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Philadelphia/Camden Tall Ship Festival

Patriot Harbor Lines’ guide to the Philadelphia/Camden Tall Ships Festival. Enjoy the festival and don’t forget the Patriot will be cruising the entire four days. Our schedule can be found at You can also purchase tickets here. You can also stop by the Patriot located at the Seaport Museum dock and purchase tickets directly aboard the boat.



Map/Photo courtesy of TallShipsPC

Tall Ship Knowledge

Barque – a barque is a vessel with three or more masts, fore-and-aft sails on the aftermost mast and square sails on all other masts.

Schooner – A schooner is a sailing vessel with fore-and-aft sails on two or more masts, the foremast being shorter than the main and no taller than the mizzen if there is one. Originally gaff-rigged, modern schooners typically carry a Bermuda rig.

Frigate – A frigate is a ship of war used for ships of various sizes and roles over the last few centuries. In the 17th century, the term was used for any warship built for speed and maneuverability, the description often used being “frigate-built”. The term was generally used for ships too small to stand in the line of battle. In the 18th century, the term referred to ships that were usually as long as a ship of the line and were square-rigged on all three masts (full rigged), but were faster and with lighter armament, used for patrolling and escort.

Galleon – A galleon was a large, multi-decked sailing ship used primarily by European states from the 16th to 18th centuries. The term “Galleon” large ship, comes from Old French ‘Galion’ “little ship”, from Spanish ‘Galeón’ “armed merchant ship”, from Portuguese ‘Galeão’ “war ship”, from Byzantine Greek ‘Galea’ “galley.”

Privateer – A privateer was a private ship authorized by a government by letters of marque to attack foreign vessels during wartime. Commissioning privateers was a way of mobilizing armed ships and sailors without having to build warships. The crew of a privateer might be treated as prisoners of war by the enemy country if captured.

Clipper – A clipper was a very fast sailing ship of the middle third of the 19th century. They were fast, yachtlike vessels, with three masts and a square rig. They were generally narrow for their length, could carry limited bulk freight, small by later 19th century standards, and had a large total sail area. Clipper ships were mostly constructed in British and American shipyards. Clippers sailed all over the world, primarily on the trade routes between the United Kingdom and its colonies in the east, in trans-Atlantic trade, and the New York-to-San Francisco route round Cape Horn during the California Gold Rush.


Tree of Life – Built in Nova Scotia, Canada, Tree of Life is a 91’ long gaff-rigged schooner built of fir, spruce, Honduran Mahogany, koa and teak. In 2002, she embarked on a three-year circumnavigation. Tree of Life is based in Newport, RI and sails the New England waters with private charters. She usually winters in the Caribbean.

Lynx – Lynx is a privateer inspired by the original historic tall ship from the War of 1812. The Lynx is a living history museum to educate children and adults alike about American history through active sail training aboard a real wooden sailing ship. At 78 feet long, Lynx is an award-winning vessel that is no stranger to the silver screen and page.

L’Hermione – A French replica of a Concorde class frigate of the French Navy, famous for carrying General Lafayette to the United States in 1780 allowing him to rejoin the Americans during the American Revolutionary War. With a length of 145’ and a height of 184’ she will be a standout.

In 1778, the original L’Hermione was considered a light frigate characterized by speed and agility. L’Hermione was fitted out with 26 cannons shooting 12-pound cannonballs. The original took 11 months to build with only 100 carpenters, blacksmiths, drillers, caulkers and convicts completing the build.

SagresThe Sagres was built in 1937 in the shipyard of Blohm & Voss in Hamburg and named the Albert Leo Schlageter. She was the 3rd of four ships built by the German Navy including the Horst Vessel (now the US Coast Guard ship, Eagle). During World War II she was taken to Bremerhaven shipyard after damage from a mine and captured by the U.S. forces in 1945. The ship was given to Brazil in 1948 and sailed in as a training ship in the Brazilian Navy under the name Guanabara. In 1962 she was purchased by Portugal to replace the old sail training ship Sagres and is often referred to as the Sagres II.

Picton Castle – The Picton Castle is a barque used as a training ship and a workshop for teaching wire and rope rigging, sail making, boat handling, navigation and practical seamanship. A three-master, 179’ long, 284-ton, and based in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada best known for sail training voyages around the world. Over the past decade, she has made five complete circumnavigations of the globe, and many more voyages.

Gazela – Philadelphia’s official Tall Ship was built in 1901 in the shipyard of J. M. Mendes in Setubal, Portugal to fish the Grand Banks off Newfoundland. She has called Philadelphia home since 1971. Owned by the Philadelphia Ship Preservation Guild, Gazela sails as a goodwill ambassador. She is 177’ in length her masts are 94’ above the deck.

Eagle – The eagle is a three-masted barque owned by the US Coast Guard. She has 21,350 square feet of sail, a length of 295’ and is the only operational sailing vessel in the U.S. maritime services and is just one of five operational Training Barques in the world. One of five sister ships built for sail training in Germany in the 1930s, Eagle was included in reparations paid to the United States following World War II. Aboard the Eagle, cadets have a chance to put into practice the navigation, engineering, and other skills they are taught at the Coast Guard Academy.

