Great Lakes cruises come in all kids of varieties and one of the most fascinating types of cruise is on a Tall Ship. Tall ships carry our imaginations back in time to the age of wind power when these intricate vessels were considered state-of-the-art machines. At one time, these wind-driven tall ships ruled the seas and were the most technologically advanced and complex machines on earth. Today, they still roam the seas, and it is awe inspiring to come face-to-face with them and realize that history is staring us in the face.

The Midwest U.S., will have a close encounter with history when a fleet of 20 to 25 tall ships is expected to arrive in Chicago, Illinois on August 24th to 29th to take part in the “International Parade of Sail.” Chicago is the last stop in a race from one end of the Great Lakes to the other that these ships are participating in.

A wide variety of tall ships will take part in the parade, and some are from as far away as Europe.

Known to be invited are the Amistad from New Haven, Connecticut; the Bluenose II from Lunenburg, Nova Scotia; the HMS Bounty from Greenport, New York, the S/V Denis Sullivan from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the Friends Good Will from South Haven, Michigan, the Highlander Sea from Port Huron, Michigan, the U.S. Brig Niagara from Erie, Pennsylvania, the Pride of Baltimore II, from Baltimore, Maryland and the Roald Amundsen, from Germany. These are just a few of the ships that are expected to finish their Great Lakes cruises in Chicago, and they should provide a good show for everyone.

The tall ships will arrive in Chicago on August 24th and on the 25th, the festival will start. Organizers are promising international music, ship exhibits, crew challenges, arts and crafts, maritime displays, and boat building displays. Plus, nightly fireworks, and almost everybody likes fireworks. In addition, these types of festivals allow you to go on board these amazing ships for tours, lectures and other events, and there are often opportunities to take short Lakes cruises on the ships.

General admission for this event is reportedly $15 to $25 per person and discounts are available for groups of 20 or more. Bus parking is available off site.

This is an amazing opportunity to step back in time and view these marvelous machines close up. Lovers of Great Lakes cruises and lovers of adventure both will want to take part.

All of this will be held at Navy Pier which provides ample parking and space for visitors. A number of other cruise providers operate from Navy Pier offering Great Lakes cruises on a year around basis. There are also several sail driven ships that make Chicago home including The Red Witch.

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