Columbus replica ships, NINA and PINTA, visiting City of Lewes

Ferry partners with organizers to offer complimentary tours for ferry passengers


Ever wonder what it was like to sail aboard one of Columbus’ ships in the 15th Century? On Friday, June 8 and continuing through Sunday, June 10, Cape May-Lewes Ferry passengers are encouraged to let their imagination go back to the age of sail, and tour the NINA and PINTA, replicas of Columbus’ ships, which will berth at the Town Dock on Front Street in Lewes.

“We encourage our customers to “Take a Break from the Ordinary” and tour these unique vessels,” said Heath Gehrke, Director of Ferry Operations. “It’s one more way to explore all the great attractions the Twin Capes has to offer. How better to get a hands-on perspective about something you read in the history books as a student than to walk on the deck of these vessels.”

While at the Lewes downtown dock, the general public is invited to visit the ships for a walk-aboard, self-guided tour. The ships are open Friday, Saturday and Sunday (June 8-10) from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. On Saturday and Sunday, New Jersey customers can leave the car at home and catch the Ferry shuttle. The vessels are just a short walk away from the shuttle stop on 2nd Street in Lewes. No reservations necessary.

“We’re proud to partner with the organizers of the visit, the Delaware Celebration of Jazz, to offer our ferry customers complimentary tours of these historic replicas” Gehrke added. “Just show your same day ferry ticket for free admission!” That’s an admission savings of $8.00 for adults, $7.00 for seniors and $6.00 for school aged students.

The NINA was built completely by hand and without the use of power tools. Archaeology magazine called the ship “the most historically correct Columbus replica ever built.” Recently constructed in Brazil to accompany the NINA on all of her travels, the PINTA is a larger version of the archetypal caravel. Both ships tour together as a new and enhanced ‘sailing museum’ for the purpose of educating the public and school children on the ‘caravel’, a Portuguese ship used by Columbus and many early explorers to discover the world.