We chose to attend the Festival on Friday hoping to avoid the weekend crowds, but it was still packed with long lines to board the ships. Below are some of the Tall Ships we saw. Parking is very limited in this area when a large event such as this is held. Guaranteed parking could be purchased on-line which we did not do as the closest one when we checked was over a mile away. Use of public transportation is highly recommended. We were lucky to get a spot at the Penns Landing Parking lot as a truck was pulling out.
Barque Eagle: A 3-masted USA Coast Guard Tall Ship with 21,350 square feet of sail and 295' long. It is the only operational sailing vessel in US Maritime Service. Its home port is New London, CT.
Gazela: Built in 1901 in Portugal to fish for cod (20,000 pounds on average per day) off of Newfoundland, she is 177' long and 94' high. Philadelphia is her home port.
L'Hermione: This was the most impressive Tall Ship for us (with the longest line to board, as well!) It is a replica of the 145' Concorde Class frigate (a war vessel) of the French Navy that brought Generate Lafayette to the US in 1780 to support the US in the Revolutionary War. It was build in Rochefort, France, and is 217' long with a main mast 155' tall. (Check out some of the crew near the top of the mast in the photos below. She had 32 cannons that used 12-pound cannon balls.
Tree of Life: Built in Nova Scotia, Canada, this is a luxurious 91' long gaff-rigged schooner built of fir, spruce, mahogany, koa, and teak. Her home port is Newport, Rhode Island where she sails New England waters for private charters.
Privateer Lynx: This is a 78' long wooden sailing ship used for training. It was inspired by an original historic tall ship used in the War of 1812.
Sailing Excursions: For a fee ($85/per person), you can purchase a 90-minute ride on one of several amazing tall ships. It was so much fun to see these majestic ships sailing on the Delaware River. And what an interesting contrast between the old and the new in this setting. I think this was my favorite part of the Festival.
Festival Activities: Music, swan paddle boats, picnic area and roller rink, beer garden, puppeteers, and traditional Philadelphia rocking chairs were some of the attractions.
Next to the Festival is Independence Seaport Museum where the Cruiser Olympia (the oldest  steel warship afloat today) and Becuna (a Balao Class submarine launched in 1944 that served in the SW Pacific Fleet in WWII) can be seen.
The Battleship New Jersey can also be seen from the Philadelphia side of the Delaware. Tours of the ship can be purchased on the Camden waterfront.
While touring the Tall Ships at the end of the pier we were able to see the beautiful boats docked in the marina. Here's John wistfully remembering our times on the Chesapeake Bay on our boat, Destiny.
We were so glad we made the trip to Philadelphia to see these amazing ships. On our travels we have seen other military ships, submarines, and the historic Tall Ship, Elissa (in Galveston, TX). It is always a pleasure to be on the waterfront.
Website: www.tallships philadelphia.com