Of Sails, Tall Ships On The Riverfront, Tricentennial And Spring
The time has come, Jim Huger said, to talk of many things… of sails, Tall Ships on the Riverfront, Tricentennial and spring.
At a recent press conference, Huger, the head of the New Orleans Tricentennial Tall Ships Committee and the president and CEO of Premium Parking, announced that Tall Ships New Orleans 2018 will sail into New Orleans from April 19-22, and dock alongside Woldenberg Park to coincide with NOLA Navy Week and the city’s Tricentennial celebration. The free maritime experience is expected to draw record numbers of tourists to the city and highlight New Orleans on the global stage.
“A no-charge event, Tall Ships New Orleans 2018 is a gift to New Orleans, with the chance to share our rich maritime history on the Mississippi River with students and the community,” said Huger. “Our goal is to share the educational mission of each of the visiting ships to learn more about science and history and the impact both have had on our city.”
Produced by the nonprofit Tricentennial Tall Ships Committee, Tall Ships New Orleans 2018, in coordination with Whitney Bank, Premium Parking, The New Orleans Advocate and the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation (NOTMC), along with other community partners, will say “Ahoy” to up to eight historic sailing ships from the U.S. and the Netherlands to the Mississippi Riverfront of New Orleans and Lake Pontchartrain.
Anchored at Woldenberg Park next spring will be an admirable display including the Elissa from Galveston, Texas that will soon celebrate her 132nd birthday, the Oosterschelde from The Netherlands and Oliver Hazard Perry from Newport, Rhode Island, named after the commander who won the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812. Three smaller Tall Ships will be available for daytrips on Lake Pontchartrain setting sail from South Shore Harbor Marina, 6701 Stars and Stripes Blvd.
The ships sailing to New Orleans, ranging in length, as the crow flies, from 68 – 205 feet, with rig heights up to 130 feet, will welcome visitors aboard, free of charge, to explore the ships from bow to aft. The initiative is all part of the Tall Ships America’s Tall Ships Challenge 2018 Gulf Coast Race Series. A nonprofit organization based in Newport, Rhode Island, Tall Ships America coordinates gatherings of member vessels to promote their education, history and science curriculums.
Other stops in the Gulf Coast for the collection of traditionally-rigged sailing vessels will include Galveston, Texas and Pensacola, Florida before the scheduled port of call in New Orleans, and a portion of the fleet will continue up the Atlantic Ocean to arrive in Philadelphia in May.
"We are thrilled to bring the Tall Ships Challenge series to the Gulf of Mexico for the first time ever, especially to celebrate New Orleans' Tricentennial,” said Bert Rogers, executive director, Tall Ships America. “New Orleans was built on maritime trade, and the mingling of world cultures through this commerce shaped the city throughout its history. Just as important, this visit allows us to share the ships’ history and missions with New Orleans’ students. We are helping local teachers develop a curriculum that can be used both in the classroom and dockside.”
“We are excited to welcome the magnificence of Tall Ships America to New Orleans,” said Mark Romig, NOTMC president and CEO. “The sight of a tall ship is magical and visiting one on the Mississippi River during our Tricentennial will be a once in a lifetime experience for everyone.”
To help fund the Tall Ships visit to New Orleans, a black-tie and boat shoe fundraising gala will take place on Saturday, April 21, on-deck and dockside, with live music by Louisiana Spice, food from local area restaurants, a birthday cake to celebrate the 300th birthday of New Orleans and a Mississippi River fireworks show.
“Whitney Bank is pleased to support this community effort to bring the Tall Ships to New Orleans for the Tricentennial,” said Gary Lorio, regional president of Whitney Bank. “What better way to showcase our waterfront and our city’s history.”
The Tall Ships America to New Orleans schedule includes:
Thursday, April 19
2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Tall Ships Parade of Sail – Tall Ships sail into downtown New Orleans and dock along Woldenberg Park.
Friday, April 20 – Sunday, April 22
10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Tall Ships open to the public, and admission is free. To see the Tall Ships like a VIP, Fast Pass tickets are available for front-of-line access for Tall Ships (only), and VIP hospitality in Woldenberg Park. Purchase Fast Pass tickets here
Saturday, April 21
6:00 p.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Tall Ships celebrate New Orleans’ 300th birthday. There will be an on-deck and dockside black-tie and boat shoe gala fundraiser on the visiting Tall Ships at Woldenberg Park. Tickets include birthday cake by Salon by Sucré, fireworks over the Mississippi River at 9:00 p.m., and dancing to Louisiana Spice. Gala tickets are available here
Monday, April 23
Tall Ships depart for St. Petersburg, Florida and other ports on their own schedule.