Insider's guide to Chicago Tall Ships Festival

Insider's guide to Chicago Tall Ships Festival

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by

...English Poet Laureate John Masefield.

Tall Ships have a mystery, a glamour—they appear in literature in Joseph Conrad’s The Mirror of the Sea and Henry David Thoreau’s A Week on the Concord. For centuries they carried men and women around the world and served as the quickest form of mass transportation.

Photo credit: Navy Pier

Photo credit: Navy Pier

This week visitors to Chicago's Tall Ships Festival can get up close and personal with 14 of these magnificent vessels that will be at Navy Pier from Wednesday, July 27 through Sunday, July 31--four of which are making their first voyage to Chicago.

Among them the world’s largest, most authentic Viking warship, Draken Harald Hårfagre and General Patton's ship When and If--a 63-foot Alden schooner commissioned by Gen. George S. Patton in 1939. (on Wednesday, Show Me Chicago will tell the story behind the name of Patton's yacht and some of the other ships coming to the festival)

The Draken Harald Hårfagre (English translation: Dragon Harald Fairhair) reproduction of a Viking Ship will be coming to Chicago for the first time at the PEPSI® Tall Ships® Chicago festival

The Draken Harald Hårfagre (English translation: Dragon Harald Fairhair) reproduction of a Viking Ship will be coming to Chicago for the first time at the PEPSI® Tall Ships® Chicago festival

There are a number of opportunities for visitors to participate in the Tall Ships Festival.

Visitors can view the ships, board the ships and even go on a sail.

Not to be missed is the Parade of Sale with the first ships starting to pass the pier at 3:30 pm. and continuing until the final ship docks at approximately 5 pm. on Wednesday.  Click on the Parade of Sail link for a map Parade-of-Sail-navy-blue16 (1)

On Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday visitors can view, board and sail with tickets:

GENERAL ADMISSION
Includes admission to event area.
General admission: Starting at $10
Children Ages 2 and Under: Free

BOARDING TICKETS
Includes admission to event area and admission to dockside boarding vessels.
Adults: Starting at $25
Children Ages 3-12: Starting at $15
Children Ages 2 and Under: Free

SAIL AWAY TICKETS
Tickets to sail on a tall ship range from $79 to $109. There are day sail aways and evening fireworks sail aways.
All Passengers (Ages 3+): Starting at $79.

In addition to the fireworks sail aways, the evening fireworks on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings can be viewed from the Pier.

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