Trinidad, Tall Ships of America

Tall Ships St. Pete: How to plan the best day ever at this unique festival

The tall ships are here, sailing into Port St. Pete for the first time in 20 years for the Tall Ships St. Pete festival. It’s a unique adventure on and off the water that you’ve likely never experienced before.

This is a chance to immerse yourself in our nation’s maritime history whether you watch in awe from land or step on board one of the seven iconic ships, some dating as far back as the 1800s.

Events kick off on Thursday, March 30 with a Parade of Sail which you can view for free from downtown St. Pete’s waterfront, followed by a three day festival at the Port St. Pete. It’ll be a sight to see and unforgettable day on the waterside.

What are Tall Ships?

Tall Ships St. Pete is a four-day maritime celebration and festival featuring a fleet of seven Tall Ships from the United States and Spain with some ships dating back to the 1800s. You’ll get a chance to meet the crews, step on board, and even set sail on one of the iconic Tall Ships, depending on the ticket you purchase.

The ships are participating in the Tall Ships Challenge Gulf Coast, a series of races and events featuring Tall Ships (obviously), which includes three ports including Port St. Pete, Pensacola, Florida (April 27-30) and Galveston, Texas (April 13-16).

Pride of Baltimore II Tall Ships America
Pride of Baltimore II, Tall Ships America

Where to view the Tall Ships Parade of Sail on Thursday

We recommend arriving early to snag a spot along the downtown St. Pete waterline to view the Tall Ships Parade of Sail which will set sail on Thursday, March 30 from 3pm-6pm.

While tickets are sold out to ride on the vessels, there are still a few $175 VIP tickets left for the “best dockside vantage point” from a designated area on the St. Pete Pier. Tickets include an exclusive, private viewing area, light hors d’oeuvres, 2 cocktails, soda, and VIP unlimited admission to Tall Ships® St. Pete.

The best viewing locations for everyone else will be from other parts of the St. Pete Pier, Vinoy Park and Demens Landing Park.

Elissa Tall Ships
Elissa, Tall Ships of America

Where exactly is the Tall Ships St. Pete Festival located?

The Tall Ships St. Pete festival is located at Port St. Pete int he Bayboro Harbor adjacent to Albert Whitted Airport and USF St. Petersburg campus. The exact address is at 250 8th Ave SE, St. Petersburg.


How much are tickets to attend the Tall Ships St. Pete festival?

Timed tickets to attend the Tall Ships maritime festival are $9.95 for dockside only, but you will have access to festival activities, live music, food trucks, festival marketplace and more. You won’t be able to step on board the Tall Ships with this ticket. To do that, you’ll want to book the general admission ticket that includes On Deck Tours which are $21.95 for adults and $15.95 for children ages 2-9. Kids under the age of 6 must wear a life vest which is required by law and you will need to bring your own.

The tickets must be purchased online prior to your arrival. There will be no walk-up tickets available during the festival.

More VIP Ticket Upgrades

  • Tall Ships Ultimate Ticket ($125): Includes 3-day unlimited admission and on deck tours, hospitality tent access, and a Fast Pass to skip the lines.
  • Fast Pass ($75): Includes single day admission and front of line access for on deck tours of the Tall Ships.
  • Captains Reception: Thursday, March 30 from 7pm-9pm ($150): Head to the St. Pete Yacht Club to welcome the ships and the captains. Ticket includes heavy hors d’oeuvres, beer and wine + VIP unlimited admission to Tall Ships® St. Pete.
  • Sail Aways (SOLD OUT): Step aboard one of the majestic tall ships for an unforgettable adventure on the water.

You can purchase your Tall Ships tickets here.

There is also an option to book the entire 32 person vessel, the Pride of Baltimore II for a sunset cruise. You must book the entire ship. Contact

Where can I park to attend the Tall Ships event?

This will take a bit of planning since more than 20,000 people are expected to attend this event. Parking will not be available at the Port, however there will be shuttles to transport you to the festival and back to your car. You do have a few options.

Here is what Tall Ships St. Pete event planners recommend for parking in their own words:

  • Festival organizers will have continuously running shuttles throughout the event between the South Core and Sundial parking garages.
  • Handicapped parking is available in USF surface lots on the south side of 6th Avenue and 1st Street South, and at the Albert Whitted Park with continuous shuttle service to the port.
  • Guests coming from West Pinellas are encouraged to take the FREE Sun Runner service and exit at the Port St. Pete stop on 6th Avenue and 3rd Street South.
  • Tampa residents are encouraged to take the Cross-Bay Ferry where festival goers can take a shuttle from the ferry terminal to the port. Shuttle service to the ferry terminal will run through 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights during the festival.

What activities can I expect at Tall Ships St. Pete?

There is so much to do at the Tall Ships St. Pete celebration and you don’t have to board the ships to enjoy their majestic beauty. As we mentioned earlier, there festival activities, food trucks, music, and more for general admission ticket holders. There are other special events planned too including a Sunset Soiree, Yoga on the Dock, a Rock the Dock Party, and Dockside Brunch.

Here is the Tall Ships St. Pete event schedule:

Thursday, March 30
• Parade of Sail presented by The Helm Provisions and Coastal Fare in Downtown St. Pete
waterfront from 3-6 p.m.
• Captain’s Reception at the St. Pete Yacht Club from 7-9 p.m. (limited ticketed event)

Friday, March 31
• Dockside Festival and deck tours from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
• Sunset Soiree presented by Vino Ghvino 21 from 7-10 p.m. (limited ticketed event, ages 21 and
up, valid ID required)

Saturday, April 1
• Yoga by the dock from 7-9 a.m. (limited ticketed event)
• Dockside Festival and deck tours from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
• Rock the Dock presented by Nautical Gin from 7-10 p.m. (limited ticketed event)

Sunday April 2
• Dockside Brunch from 9-11 a.m. (limited ticketed event)
• Dockside Festival and deck tours from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.


Which Tall Ships will be at the St. Pete event?

  1. 1877 Barque Elissa (Celebrated 145 years on the water in October!)
  2. Spanish-flagged Nao Trinidad (Replica of the iconic Santa Maria-pictured at top of article)
  3. Pride of Baltimore II (Launched in 1988, the topsail schooner was built to the lines of an 1812-era Baltimore Clipper)
  4. Ernestina-Morrissey (Launched in 1894, the ship was once used as an Arctic exploring ship during its lifetime.)
  5. When and If (Originally designed for General George Patton)
  6. Suncoast Horizon (Local)
  7. Jolly II Rover of Key West

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