Tall ships visit New Orleans to celebrate her Tricentennial.

An armada of tall ships visit New Orleans to celebrate her Tricentennial.

Tall Ships are typically restored vessels, each operating as its own non-profit organization. They travel the world, often with student crews who learn firsthand not just how to sail, but more importantly an appreciation of mankind’s relationship with the sea.

There will be six ships visiting New Orleans: four moored near Woldenberg Park and two at Pontchartrain Landing (Industrial Canal at Lake Pontchartrain). The ships convene Tuesday, April 17, near the mouth of the Mississippi River having completed the Tall Ships challenge in the Gulf of Mexico. The four ships are travelling upriver to Woldenberg Park and the other two ships are heading to Lake Pontchartrain.

The Tall Ship most interesting to me is Oosterschelde from the Netherlands. At the time of writing this blog, I am eagerly awaiting sailing on this ship (indeed, a highlight of my life!), along with nine friends, from Pensacola to New Orleans, April 15-19. As Tall Ship “sail trainees,” we will be responsible for supporting the seven-person crew with all aspects of managing a 164-foot schooner.

Built in 1918, Oosterschelde is the largest restored Dutch freight ship and the only remaining Dutch three-masted topsail schooner. Her home port is Rotterdam.

The oldest vessel coming for the Tricentennial is Elissa, a fully-rigged barque from Galveston, TX. Launched in 1886, she is now a museum ship at the Texas Seaport Museum after being lovingly restored by the Galveston Historical Foundation. She was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1990. Of note, she used to ply her trade between Galveston, Pensacola and New Orleans. The last time she was in New Orleans was the early 90s, and she is of the oldest ships still sailing today.

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