Entry aboard the Eagle is free to the public and a ticket to the Tall Ship festival is not necessary to get aboard.

El Galeon – El Galeon is a replica of a late 16th Century merchant vessel or warship used by the navies of Europe. She is the only Galeon class vessel sailing today. El Galeón has a length of 170’ She is 49t tons and is an authentic wooden replica of a Spanish galleon. She can set 9,600 square feet of sail area in the same fashion as 16th century sailors.

The first Galleon to arrive in America was the flagship of Don Pedro Menéndez de Avilés. Named the San Pelayo, the 650-ton ship, one of the most powerful ships of its day, carried 800 colonists and supplies to St. Augustine, establishing the first permanent European settlement in the United States in 1565.

Pride of Baltimore II – Pride of Baltimore II, a 157’ topsail schooner, is a reconstruction of an early 19th-century Baltimore Clipper, Chasseur. Baltimore Clippers became famous as privateers during the War of 1812 and Chasseur was one of the most successful. She blockaded the British Isles by herself and captured or sank 17 vessels before returning home to be greeted by cheering crowds and dubbed the “Pride of Baltimore.”

Pride of Baltimore II is a goodwill ambassador for both Baltimore and Maryland, spreading a positive message throughout the world. Since 1988, Pride II has sailed 250,000 nautical miles – the equivalent of almost 12 times around the world – and visited more than 200 ports in 40 countries, promoting historical maritime education, and fostering economic development and tourism. Pride II is available to the public for daysails, sailing and dockside receptions, and overnight voyages between ports of call.

Lettie G. Howard – Lettie G. Howard is a wooden Fredonia schooner built in 1893 in Essex, Massachusetts, USA. American offshore fishermen commonly used this type of vessel. Lettie G. Howard spent a significant portion of her working life off the Yucatan Peninsula coast. In 1968, she was sold to the South Street Seaport Museum and refinished. She was restored in 1991 and is certified as a training and working museum ship.

Based in New York, she currently sails along the Northeast seaboard. She underwent extensive shipyard repairs in Portland, Maine in the second half of 2013.

North Wind – The schooner (NORTHWIND) Serves as a flagship for the city of Gloucester, New Jersey across the river from Philadelphia and is utilized as an educational schoolship. Students from local schools have the opportunity to learn about the maritime world. Gloucester City Sail has programs designed to work with teachers and students for history, physics, navigation, sailing and many other topics.

AJ Meerwald – The deadrise Schooner A.J. Meerwald is New Jersey’s official Tall Ship. She is a restored oyster-dredging schooner, whose homeport is in Bivalve, New Jersey. Launched in 1928, A.J. Meerwald was one of hundreds of schooners built along in South Jersey before the decline of the shipbuilding industry which coincided with the Great Depression.

Today, the A.J. Meerwald is used by the Bayshore Discovery Project for onboard educational programs in the Delaware Bay near Bivalve, and at other ports in the New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware region. The A.J. Meerwald was added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 7, 1995.

Serenity – Serenity, a 65’ gaff topsail schooner, was built in 1986 to be a cargo schooner, but was converted to a passenger vessel in the early 1990’s. She is now based in Yorktown, VA and offers cruises on the Chesapeake Bay.

Hindu – Built in 1925, Hindu was designed by the famous William H. Hand Jr., of Portland, Maine. A half-scale model of a Grand Banks fishing schooner inspires her lines, shape, and style. In 1938, William J. Parker bought the schooner and sailed her to India. When he arrived he rechristened her with the name “Hindu”. Hindu reportedly sailed spices from India to the United States on two occasions. During World War II Hindu assisted U.S. Coast Guard Coastal Patrol along the Eastern Seaboard. Hindu passed through owners, but in 2012, a Key West architect with a long history and love of sailing, rescued Hindu from bank ownership and began restoration work with the help of many friends and family.

When and If – When Gen. George S. Patton had a schooner custom-built in 1939, he was still a colonel in the U.S. Army and the US military was just beginning to mobilize for the war in Europe. Patton eventually christened his ship the “When and If,” because when the war ended, and if he returned alive, he planned to sail it around the world. Patton did not live to fulfill that dream. The schooner’s new owner is Doug Hazlitt is a wooden boat enthusiast who has rebuilt several other boats. The When and If underwent a complete rebuild over the last two years.

Elf – Elf, built in 1888 at a cost of $3,500, is the oldest active racing yacht in America. She was built to be a very fast racing boat with an impressive sailing rig, sporting a topsail that reached up 68.5 feet to grab every bit of wind. In 1893, she was the first small vessel to sail roundtrip from Marblehead, Mass., to Halifax, Nova Scotia, pioneering offshore yacht cruising in the process. After her racing career ended, Elf continued to cruise the northeast and even as far south as the Bahamas.

During World War I, her lead ballast was removed to support the war effort. A steel keel was eventually fitted, her sail area was reduced, her rigging was modified and she was renamed several times before being bought in 1932 by Gus and Vida Van Lennep, who went on to found the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (CBMM) in 1965. Elf ended up in the hands of her current owner and captain, Rick Carrion, in 1971 in a dilapidated state.


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