Tall Ships will once again grace Duluth’s harbor during a festival Aug. 18-21 at Canal Park. This year will mark the fourth time a collection of ships from centuries ago has glided under the Aerial Lift Bridge.
The Tall Ships Duluth events have proved so popular that tickets to sail on the ships have sold out in days, if not hours. Indeed, tickets for all such excursions — at $95 a pop, this year — are long gone. But all is not lost: Tickets remain for the festival, which gives you proximity to the ships ($9) and onboard tours ($12).
It’s a long shot, but there is still hope, too, that you can take a two-hour sail on one of the grand vessels. Lake Superior Magazine, which has partnered with event organizer Draw Events, is holding a Tall Ships sweepstakes, offering a chance to win a stay in Duluth, a ride on a tall ship and tickets to the festival. Enter at lakesuperior.com/contests/sweepstakes.
The list of participating ships has yet to be finalized, but this year’s invitees include the Norwegian Viking ship Dragon Harald Fairhair, a Spanish galleon, El Galeon Andalucía, the Pride of Baltimore II and the U.S. Brig Niagara. Another participant requires no sails: the World’s Largest Rubber Duck.
For tickets and more information about the ships as the participants are finalized, go to tallshipsduluth.com.
The 110-foot Norwegian Viking ship plans to make its first voyage to the United States for the event. The Spanish galleon is a replica of a 16th-century vessel that sailed the West Indies.
While tall ships occasionally hoisted sails in Duluth in the 1990s, Tall Ships Duluth became a formal festival in 2008, with return engagements in 2010 and 2013. The tall ships now rotate between the two U.S. coasts and the Great Lakes in a three-year cycle.
The 2010 and 2013 events each drew about 250,000 visitors to the port city.
Send your questions or tips to travel editor Kerri Westenberg at firstname.lastname@example.org, and follow her on Twitter: @kerriwestenberg.