This year’s Charleston Harbor Fest is shaping up to be the most ambitious and memorable maritime event in the city’s history. The event will open June 26, with access to docks and tours of tall ships from around the globe, and will close June 29th when a breath-taking Parade of Sail exits the Charleston harbor.
More than twelve ships, ranging in size from 56 to 295 feet have already been confirmed. Many more are expected. These vessels, hailing from France, England, Germany, The Netherlands, Bermuda, and the United States, will dock at the Charleston Maritime Center and the Union Pier Passenger Terminal. The event’s focus is on the water, but boasts attractions on land, by air and at sea.
Land: wooden boat display, living history exhibit, pirates, family boat building, interactive education village and conservation displays
Air: Aerobatic flight demos, helicopter rides, other exciting news to be announced soon.
Sea: Tall Ships, free sailing lessons, harbor tours. America’s tall ship, the U.S. Coast Guard Barque Eagle will be on display. It is the only active and operational commissioned sailing vessel in the U.S. maritime services. Captain Chris Sinnet is a South Carolina native and is the Eagle’s current Commanding Officer of this vessel that serves as a seagoing classroom for approximately 175 cadets and instructors from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.
Tickets will be required to gain access to the docks and to board the ships, and VIP packages will be available. There will be unique sailing opportunities onboard the tall ships for adults to cruise from Charleston to Boston at a passenger rate. Additionally, a student program for teens is being developed for sailing on the Spirit of South Carolina from Bermuda to Charleston with partial scholarships available.
Bus shuttles will also be available for convenient transport during the festival. To learn more and order tickets, please visit: www.charlestonharborfest.org.
Charleston Harbor Fest is an event of the South Carolina Maritime Foundation. Proceeds from Charleston Harbor Fest support the Spirit of South Carolina, a tall ship offering effective, unique educational opportunities for the students of South Carolina. These programs focus on the history, math, science and literature of South Carolina’s water resources, and encourage personal responsibility, contribution to community and stewardship of the environment.
Love the Tall Ships festivals! There’s nothing that can compare to the view of tall clipper ships, and I’ll never forget my first time to a Tall Ship maritime festival. Happy sailing!
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