as sail away vessels. The Privateer LYNX and WHEN AND IF will both offer special sail tours through Galveston Bay throughout each day of the festival. Pricing and times for Parade of Sail, Daysail, and Twilight Tours are available online.
Special Events & Packages
In addition to the festival, special events will be featured daily, giving guests unique opportunities to tour and interact with the visiting ships.
Produced by Galveston Historical Foundation, in partnership with Tall Ships America, this family-friendly event will showcase Galveston’s rich maritime history through unique programming and the visiting tall ships. Tickets are discounted 10% through April 1 on the website along with speicific ship information, and special event details at www.tallshipsgalveston.com.