Skip To Main Content

Galveston, Texas - Gulf Coast Texas Region

Video: Our Trip to The Galveston Tall Ships Festival

By now, y'all might know that we find history fascinating. We really enjoy visiting museums and historical sites and learning the stories of the places that we visit. We always love seeing the 1877 Tall Ship Elissa when we visit Galveston Island. In fact, we featured the Elissa and the Texas Seaport Museum on our list of 10 Fun Things to Do in Galveston On a Budget. So, of course, when we heard that a group of Tall Ships would be visiting Galveston for a festival, y'all know we had to go!

Even though the weather turned out to be windy, a bit rainy and chilly, we had a great time touring the ships at the Tall Ships Galveston Festival. 2018 was the inaugural festival here and we definitely look forward to future events. Here's a little bit of information about the tall ships that participated in 2018...

The Official Tall Ship of Texas
Built in Aberdeen, Scotland in 1877, Elissa now makes her home in Galveston TX.
She is a 205 foot long, square rigged, iron-hulled sailing ship that underwent a full restoration beginning in 1978. The Elissa is one of only three remaining ships of her kind and age to still actively sail. She worked as a commercial cargo vessel for 90 years as she visited ports all around the world. You can visit this National Historic Landmark at the Texas Seaport Museum in Galveston.
Monument of the Dutch Ministry of Culture
Built in Rotterdam, The Netherlands in 1918, Oosterschelde calls Rotterdam, The Netherlands home again after an international career.
This beautiful 160 foot long steel-hulled vessel is a three-masted topsail schooner that served as a freighter, and is the only remaining ship of its fleet that sailed under the Dutch flag in the early 20th century. It returned to its home port in 1988 to undergo a full restoration and now hosts adventure vacations around the world!
Tall Ships at Port

Tall Ships at Port in Galveston

Inside Tall Ship Oosterschelde

Inside Tall Ship Oostershelde

The Liberator of Norway
Built in Wales, The United Kingdom in 1928, the Picton Castle is now based in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.
This 179 foot long ship has a riveted steel hull. Today she works as a deep ocean training vessel where anyone is welcome to become a crew trainee. The Picton Castle is currently on its seventh voyage around the world.
General Patton's Schooner
Built in Wiscasset, Maine in 1939, the When and If operates out of New York, NY.
At 80 feet long, When And If was the smallest schooner to participate at the Galveston Tall Ships Festival. She was commissioned to be built by General George S Patton for him to sail around the world with his wife (which of course, never happened). This wood-hulled vessel was restored beginning in 2012, and now offers daily sailing tours and private charters.
Singing Pirates

Singing Pirates

The Lynx at Sail

The Lynx at Sail

America's Privateer
Built in Rockport, Maine in 2001, The Lynx calls Portsmouth, New Hampshire home.
She is a 122 foot long, wood-hulled ship whose design was inspired by the "original historic tall ship from the War of 1812" which was known as The Privateer Lynx. The current Lynx serves as a living history museum. She hosts educational programs, adventure sails and private charters so that visitors can learn about what life was like on Baltimore Clipper style ships during the early 19th century.
Rhode Island's Official Sailing School Vessel
Built in Canada and Rhode Island in 2015, Oliver Hazard Perry docks in Newport, Rhode Island.
The youngest of the festival's fleet of tall ships, this 200 foot long, steel-hulled ship is the "largest civilian sailing school vessel in the United States, and the first fully-rigged ship to be built in the US in over 100 years". It serves as a floating classroom for teens and adults.
Looking at the Picton Castle from the Elissa

Looking at the Picton Castle from the Elissa

Meeting Betsy and Chris from As We Go

Meeting Betsy and Chris from As We Go

Built in 1983, the General Rudder ports in Galveston, Texas.
Certainly not a Tall Ship, but interesting on its own, the General Rudder serves as a training ship for cadets at Texas A&M Galveston. During the Galveston Tall Ships Festival, guided tours were available of this former US Navy ocean surveillance ship.

We definitely recommend you checking out one of these Tall Ship Festivals if they come to an area near you. This year's Galveston festival was part of the Tall Ships Challenge. These ships traveled from Galveston to Pensacola, Florida, then onto New Orleans, Louisiana and later Philadephia, Pennsylvania. 2018 pricing for the Galveston Tall Ships Festival was $10 for festival entry or $20 for the ability to board the Oliver Hazard Perry, Picton Castle, Oosterschelde, Elissa and General Rudder. Day cruises and dinner cruises were available on the Lynx and When And If under a separate ticket.

The festival also included entertainment, food trucks and a few vendor booths. This is truly a unique festival! We loved boarding the ships and talking with some of the folks who sail on them. We look forward to future Tall Ship Festivals!

As a bonus, we got to hang out for the weekend with our friends Scott, Judy, Greg and Carolyn PLUS... we finally got to meet our friends Betsy and Chris in person while we were at the festival! Betsy and Chris are full-time RVers from South Dakota who are members of our RV Texas Y'all Community on Facebook. They chronicle their travels on their blog: As We Go, their new YouTube Channel and on Facebook and Instagram. They are publishing several videos from the Galveston Tall Ships Festival, so be sure to check them out!

Subscribe To Our Newsletter to stay connected and receive an email with our latest posts and updates!

Tell Us What You Think! Alrighty you've heard what we think, now we want to hear about your experiences. Have you attended a Tall Ship Festival? Please share your pictures and comments in the RV Texas Y'all Community on Facebook or in the RV Texas Y'all Community on RVillage. Not a member of one of our communities yet? We'd love for you to participate! And, of course, they are absolutely FREE! Join us to share your experiences and interact with others folks in the RV Texas Y'all communities. Want more info? Learn more about our Facebook Group!

Safe Travels and Happy Camping!