All together, now! Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue, 1492. Fast forward to 2017 and visitors are singing the tune aboard the famed Niña and Pinta. Well, sort of. From Friday, August 18 to Tuesday, August 22, replicas of the Columbus ships will be open for tours at Clinch Park Marina in Traverse City.
The Niña replica was built completely by hand and without the use of power tools. Archaeology Magazine called the ship “the most historically correct Columbus replica ever built.” The Pinta, known as the first ship to sight land in the New World, was replicated and launched in Brazil in 2005.
Both ships tour together as a new and enhanced sailing museum for educating the public and school children about caravel, the small Portuguese ships used by Columbus and many early explorers to navigate and discover new terrain during the 15th–17th centuries.
While in port, the public is invited to visit the ships for a walk-aboard, self-guided tour. Admission fees are $10 for adults and $6 for youth ages 5 to 12. Children ages 4 and under are free. Proceeds from the event benefit the Maritime Heritage Alliance of Traverse City, which has lead the efforts of the Pinta and Niña visit. MHA representative Woody Wright commented, “any time that we can have ships here that represent parts of the world beyond the Great Lakes, we can widen the knowledge for visitors as they learn and see details of maritime life and activity beyond their routine. Development of the Americas is the result of sailing ships like the Niña and Pinta.”
The ships will be open every day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., no reservations necessary.
—Press release provided by Traverse City Tourism