The Tall Ships Set Sail to Boston

Updated February 21, 2017 | Factmonster Staff


The Tall Ships Set Sail
Powerful 18th and 19th century sailing ships converge on Boston


by David Johnson
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The HMS Bounty
The HMS Bounty

GRACEFUL, dramatic, and powerful, the sailing ships of the 18th and 19th centuries, known as tall ships, have inspired writers and adventurers. From July 11–16, 2000, more than 100 tall ships from all over the world converged on Boston, as part of a four-month series of races. The tall ships last visited Boston in such numbers in 1992.

Full Sail Across the Atlantic

In mid-April, two fleets gathered separately, in Southampton, England, and Genoa, Italy, and raced to Cadiz, Spain. Joined as one fleet, the ships then raced to Bermuda, arriving in the second week of June. After a four-day celebration in Bermuda, the ships sailed up the East Coast to Charleston, South Carolina; Wilmington, Delaware; New York City; and Newport, Rhode Island, to Boston. After another celebration, the ships will depart for Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The Kruzenshtern

The Juan Sebastian de Elcano

The Kaiwo Maru II

The Amerigo Vespucci

The Sagres II

The Símon Bolívar, The Guayas, The Gloria

The Danmark

The Capitan Miranda

The Niagara

The HMS Bounty

Ship Fever!

The Titanic


After four days for rest and stocking supplies, the crews faced their most strenuous test, a 3,000-mile race to Amsterdam. When it was all over, the ships completed a 10,000-mile long circumnavigation of the North Atlantic Ocean.

Battered, But Never Beaten

As home to the most famous tall ship in the United States, the USS Constitution, Boston is an appropriate host for the gathering. Known as Old Ironsides, the Constitution is the oldest commissioned warship in the world still afloat. Ordered by President George Washington, the 44-gun frigate has gone to battle 33 times against the French, the British, and pirates of the Barbary Coast. She delivered troops to what is now Vietnam after the War of 1812, and later patrolled the African coast to fight the slave trade.

Ship Fever: World's Most Famous Vessels

Icebergs Ahoy!

Shipwrecks since 1833

Mysterious Disappearances of Ships

Other Disasters

Famous Ship Canals

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