Parade of Sail
The magnificent tall ships will muster for the Parade of Sail just southeast of Portland Head Light around 1:15pm on Saturday, July 18. The Parade begins at 1:45, when the first ship sets sail for the main ship channel into Portland Harbor. Up to 14 ships are expected to sail in the Parade, stretching out single file for more than 2 nautical miles.
The lead ship will pass Ft. Gorges and head into the inner harbor at around 2:30. From there the ships will circuit the inner harbor and proceed to their assigned berths on the downtown waterfront. Vessels are expected to be secure at their docks by 4 p.m. Spectators on the shore can expect a glorious spectacle of traditional sail. Spectator vessels are welcome. (There will be a 300’ enforced safety zone around the Parade of Sail.)
There are plenty of opportunities to find your spot to see the ships. See the map below. Here are just a few options: Fort Williams in Cape Elizabeth, Bug Light Park in South Portland, Willard Beach in South Portland, SMCC grounds in South Portland (go to smccme.edu/tallships for more information on food and parking), the Maine Narrow-Gauge Railroad (for tickets: www.mainenarrowgauge.org), Ft. Allen Park in Portland, the entire Eastern Promenade and Portland waterfront and dozens of other smaller locations.
Sail on Portland’s own tall ships! Portland Schooner Company’s two schooners Wendameen and Bagheera and Maine Sailing Adventures’ Frances are offering sails throughout the weekend. All three are in the Parade of Sail so that could be the best seat in the house! Details and tickets: www.tallshipsportland.com, www.portlandschooner.com and www.mainesailingadventures.net
Sail on board Aucocisco III, the classic Casco Bay Lines Ferry, will provide two great opportunities to experience the tall ships from the water with two sails:
11 am to 1 pm Parade of Sail Preview $55 per person – Many of the incoming vessels will be harboring in calmer waters around Casco Bay on Saturday morning, July 18th, in anticipation of the start of the Parade of Sail. This preview on the Aucocisco III allows you the chance to see them as they ready their ships, prepare for their very busy day and possibly hoist their sails. Please note: Each ship has its own schedule and preparation and their activities are dependent on the wind and weather. You will see the ships close up and personal while enjoying a great harbor and island cruise. Limited availability and will sell out in advance. For details and purchase tickets at www.tallshipsportland.com/tickets
2 pm to 4 pm The Parade of Sail Front and Center $75 per person – Please join us for a front and center viewing of the Parade of Sail as the visiting ships make their entrance into Portland. This two-hour sail on board the Aucocisco III will provide perfect viewing and photography. Our goal is to give you a close up view of the Parade. Time: 2pm to 4 p.m. Saturday Tickets $75 per person. Limited availability and will sell out in advance. For details and to purchase tickets at www.tallshipsportland.com/tickets
Discovery Tours – another elegant option is the fleet of Discovery Land & Sea Tours. If you want to be on the water – go to: www.portlanddiscovery.com