A handful of ships throughout history have names recognizable by nearly everyone.
Some are familiar because of tragic events such as the Titanic, USS Arizona and the Lusitania.
Then, there others that made memorable voyages such as The Golden Hind, captained by Sir Francis Drake and the ships that were part of the fleet led by Christopher Columbus on his first voyage to the New World.
In April, the St. Marys Tall Ship Alliance is bringing a replica of the Santa Maria, the flagship from Columbus’ maiden trip, to the Brunswick Landing Marina.
The Nao Santa Maria was built in Spain in 2017 by the Nao Victoria Foundation. The ship crossed the Atlantic and is making its first visit to the United States. Brunswick is the ship’s only stop in Georgia. After it leaves the Golden Isles, he ship will sail to St. Augustine. Later this year, the Santa Maria will make an appearance in the Great Lakes for the 2019 Tall Ship Festival.
The Santa Maria will be in Brunswick from April 8 to 15 at the marina’s Dock One. Dockside deck tours will be offered to the public. Advance tickets are available online at naosantamaria.org or go to the link at stmarystallshipalliance.org. The tours are also open to local schools.
James Crawford, chief operations officer for the tall ship alliance, said tours on the Santa Maria will be guided and self guided, depending on the preference of visitors. But he recommends the guided tours.
“Once you are aboard, you can do whatever works for you,” he said.
The biggest surprise most first-time visitors touring a Columbus-era ship will find is how small the vessel was, he said.
Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children five to 10 years old and a family package costs $25 for two adults and up to three children.
Two days after the Santa Maria departs, another tall ship, Privateer Lynx, will sail into the Brunswick Landing Marina. The ship will be in town from April 17 to 28 and daily public sailings lasting 2.5 hours will be offered, as well as free dockside tours and an educational program. Ticket prices for the public sailings at 3 to 5:30 p.m. are $55 for adults and $25 for youths under 16 years old Ticket prices for the sailing from 6 to 8:30 p.m. are $65.
Crawford said the Lynx was in Brunswick last year and all 13 sailing tours sold out in one day. This time, the Lynx will be in town for 10 days to accommodate the demand for the sailing tours.
The Lynx is described as an “interpretation” of a privateer named Lynx that was built in 1812.
The ship is described as a “living museum” created to educate people about American history. Go to the stmarystallshipalliance.org website for the link to purchase tickets.
“It will bring the people,” Crawford said of the two boats. “A lot of people from all over Georgia will come to see the ships.”