Take a trip back through history; the Niña and Pinta are coming to Wilmington

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The Niña and Pinta out to sea. (Port City Daily photo/COURTESY WILMINGTON HARBOR ENHANCEMENT TRUST)
The Niña and Pinta out to sea. (Port City Daily photo/COURTESY WILMINGTON HARBOR ENHANCEMENT TRUST)

WILMINGTON — “In fourteen hundred and ninety two Columbus sailed the ocean blue…,”or so the old nursery rhyme goes. But now, in 2017, replicas of two of his famed vessels are once again setting sail and heading for Wilmington.

The tall ships Niña and Pinta will arrive in downtown Wilmington May 10. They will open for tours May 11-21, 2017. Berthing will be at Port City Marina in downtown Wilmington adjacent to the Convention Center and PPD. This event is brought to you by Wilmington Harbor Enhancement Trust (WHET) and Port City Marina.

Archaeology magazine has called the Niña "the most historically correct Columbus replica ever built." (Port City Daily photo/COURTESY WILMINGTON HARBOR ENHANCEMENT TRUST)
Archaeology magazine has called the Niña “the most historically correct Columbus replica ever built.” (Port City Daily photo/COURTESY WILMINGTON HARBOR ENHANCEMENT TRUST)

“In 1492 from the Spanish port of Palos, Italian explorer Christopher Columbus sets sail in command of three ships—the Santa Maria, the Pinta, and the Niña —on a journey to find a western sea route to China, India, and the fabled gold and spice islands of Asia,” a press release from The Wilmington Harbor Enhancement stated.

According to WHET’s release, The Columbus Foundation has recreated two of the three caravel-style ships. The foundation’s Niña and Pinta replicas tour together as “sailing museums” for the purpose of educating the public, especially children, on life aboard a caravel. (The Santa Maria was a larger vessel, called a Nao.)

The Niña is a replica of the ship on which Columbus sailed across the Atlantic on his three voyages of discovery to the new world beginning in 1492. Columbus sailed the tiny ship over 25,000 miles.

Columbus’s Niña was last heard of in 1501. The new Niña was built completely by hand and has been called “the most historically correct Columbus replica ever built” by Archaeology magazine.

The ships visit ports all over the United States, according to the foundation’s website. That includes the Gulf Coast, the East Coast, the Great Lakes and the Midwestern River System. The tours hit in the area of 30 to 40 ports per year.

Nina & Pinta out to sea
The Niña and Pinta (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy WILMINGTON HARBOR ENHANCEMENT TRUST)

According to WHET’s release, “The Pinta was built in Brazil to accompany the Niña on all of her travels. She is a larger version of the archetypal caravel with larger deck space for walk-aboard tours and has a 40 foot air-conditioned main cabin with seating.”

The Pinta is available for private parties and charters.

The ships will be open for tours for individuals, groups, and sponsored events. Tickets are $8 for Adults, $7 for Seniors/Military, and $6 for  children 5-16. Children 4 and under are free.

Group tours of 15 or more are available for school groups, museums, scouts, and camps for $5 per person. Group tours need to book in advance.

Tickets are available online at http://www.wilmingtondocks.com/ and will also be on sale at Port City Marina on the days of the tours. Tours are May 11 – 21, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For information on sponsored events by contacting Wilmington Harbor Enhancement Trust at whetsecretary@gmail.com.

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