Photo: Lynx, seen here in 2021, is one of a half-dozen tall ships people can see up close in Annapolis. Photo: Jeff Holland

Tall Ships Gather for 1st Annapolis Up Rigging Festival

Annapolis is recognized as the sailing capital of the United States. But beyond enjoying the sport of sailing, this weekend downtown Annapolis will be celebrating the diverse history of maritime exploration, when a collection of tall ships arrive for the first time this season. 

The Annapolis Up Rigging Maritime Festival kicks off this weekend at Annapolis City Dock, where five schooners will be offering deck tours and public sails. The tall ships arrive on Friday morning, sailing into Annapolis Harbor in the late morning (the Pride II will arrive later in the evening) and allowing visitors aboard between 1 and 4 p.m. Various musicians, from brass quintets to sea chantey singers, will be performing outdoors daily throughout the weekend.

On Saturday and Sunday, the whole family will enjoy a maritime-inspired market with vendors, exhibits, and crafts for kids (Make your own pirate hat! Learn to tie knots better than your parents!). The five schooners will be offering deck tours between 11 and 5 p.m. both days, letting visitors get up close and personal with the majesty of sail. Both the Pride II and the Lynx will be offering sailing cruises for a small fee. 

The Ocean Research Project’s RV Marie Tharp, christened at this weekend’s Annapolis Up Rigging Festival, will collect sea floor mapping data.
Photo: Ocean Research Project

At 1pm Saturday, the 72-foot RV Marie Tharp will be christened near the Burtis House. The Marie Tharp is the new platform for the Ocean Research Project, helmed by Matt Rutherford and Nicole Trenholm. The team plans on using the new ship to collect sea floor mapping data, and contribute to the study of global warming’s impact on complex polar regions. The launch of the vessel kicks off a 10-year mapping expedition, and Rutherford and Trenholm will be attending to speak about their work and adventures. 

The five tall ships run between 65 and 155 feet, and showcase various elements of naval architecture from the 19th and 20th centuries. The experience is not to be missed by sailors and history buffs alike. 

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-Duffy Perkins