Archive for the ‘Great Lakes cruise events’ Category

In July of 2010, Bay City, Michigan will once again host a Tall Ship Celebration, the first time since 2006. The festival is scheduled to begin at about 1pm on July 15th when the first of a fleet of Tall Ships sails into the harbor. Bay City’s own Tall Ships, the Appledore IV and the Appledore V will be on hand to greet the incoming fleet. For 4 days, the City will be home to the largest fleet of Tall Ships to visit the Great Lakes in 2010. Festivities will include tours of the ships and both of the Appledores will be offering short Great Lakes cruises around the bay.

The price for admission is very reasonable. A “passport” system has been created that will allow each visitor admission to the festival for all 4 days, plus 1 tour of each of the participating vessels (it does not appear that the Appledore cruises will be included as part of this admission price). The cost of the passport is advertised at $12 if purchased early and $15 if purchased after July 1. This works out to under $5 a day if you stay for all 4 days, which is much less than the cost of a movie ticket and even if you stay for only 1 day the cost is less than the cost of admission to an amusement park.

For those who want to visit the festivities, but don’t want to tour the ships a 1 day ticket can be purchased for $6.

What kind of festivities are there? Well, in addition to tours and rides, Tall Ship festivals usually include demonstrations, contests and theater presentations. Bay City is no different, and has contracted with the Ring of Steel Pirate School to offer stage performances, discuss sea-based crafts and demonstrate pirate games.

The International Maritime Music Festival will also be held during the Tall Ships Celebration, giving attendees the opportunity to listen to the music that was popular aboard these ships when they were still the world’s dominant form of international transportation.

The ships expected to arrive in the fleet, include the Amistad, a 129 foot Topsail Schooner based in New Haven, Connecticut; the Denis Sullivan, a 137 foot 3-Masted Schooner based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; the HMS bounty, a 180 foot Full-Rigged ship sailing from Greenport, Long Island, New York; the Madeline, a 92 foot Gaff Topsail Schooner that calls Traverse City, Michigan its home; the Pathfinder, a 72 foot Bragantine from Toronto, Ontario, Canada; the Playfair, another Bragantine from Toronto with a length of 72 feet; the Pride of Baltimore II a 170 foot long Square Topsail Schooner from Baltimore, Maryland; the Roald Amundsen, a 165 foot Brig that will come all the way from Eckernforde, Germany; the Roseway, a 137 foot schooner from St, Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands; and the Appledore IV and Appledore V which are based in Bay City and will meet the fleet when it arrives.

The HMS Bounty and the Pride of Baltimore II each carry over 10,000 square feet of sail and the Roald Amundsen carries over 9,000 square feet. These are not the little sailboats you see on inland lakes, these are the real thing, ocean going ships now cruising the Great Lakes.

Lovers of Tall Ships and Great Lakes cruises will all find something of interest at the Bay City Tall Ship Celebration. Music, theater, history, art and a whole lot more are waiting for the cost of a $15 admission. This is only the 4th time in 10 years that Bay City has hosted such a festival, so it is not something to be missed.

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