Come sail away: Tall Ships sail into Cleveland next week

The 2022 Cleveland Tall Ships Festival, presented by Downtown Cleveland Alliance (DCA), will make its return to the Lake Erie waterfront on Thursday, July 7 through Sunday, July 10.

Presented in conjunction with Tall Ships America, the four-day series comes to Cleveland for the first time since 2019 for tours, sail aways, entertainment, and other activities.

The grand fleet—seven replica and restored ships— will be docked near the north side of FirstEnergy Stadium at North Coast Harbor. The vessels Appledore IV, Inland Seas, Pride of Baltimore II, and U.S. Brig Niagara are from the United States; the Empire Sandy and St. Lawrence II are from Canada; and NAO Trinidad is from Spain.

A Parade of Sail kicks off the celebrations on Thursday, July 7 at 4 p.m. as the sailing vessels—crewed in part by youth ages 13 to 25—make their way to the dock. The Captain’s Reception and opening ceremony begins at 7 p.m.

Additional festivities on Friday, July 8 through Sunday July 10 include sail aways, “Ask the Captain” forums, photo opportunities, a festival marketplace, and family-friendly activities.

Festival Village will be open to the public daily at 9 a.m., featuring a lineup of exciting activities, tours, live music performances, and food and beverage options at 101 Erieside Ave.

Weekend highlights include:
  • Sail Aways (daily beginning at 10 a.m.): Experience 75-minute Lake Erie excursions aboard two spectacular vessels – Appledore IV and Inland Seas.
  • On-deck ship tours (daily 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Festival Village): Board and tour the Tall Ships and enjoy an interactive and educational experience. Meet the captains and crew and learn the innerworkings of each vessel.
  • “Ask the Captain and Crew” forum (daily; Dinghy Stage at Festival Village): Hear from the Tall Ship captains and crew about what it’s like to lead a crew of mates during the Tall Ships Challenge.
  • Live Musical performances: Tom Mason and the Blue Buccaneers will be performing daily.
  • Tall Ships activities and vendors (11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily; Harborside Marketplace): Maritime-themed crafts, face painting, and rope tying. Enjoy local artisans, as well as magicians and pirate characters.
  • Happy Hour at the dock, sponsored by Captain Morgan (6:30 p.m. Friday; Festival Village:  Enjoy a cocktail on the dock and view the majestic Tall Ships dockside while taking in the sunset along the shores of Lake Erie. (Ships will not be available for boarding during this event).
  • Tour the William G. Mather Steamship and USS Cod: Access to the William G. Mather Steamship and USS Cod Submarine is included with a ticket.
  • Fireworks at the Festival (6:30 p.m. Saturday; Festival Village): Live entertainment, kids’ activities, and a fireworks show at 10 p.m. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. (Ships will not be available for boarding during this event).
Attendees are encouraged to take RTA or use rideshare services to get to the event.
General parking is at 101 Erieside Avenue. These are cash-only lots and event parking rates will be in effect.

A variety of ticket options and packages are available at various prices, including discount family 4-pack tickets from Discount Drug Mart and the Great Lakes Science Center.  Tickets can be purchased online or at the event box office.