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Tour A Tall Ship

Updated on March 4, 2017

List Of Tall Ships You Can Tour

Ahoy!  Here you'll find information on tall ships around the world that are open for the public to tour.  All ships are grouped by region of the world so that you can easily find a tall ship near you or your next travel destination.

Touring a tall ship is an exciting experience that gives you an appreciation of history, the adventure of sailing and what life was like for the crews that sailed these great old sailing ships.  It's a fun and educational activity the whole family can enjoy.

This site lists tall ships that are stationary exhibits most of the time, usually as part of a larger maritime museum.  Some do set sail occasionally so please check each ship's website for specifics. 

That's the USS Constellation pictured above in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. It's my favorite tall ship to tour. (Photo credit: sneakerdog, used under Creative Commons)

Pilgrim by Port of San Diego
Pilgrim by Port of San Diego

What's A Tall Ship?

A Tall Ship is simply a wind powered ship with tall masts. The term typically refers to large sailing vessels that were the warships, freighters and ocean liners of their day before the use of modern engines.

A tall ship does not have to be built entirely of wood, most built in the late 19th and early 20th century had wrought iron or steel hulls and masts.

Tall ships are classified according to their rig (the number of masts and configuration of the sails). Basic rigs include full-rigged ship, brig, barque, brigantine and barquentine. Click here for a full list of sailing ship rig definitions.

North America - East Coast

Tall Ships to Tour in North America

USS Constitution
USS Constitution | Source
Friendship of Salem by Mr. T in DC
Friendship of Salem by Mr. T in DC

Support Your Tall Ships

Many tall ships are owned and maintained by non-profit organizations. These historic ships require a lot of work and money to restore and keep afloat.

Please remember that your admission ticket only covers a portion of these costs. There is usually a donation box onsite or you can find donor information on the ship's website.

Making a purchase in the museum gift shop or at the snack bar also helps.

North America - West Coast

More Tall Ships to Tour in North America

The Star of India by Mike Towber
The Star of India by Mike Towber

HMS Rose (aka HMS Surprise)
This replica ship played the role of HMS Surprise in the Oscar winning movie Master and Commander - The Far Side of the World. She is docked in San Diego, CA, at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.

Star of India
Built in 1863, this barque was originally a full-rigged ship until converted in 1901. She still sets sail at least once a year, is one of the world's oldest active ships and part of the Maritime Museum of San Diego.

This replica of the 1847 Revenue Cutter C.W. Lawrence was built at San Diego in 1984. She is the official tall ship of the State of California. When not out sailing her annual tour of the California coast, she can be found in San Diego.

The Balclutha first set sail in 1887. She has the distiction of being the last vessel to fly the flag of the Hawaiian Kingdom and is now a National Historic Landmark. The National Park Service acquired her in 1978 and she is part of the San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park.

My Favorite Tall Ship Movie

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (Widescreen Edition)
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (Widescreen Edition)

A superb and action packed movie based on Patrick O'Brian's incredible Master and Commander novels. This movie, and the novels it's based on, inspired me to research and build this tall ship directory. The movie stars Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany but the ship is the real star.

A.R.C. Gloria at Dusk by willwhitedc
A.R.C. Gloria at Dusk by willwhitedc

Party On A Tall Ship!

How cool would it be to celebrate your next birthday, graduation, wedding, anniversary, corporate function or any other event on the deck of a tall ship?

Well, you're in luck. Most tall ships are available for private parties and event rentals. Check their website for details.


Tall Ships to Tour in Europe

Portsmouth Dockyard
Portsmouth Dockyard | Source


Tall Ships to Tour in Australia

HMB Endeavour by Katie Hannan
HMB Endeavour by Katie Hannan

HMB Endeavour
A replica of Captain James Cook's famous ship is berthed at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Darling Harbour, Sydney.

James Craig
This barque was built in 1874 and rounded Cape Horn 23 times during her career. A 20 year long restoration project was completed in 2001. In addition to daily guided tours, her frequent weekend cruises are also open to the public and small groups. The James Craig is berthed at Wharf 7, Pyrmont, NSW.

