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Replicas of Christopher Columbus' Ships to Dock in Detroit River

Replicas of the Nina and the Pinta will be available for tours on Friday through Sunday at Bishop Park in Wyandotte.

School might be out for the summer, but a unique, history lesson is setting sail for Wyandotte this week.

Replicas of two of Christopher Columbus' tall ships will be docking at on Thursday.

Replicas of the Nina and the Pinta, two of the three ships Columbus commanded when he explored the American continents starting in 1492, will be available for public tours from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

Wyandotte is the only stop in southeastern Michigan. Sixteen stops are planned throughout the country this year. This year marks the first time the ships have docked in metro Detroit.

Opportunity Grosse Ile and the city of Wyandotte partnered together to make the Downriver stop possible. The event is being called the Downriver Explorers Festival.

"Having these ships will be a great addition to the summer events (in) downtown Wyandotte," said Heather Thiede, the city's special event coordinator.

Opportunity Grosse Ile President Craig Pilkington said he hopes the three-day event attracts people from all over.

"Touring Columbus' ships is educational entertainment for the whole family," he said. "I applaud the city of Wyandotte for stepping up to host this unique event, which can be enjoyed by all Downriver residents, and hopefully will attract visitors from throughout southeastern Michigan. Wyandotte's waterfront park is truly a fantastic asset for the region."

The Nina and Pinta replica ships serve as floating museums operated by The Columbus Foundation, which is located in the British Virgin Islands. Organizers said the ships are the most historically accurate reproductions of the famous ships that have ever been built.

Columbus Foundation staffers will be on hand to provide visitors with half-hour guided tours that will explain life on, and the operations of, these ships. 

The cost is $8 for adults, $7 for senior citizens ages 60 and older, $6 for children ages 5 to 16 and free for younger children. Tickets can be purchased at the time of the tour.

Group tours with a minimum of 15 people cost $4 per person. To make those reservations, call 1-284-495-4618.

Free parking for the event will be available:

  • On Van Alstyne, along the western border of Bishop Park
  • South of Oak Street, at the southern end of Bishop Park
  • At

Organizers do not have a stop at Elizabeth Park planned.

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