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Kalmar Nyckel : Come Aboard : Public Sails and Tours

Public Sails and Tours

Come Aboard - Bow Shot
Enjoy a Timeless Adventure! 

Ship Appearances on the Wilmington Riverfront

Enjoy the beauty of The Tall Ship of Delaware on Wilmington’s Riverfront this summer. Discover the remarkable story behind the Kalmar Nyckel and its place in history from our crew on land (brief talks offered during each hour). Search for cultural treasures with Kalmar Nyckel’s Riverfront Scavenger Hunt for kids of all ages. Celebrate our community in a free, fun, social-distanced outdoor setting. We regret that visitors cannot board the ship due to COVID-19. Appearances are weather dependent; visit website home page for rain dates.

Sponsored by Kenny Family ShopRite Stores, Diamond State Recycling and the City of Wilmington.

Sail on Kalmar Nyckel

The Kalmar Nyckel offers a wide array of sailing opportunities — from May through October.   Guests are invited to haul lines, set sails, and enjoy tales of the original Kalmar Nyckel  — or become a "pirate" with the crew on special pirate sails (see description below).  

To choose your sail, please click on the Get Tickets on your left and browse by date or location. While tickets may also be purchased at the dock prior to a scheduled sail, it is best to make reservations.   Opt for a Christina River Cruise and enjoy an hour and a half on the water as you transit downtown Wilmington.  You will experience draw bridges, and have the opportunity to help the crew set sail.  A crew member will share the history of the Kalmar Nyckel, while you enjoy a cruise on the water.  Chose a Daysail and you will be sailing the local waters!  Hoist the sails, view the sights, and learn about the history of the ship.  These two and a half hour sails provide time for more sails to be set, and for the ship to sail where the wind takes us.

 
Ahoy Mateys! Come Sail on Kalmar Nyckel, the Tall Ship of Delaware. Landlubbers — come walk the plank of this authentic seagoing re-creation of a 17th-Century Dutch Pinnace.  Our crew don pirate and sailor garb, and guests are encouraged to dress up as well!  The kids will enjoy a pirate story or help raise the Jolly Roger, and the adults will enjoy a history talk.  Both kids and adults can try their hand at a scavenger hunt with a treasure at the end!  See the ship's cannons and imagine being at the helm of this magnificent vessel.  Join our captain and a crew of salty pirates for a festive experience on the high seas! Visit our Sail/Tour Schedule for more information.

 
Geared towards young pirates, this 2 hour adventure is a combination our normal education programing and a public sail.  After our safety briefing, we will start our adventure with a 60 minute dockside "pirate training" for all guests.  Both young pirates and vintage pirates alike will learn to set sail and steer the ship before we get underway.  This is a very hands-on opportunity for everyone, young and old!  Once our new pirates are trained, we will get the ship underway for about 60 minutes and enjoy a short cruise; just enough to get a taste of being underway.  Time permitting, there will be a pirate story or scavenger hunt and a history talk for the adults. Our crew don pirate garb, and guests are encouraged to dress up as well!  See the ship's cannons and imagine being at the helm of this magnificent vessel.  Pirate Adventures are not scheduled in every port. Visit our Sail/Tour Schedule for more information.

The 2020 Concert Cruise Series features three musical groups who will make your cruise memorable.  We will have a cash bar, and snacks while we transit the Christina River in downtown Wilmington.  Enjoy the view, help set sails, and relax to some tunes!  The proposed schedule included:

  • Kalmar Nyckel's own musical sea chantey crew,Three Sheets and the Wind!  A whimsical name to match our awesome chantey singer's light-hearted nature!  You are welcome to sing along!
  • Canadian Tuxedo, from Pennsylvania
  • Accoustically Sound, from Maryland

Tour Kalmar Nyckel

In select locations, join the crew for a memorable deck tour of Kalmar Nyckel.  Our crew will talk with guests about the ship, its special place in history and what made it unique in 1638 and today.  Kids can ring our ship's bell, march around the capstan, and steer the ship using the whipstaff (1630's helm technology predating the wheel).  Check out her carvings from the dock before you step aboard.  The stern carvings are all newly-painted with period-correct hues, and our gilded figurehead, "Leo the Lion," shows his fierce teeth!  These 10-15 minute tours are offered for a nominal charge.  Please visit our Sail/Tour Schedule for more information.

During our maintenance season of December through April, the ship is often open Saturdays from 10-4pm for $10 (includes ship and building).  This is subject to change without notice due to weather, overhead maintenance work, or open flames on deck.  If you are not able to come on a Saturday during our winter/spring maintenance season, you can call the office at least 2 weeks out, and schedule a weekday private tour ($15, includes ship and building).  Once the sailing season begins, please check out our public schedule on the home page, and you can get tickets to sail with us! 

Tour the Copeland Maritime Center

The Copeland Maritime Center, our museum, boasts several exciting permanent exhibits. In the lobby, visitors can see a shortened clip from our new documentary, Kalmar Nyckel: The Forgotten Journey. The Main Deck Room features a ¾ scale model of the ship’s main deck and masts built directly into the floor, where it’s easy for everyone to come aboard. The Riverfront Room is a testament to Wilmington, the city that built 10,000 ships and 30,000 railcars - the #1 manufacturer between the Civil War and WWII. In Watercraft of the World, visitors will find the Forney Collection, model ships from over 70 different countries. The Science of Sailing exhibit explains navigation and other scientific information used by Kalmar Nyckel's captains on a daily basis. Visitors can also get a glimpse of life in Kalmar, Sweden, one of Wilmington's sister cities and the city where Kalmar Nyckel first started its career.

For admission fees and hours of operation, click here.

Fort Christina Park - Delaware's "Plymouth Rock"

As part of a collaboration with the National Park System and Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, we are now offering tours of Fort Christina Park. Collectors of the National Park Passport Stamps can find the Fort Christina Park stamp at the park. 

The park is free to enter. For hours of operation, click here.

For more information, please contact us at: 

Email: info@kalmarnyckel.org
Phone: 302-429-7447

Please note that due to the nature of the weather and conditions beyond our control, the Ship's schedule is subject to change without notice.




Kalmar Nyckel : Come Aboard : Public Sails and Tours

Did you know: That today's Kalmar Nyckel was the last ship launched in Wilmington, DE, a city that launched more than 10,000 ships?


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