As part of Navy Pier's 100th anniversary celebration, Chicago's top waterfront destination is hosting the spectacular Tall Ships festival, an event featuring some of the most majestic ships on the seas (or lakes!). Catch 14+ vessels making their appearance at the Pier, including the largest Viking ship in the world! View the Parade of Sails, explore the ships and even sail away at Navy Pier Tall Ships July 27-31.
The Opening Ceremony: Parade of Sails
Wednesday, July 27, the event will commence with the Parade of Sails. The parade will feature all 14 tall ships allowing spectators to witness tall ships from all around the world, including Chicago's own Windy, in action. From 2-5 p.m. the ships will arrive at Navy Pier and dock after their long trips with the scenic Chicago skyline as the backdrop: open up the day's event map here.
Tips: Stand and see the show from the recently renovated pier itself, or get an aerial view from Navy Pier's brand new and improved Centennial Wheel! Other great options... from Museum Campus near Adler Planetarium or on another vessel, The Odyssey, one of three Entertainment Cruises serving up their top notch buffets alongside great views.
The Star of the Show: The Draken
By far the most impressive of the Tall Ships is Draken Harald Harfarge. The Draken is the largest, most authentic Viking ship in the world today and is the closest replication of a Viking warship that has taken to the seas in over a millennium. Named for the first king of Norway, it translates to "Dragon Harald Fairhair". Guided by Captain Bjorn Ahlander, an international crew of 32 men and women will power the 115 foot ship on its dangerous 4,000 mile journey across the Atlantic. The final destination of the journey will be Navy Pier where The Draken will make its first Chicago appearance!
Board, Tour or Sail Away
Thursday through Sunday (July 28-31), visitors will have the chance to see the vessels up close as the spectacular ships will be docked at Navy Pier all weekend long.
Tickets are available to view and explore the ships or voyage out on Lake Michigan on one! Single day boarding passes are $25 for adults. Sail away passes start at $79 and include boarding, touring and sailing.
Bonus: Stick around after to grab some food — think fried chicken, deep dish pizza or a towering ice cream cone — at one of Navy Pier's new dining options and watch the FREE firework show that will conclude each night of the festival.