On September 14 at 4 pm six majestic tall ships will be sailing into the Old Port of Montreal for a spectacular display of marine history. The ships will then dock at the Jacques Quartier Quay from September 15 until 18. Advance tickets are on sale now for this popular event, which sells out fast.
These elegant ships with their full sails have captured the world’s imagination and have become a symbol of freedom and adventure on the high sea. “Tall ships” is actually a generic name coined in 1956 during the first International Tall Ships’ Races and can include a variety of ships from different eras and different styles. But, they all have share the basic elements of a wooden hull, rigging made from ropes and chains and tall white sails.
You can choose to tour the ships between between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. or between 2 and 6 p.m., Thursday to Sunday.
The Maritime Village alongside the Quay offers additional events including exhibits and guest speakers. Get to know the St. Lawrence Seaway through the exhibits from the many organizations working to keep the river wild including The Canadian Wildlife Federation (CWF) and the Group for Research and Education on Marine Mammals (GREMM). The special exhibition The Port: A People Place, shows the history of the port and its people. The Quebec Sailing Federation will be on hand along with National Defense and special nautical know workshop. The Navigator’s District will feature guest speakers who are passionate about sailing and have a few nautical tales to tell.
Kids can be entertained in the Children’s District with the street animators, including clowns, magicians and mascots. The Laurentian Bank will offer artistic make-up for kids, and Souffle Artistique will show kids how to become painters. Saturday and Sunday, the “parcours du moussaillon” (path of the cabin boy) obstacle course for kids between 3 and 12 years old to complete in order to become a good pirate.
Restaurants will be selling their wares are well, ranging from Italian to Asian cuisine. And for the stressed out there is the Bota Bota spa-sur-l’eau, a boat converted into a spa. If the evening enjoy live shows with music followed by fireworks.
The 2011 flotilla comprises six majestic ships, each with its own tales of adventure:
- The Niagara: A wooden brig with a total length of 198 feet (60.4 m), dating from the War of 1812. Home port: Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
- The Pride of Baltimore II: A wooden topsail schooner, a 157 feet (47.9 m), a merchant ship armed for the War of 1812. Home port: Maryland, U.S.A.
- The Challenge: A steel three-masted schooner, 96 feet (29.3 m) long in all. A 20th-century pleasure and excursion ship. Home port: Toronto, Canada.
- The Lynx: A wooden topsail schooner, with a total length of 122 feet (37.2 m). A merchant ship armed for the war of 1812. Home port: California, U.S.A.
- The Pathfinder: A steel brigantine, 72 feet (22 m) long in all. A mid-19th-century merchant ship. Home port: Toronto, Canada.
- The St. Lawrence II: A steel brigantine, 72 feet (22 m) long in all. A mid-19th-century merchant ship. Home port: Kingston, Canada.
Tickets are on sale at the Jacques-Cartier Quay or you can call their ticket hotline at 1-877-496-4724 or 514-496-4724. Prices are Adults $ 10, Children (4 to 17) $ 7 and Families $30 (2 children, 2 adults or 1 adult, 3 children).
A $25 VIP Pass includes an exclusive ship tour on Friday between 7 and 10 pm with access to the Officers’ Mess and its patio, with an exceptional view of the illuminated ships and stage shows. Tickets sell fast so book yours today.