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Image: David Grimmel

In 1492, Christopher Columbus braved the mighty Atlantic in three small sailing ships made in Portugal and called “caravels”—the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. In all, the explorer made four voyages to the New World; the Nina sailed more than 25,000 miles. Now you can tour two replicas of those ships, which will be docked at Fisherman’s Wharf Marina, 509 N. Tamiami Trail, from March 29 to April 4.

Built after several years of research, entirely by hand—and with no power tools, the 65-foot Nina has been praised by Archeology Magazine as “the most historically correct Columbus replica ever built.” The two ships have been touring the country as an educational exhibition, floating museums sponsored by the Columbus Foundation in the British Virgin Islands.

Caravels, fast-sailing, easily maneuverable boats with shallow draughts, were used by Portuguese and Spanish explorers—and even pirates—from  the 1400s to the 1530s, when they gave way to larger ships that could carry cargo across the Atlantic.

Visitors can take self-guided tours priced at $8.50 for adults, $7.50 for seniors and $6.50 for children 5 to 16. Kids 4 and under are free. The ships are open daily from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. and you don’t need reservations.



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