Visiting Tall Ships

The sight of tall ships that occasionally pass through the York River take you back to the 18th century and the days of the American Revolution. Over the years, Historic Yorktown has hosted many ships from around the world. One of the most memorable was the Hermione — a replica frigate that made the almost 4,000 mile journey across the Atlantic, with a symbolic stop here in Yorktown. The original Tall Ship brought over the Marquis de Lafayette to America in 1780 and was part of the fleet that surrounded the British during the Battle of the Capes, a major victory for the Franco-American forces. 

Last fall, the Nao Santa María made a stop in Yorktown during her voyage back to Spain. The full-size replica is of one of the most famous ships in history. On October 12, 1492, led by Christopher Columbus, the Santa María played the main role in the discovery of America... and an encounter between two worlds.

El Galeon sailed from her home in Spain and made a port of call to Yorktown. The first registered Class A ship to visit here was a replica of a Spanish ship that sailed the Indian Ocean in the 1700s bringing back goods and supplies to her home country.

Along with foreign flagged Tall Ships, we have also hosted visiting vessels from across the United States. Notables include: Kalmar Nyckel, Godspeed, Lynx, Spirit of Bermuda, and the HMS Bounty (just to name a few). 

Tall Ships brought the first settlers to the New World and we recognize their crucial contributions to our collective American story. We also see them as a teaching opportunity—a way to keep the passion for sailing alive here on the Peninsula.