Beaufort Today -

Replicas of Columbus’ ships sailing to Beaufort

On Thursday, replicas of Christopher Columbus’ ships the Nina and Pinta will sail into Port Royal Sound and be open to the public for tours in downtown Beaufort from April 21-25 before they depart April 26.

The Nina replica was built completely by hand, without the use of power tools. Archaeology magazine called it “the most historically correct Columbus replica ever built.”

In 2005, the Pinta replica was launched in Brazil. The original was known as the first ship to sight land in the New World.

The ships tour together as a new “sailing museum” to educate the public about the caravel, a Portuguese ship used by Columbus and many early explorers to discover the New World. They allow visitors to see what it was like aboard the ships that carried Columbus and his crew across the ocean.

Historians consider the caravel the space shuttle of the 15th century.

“What a special activity for us to enjoy here in Beaufort this spring as part of celebrating one year since the Santa Elena History Center’s grand opening ,” executive director Megan Meyer said.

“We hope many people will take advantage of this unique sailing museum to learn about the Columbus ships and visit the Santa Elena History Center to learn what occurred during the next 100 years, much of which took place right here in Beaufort County.”

The public is invited to visit the ships for a walk-aboard, self-guided tour. Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors and $6 for ages 5-16. Children 4 and younger are admitted free.

The ships are open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Reservations are not necessary.

Teachers or organizations who want to schedule a 30-minute guided tour with a crew member (minimum of 15 at $5 per student ) should call 1-787-672-2152 or email columfnd1492@gmail.com.

For more information about the ships, go to www.ninapinta.org. To learn more about the Santa Elena History Center, go to santa-elena.org.

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