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Replicas of Christopher Columbus' Ships to Dock in Wyandotte

Replicas of the Nina and the Pinta will be available for tours on Friday through Sunday at Bishop Park.

School might be out for the summer, but a unique, history lesson is setting sail for Wyandotte this week.

Replicas of two of Christopher Columbus' tall ships will be docking at on Thursday.

Replicas of the Nina and the Pinta, two of the three ships Columbus commanded when he explored the American continents starting in 1492, will be available for public tours from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

Wyandotte is the only stop in southeastern Michigan. Sixteen stops are planned throughout the country this year. This year marks the first time the ships have docked in metro Detroit.

Opportunity Grosse Ile and the city of Wyandotte partnered together to make the Downriver stop possible. The event is being called the Downriver Explorers Festival.

"Having these ships will be a great addition to the summer events (in) downtown Wyandotte," said Heather Thiede, the city's special event coordinator.

Opportunity Grosse Ile President Craig Pilkington said he hopes the three-day event attracts people from all over.

"Touring Columbus' ships is educational entertainment for the whole family," he said. "I applaud the city of Wyandotte for stepping up to host this unique event, which can be enjoyed by all Downriver residents, and hopefully will attract visitors from throughout southeastern Michigan. Wyandotte's waterfront park is truly a fantastic asset for the region."

The Nina and Pinta replica ships serve as floating museums operated by The Columbus Foundation, which is located in the British Virgin Islands. Organizers said the ships are the most historically accurate reproductions of the famous ships that have ever been built.

Columbus Foundation staffers will be on hand to provide visitors with half-hour guided tours that will explain life on, and the operations of, these ships. 

The cost is $8 for adults, $7 for senior citizens ages 60 and older, $6 for children ages 5 to 16 and free for younger children. Tickets can be purchased at the time of the tour.

Group tours with a minimum of 15 people cost $4 per person. To make those reservations, call 1-284-495-4618.

Free parking for the event will be available:

  • On Van Alstyne, along the western border of Bishop Park
  • South of Oak Street, at the southern end of Bishop Park
  • At
John Hetzler (Editor) July 02, 2012 at 02:53 PM
Do you plan to take a tour of the Nina and Pinta?
Paula Jean-Catherine Crowe July 02, 2012 at 03:36 PM
Do you know what time (approx) they will be sailing in on Thursday? I'm planning a photographers event and don't want to be too early...or too late! Thanks!
Jason Alley (Editor) July 02, 2012 at 05:59 PM
Hey, Paula. The latest information I can find says in the "late afternoon" Thursday. If I get a more definitive answer, I'll let you know. It'd be great to see some of your photos. If you get some shots you'd like to showcase, please add them to this story using the "upload photos" link above. Thanks!
Jason Alley (Editor) July 02, 2012 at 07:05 PM
Hey, Paula. I just heard that the ships should be arriving at about 2 p.m. Thursday.
Jennifer F July 03, 2012 at 01:57 AM
What a unique opportunity! Can't wait to go!
Rochelle Blum July 05, 2012 at 10:27 PM
Can't wait to take my boys they will love it. We have many pics with the ships sailing by in past years. So excited to tour! Thanks to all who made it possible
Julie Abshire July 06, 2012 at 02:10 PM
Hoping to take my daughter's Birthday party over there on Saturday for a fun tour if we can get a reservation! :)
Pennie Dahl July 06, 2012 at 02:16 PM
I am so disappointed that I will miss them! I am out of state until Tues. Do you know where their next stop will be? I would lover to see them in person.
Jason Alley (Editor) July 06, 2012 at 02:55 PM
What a great treat that'd be! If it happens, Julie, we'd love to see some photos. You can upload them to our gallery here: http://patch.com/A-vMVB.
Jason Alley (Editor) July 06, 2012 at 02:57 PM
Hey, Pennie. Sorry to hear you're going to miss them. After Wyandotte, they head to Petoskey, where they will be on display from July 12-17. For the full schedule, check out http://www.thenina.com/schedule.htm.
Jennifer Mason Murphy July 06, 2012 at 05:42 PM
Had a chance to see them this morning. I'm wondering when they are leaving on Sunday. I'd love to see them set sail. I was not able to get there Thursday.
Jason Alley (Editor) July 06, 2012 at 06:28 PM
Hey, Rochelle. If you take some photos during your tour, we'd love to see them. You can upload them to our gallery here: http://patch.com/A-vMVB.
Jason Alley (Editor) July 06, 2012 at 06:29 PM
Hey, Jennifer. They're expected to set sail from Wyandotte early Monday. Once I get a more definitive time, I'll let you know.
Jason Alley (Editor) July 08, 2012 at 03:53 PM
Hey, Jennifer. I'm now being told that the ships will be leaving Wyandotte tonight, instead of Monday morning. No specific time has been announced yet.

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