Exceedingly Good Tall Ship Books

These books are filled with beautiful photos of tall ships at sea in all their splendor along with information about the ships and those who sailed them.

Tall Ships Today: Their remarkable story
Tall Ships Today: Their remarkable story

Written by the founding president of Sail Training International, this book features beautiful photography and details of over 100 tall ships around the world.

The Last of the Cape Horners: Firsthand Accounts From the Final Days of the Commercial Tall Ships
The Last of the Cape Horners: Firsthand Accounts From the Final Days of the Commercial Tall Ships

A collection of true first hand experiences woven together as a voyage around the world.

HMS Victory by pasujoba
HMS Victory by pasujoba

Serve On A Tall Ship

and help keep history alive.

Since many tall ships are owned by non-profit organizations and press gangs are no longer in fashion (or legal), they are often looking for volunteers to help maintain, guide tours and occasionally sail them.

If you have experience, would like to learn some new skills or just want to help keep history alive, then consider volunteering. Check the website of the ship you're interested in or ask when you visit for more information.


Tall Ships to Tour in Asia

NIPPON-MARU by naitokz
NIPPON-MARU by naitokz

This four masted vessel was built in 1930 and served as a training vessel. She is now berthed at Yokohama, Japan, at the Yokohama Port Museum. (Note: Link will open a pdf's the best info I could find in English.)

South America

Tall Ships to Tour in South America

Presidente Sarmiento in Puerto Madero by Diego3336
Presidente Sarmiento in Puerto Madero by Diego3336

ARA Presidente Sarmiento
This frigate, launched in 1897, was present at the coronations of King Edward VII of Great Britain, King Alfonso XII of Spain and King George V of Great Britain. She also attended the 100th Anniversary of Mexico's Independence and the opening of the Panama Canal. She was decommissioned from her training ship duties in 1961 and is now on exhibit in Buenos Aries, Argentina.

Tall Ships Is Our Middle Name

Other tall ship related sites...

Tall Ship Documentaries


Live the adventure of sailing on the US Coast Guard's Eagle (pictured above) as she sails with other tall ships into New York Harbor.

Sea Warriors - The Royal Navy in the Age of Sail
Sea Warriors - The Royal Navy in the Age of Sail

Learn what life was really like aboard a man of war during the era of "Nelson's Navy".


Tall Ship Movies and Films

Tall Ship Movies
From swashbuckling pirates to action packed naval battles, tall ship movies rock! Below is a directory of tall ship movies and documentaries that might interest...

Master and Commander - The Far Side of the World
A captivating movie based on the even better "Master and Commander" book series written by the late Patrick O'Brian. This movie stars Russell Crowe...

Keep Watch

For a tall ship

If you live near the coast, keep on eye on your local news or community events calendar.

There are always tall ships sailing the seas and making ports of call. When they do, there is usually an opportunity to see them in action and possibly even take a tour while they're in port.

To find the current location of a ship at sea, check out the Tall Ship Tracking Map.

Tall Ship Photo & Other Credits

Except where otherwise noted, the tall ship photos on this site are used under Creative Commons from their respective owners.

USS Constellation used under Creative Commons from sneakerdog

Pilgrim used under Creative Commons from Port of San Diego

USS Constitution in the public domain at the United States Navy.

HMS Surprise used under Creative Commons from Chris Radcliff.

Friendship of Salem used under Creative Commons from Mr. T in DC.

The Star of India used under Creative Commons from Mike Towber.

A.R.C. Gloria at Dusk used under Creative Commons from willwhitedc.

Portsmouth Dockyard used under Creative Commons and with permission from MarilynJane.

HMB Endeavour used under Creative Commons from Katie Hannan.

HMS Victory used under Creative Commons from pasujoba.

NIPPON-MARU used under Creative Commons from naitokz.

Presidente Sarmiento in Puerto Madero used under Creative Commons from Diego3336.

I also want to credit the Advertising Slogan Generator which was used to name some of the modules on this lens. It's a great tool for those of us who are creative writing challenged.

