Columbus Ships Arrive in America Again

During this holiday time of year, many of us are busy looking forward to a new beginning with the arrival of 2010. But between December 23 and January 3, you have a unique opportunity to enjoy an amazing glimpse of the past.

Replicas of two of Christopher Columbus' ships visit Pensacola, Florida over the holidays.

Replicas of two of Christopher Columbus' ships visit Pensacola, Florida over the holidays.

No, we’re not going back to the mid-1800s to find Scrooge’s Ghost of Christmas Past. This event has nothing to do with the holidays, other than coincidental timing. And we’re going back much further than the Victorian era.

Replicas of the Nina and the Pinta—yes, two of the ships used by Christopher Columbus—will be docked in Pensacola, with a knowledgeable and passionate staff eager to answer questions.

The Nina, Columbus’ favorite of his three famous ships, exists in replica form as the only floating museum of its kind. The Pinta replica was built with a few modern amenities and is available for private parties and charters. Both are a type of ship called a caravel, which was commonly used as a trading vessel. And both were recently handcrafted using old-fashioned tools but without the benefit of an actual blueprint from their day.

Since February, these two ships have been making their way around the U.S., and Palafox Harbor in Pensacola is their last stop before the crew returns home for a much-deserved break. With an appearance lasting only a few days, you’ll want to plan now for your opportunity to learn about the ships, Columbus, and life during the Age of Discovery.

Walk-aboard, self-guided tours are just $7 for adults, $5 for children, and free for ages 4 and younger. For more information, call 787-672-2152, or visit The Columbus Foundation’s website.

Visiting these ships during the holidays may not have quite the life-changing impact of a visit from the Ghost of Christmas Past, Present or Future, but we can all gain a new respect for the trials of learning about our world without the luxury of modern technology.

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