Tall Ships Visit Navy Pier

Have you ever wondered what it was like to set sail on a Viking long ship? Have you ever wanted to embrace your inner merchant trader but needed a ship to establish trade routes? You can get a glimpse into those experiences and many more at the 2016 Pepsi Tall Ships, one of Navy Pier’s most recognized events. The fleet includes over 13 international vessels, which will kickoff the festival on Wednesday, July 27th in the Parade of Sail. Then, from Thursday, July 28th through Sunday, July 31st, you can purchase tickets ranging from dockside viewing to on board tours to sailing on Lake Michigan on participating vessels.

Here’s a quick glimpse of two of the many ships that you can board and tour at this year’s festival:

DRAKEN HARALD HÅRFAGRE: This ship was built in 2010 in Norway and is a replica of a Vikings dragon ship. It is named after the first king of Norway and is considered to be the “most realistic, authentic, and accurate version of a Viking long ship that has sailed the seas for more than a thousand years.” And it’s coming all the way from Norway to visit the Navy Pier dock!

FRIENDS GOOD WILL: This ship was built and launched in 2004 by the Michigan Maritime Museum. It is a replica of a merchant vessel that was confiscated by the British just days after they took Mackinac Island.  However, in the Battle of Lake Eerie, U.S. Commodore Oliver Perry recaptured the ship when the guns fell silent and Commodore Perry said, “We have met the enemy and they are ours.”


You may have spent your fair share of time taking in the skyline from a pontoon boat or cruising out on the lake with a tube off the back of a speed boat, but have you ever stood on the deck of a 4-masted schooner? And if you’re out on the water enjoying a Freedom Boat Club boat, you can tie up at Navy Pier to enjoy the festival. Then, you don’t even have to worry about parking!

Mark your calendars for this incredible experience. For more information about the 2016 Tall Ships fleet, event details, and purchasing tickets, visit

This is a family friendly event and you can also take advantage of everything else that Navy Pier has to offer, including the brand new Centennial Ferris Wheel!


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