Thanks for visiting!


Please leave a comment below if this directory was helpful to you or if there is any other tall ship info or links that you would like to see here. Thanks!

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    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I worked with students on the Niagara and it made me fall in love with these beautiful ladies. I would LOVE to get married on a tall ship.

    • RowanChisholm profile image

      Rowan Chisholm 4 years ago from Washington state

      There's the Lady Washington in Grays Harbor, Washington, too. She starred in "Pirates of the Caribbean".

      Both tours and go sailing. This is on my "must do" list.

    • vineliner57 profile image

      Hal Gall 4 years ago from Bloomington, IN

      My wife and I lived in Newport, RI in the '80's and watched the tall boats from our back deck when they would visit the bay. They are something to see!

    • AlishaV profile image

      Alisha Vargas 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada

      Tall ships are incredible. It's astonishing how well some of them have survived considering how dangerous and damaging the sea can be. I was lucky enough to be one of the parental guardians when my niece's school was allowed to stay overnight on the Star of India in San Diego. It was amazing to stay where so many people had been before, and to learn that the ship had gone through mutiny and being locked in the ice and had sailed around the world many times. The Star of India is also supposed to be haunted and is sometimes on the San Diego ghost tours during Halloween.

    • JuneNash profile image

      June Nash 4 years ago

      I first heard of the Tall Ships when I was a teenager. Some were touring near our cottage. Everyone took off in their boats to watch them as they passed by. It is a great memory.

    • MacPharlain profile image

      MacPharlain 4 years ago

      @craftycollector: That's an interesting story about Peking's history as a school/training ship under the name Arethusa. It must have been cool growing up on it.

      Thanks for the heads up on the broken link, I've corrected it. I didn't find any info on when she'll leave New York except that it would be soon.

    • craftycollector profile image

      craftycollector 4 years ago

      I grew up on TS ARethusa, which is listed as Peking, here aoriginal name, in your list. I presume the link page cannot be found as she is in the process of being returned to her home port, Hamburg. Please see my lens about Growing up on TS ARethusa for more information about Peking:Arethusa - it's the same ship, but while she was a school ship, she was renamed Arethusa and reverted to the name Peking when she went to New York.

    • pettitjack profile image

      pettitjack 4 years ago

      I love tall ships

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 4 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      Tall ships are so beautiful! I've had the honor to tour two of them, but I hope to someday ride out to sea in one. =D

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I really liked your lense. I will come back as I want to look into volunteer opportunities aboard a tall ship.

    • profile image

      MajendaMhutila 5 years ago

      Great information, would love to travel on one of them around the Indian ocean oneday!

    • SheilaMilne profile image

      SheilaMilne 5 years ago from Kent, UK

      I was lucky enough to live near HMS Victory and HMS Warrior. I made sure all visitors were taken to visit them. :) The Mary Rose too.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Wow. I wish I was around 200 years ago haha. In London we have Cutty Sark, really nice example of an old tall ship.

    • steveko profile image

      steveko 5 years ago

      I love the tall ships. They have been to Philadelphia a few times. Always great to see them. I've been on one in New Jersey and they took us for a ride, it was awesome. Nice lens.

    • JoanieMRuppel54 profile image

      Joanie Ruppel 5 years ago from Keller, Texas

      Very interesting lens. Have toured the Elissa and have seen the replica Mayflower. I love tall ships!

    • mihgasper profile image

      Miha Gasper 5 years ago from Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU

      What a beautiful idea! Touring tall ships can be great fun:-)

    • jayceehaynes profile image

      jayceehaynes 5 years ago

      very nice lens :) I love tallships

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @pcgamehardware: My sister is in Savannah today and tall ships from around the world are there.

    • ogrote profile image

      ogrote 5 years ago

      Brilliant lens. I can see a lot of effort has gone into making this lens.

    • SellClean profile image

      SellClean 5 years ago

      There are several ships that tour the Great Lakes every year. Had the pleasure of taking an excursion a few years back. Lots of fun and very interesting!

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