In 1492, Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue. In 2015, replicas of two of his ships, the Pinta and the Nina, will sail the Mississippi brown to dock in Grafton.
The ships will dock at The Loading Dock Restaurant, 401 Front St., at noon Thursday and will remain there until their departure early Monday morning, Aug. 17. The ships are open to the public beginning Friday.
The Nina was built completely by hand without power tools and was called by Archaeology magazine “the most historically correct Columbus replica ever built.” The Pinta, a larger version of the Portuguese caravel, was built in Brazil to accompany the Nina on her travels. It boasts a larger space for tours and a 900-square-foot main salon below deck for visitors to view slide shows of the ships’ construction.
The public is invited to take self-guided tours aboard the ships from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Aug. 16. Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors and $6 for students 5-16. Children under 4 can board for free. No reservations are necessary.
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Thirty-minute tours guided by a crew member will be available to schoolchildren or organizations for $5 per person (minimun 15). To schedule a group tour, call 787-672-2152 or visit the website www.ninapinta.org, click on Take a Tour and fill out the online form.
The sailing museum ships are sponsored by the Columbus Foundation.