VA BEACH -- The first of three boat parades for Opsail 2012 Virginia sailed into downtown Norfolk on Wednesday.

The Sea and Air Parade began at 8:00 a.m. at the Lesner Bridge in Va. Beach. The boats passed the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel and Fort Monroe in Hampton as they made their way up the Elizabeth River to the downtown Norfolk/Portsmouth waterfront around noon.

This parade is a tribute to the military, with an international fleet of naval vessels as well as water and air assets from the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, NOAA, Army Corps of Engineers and other government and private organizations.

It also highlights the importance of the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and other Sea Services in Hampton Roads while showcasing the Port of Virginia to international guests.

There are plenty of locations along the parade route to view the ships, but if you can't get there or want to see them arrive in downtown, watch on two live cameras on

In Hampton, watch the parades from the Miss Hampton II, a double-decked tour boat. The three to four hour cruises have commentary on the tall ships in port the entire week during OpSail 2012 Virginiatrademark. Costs range from $35 to $55 per person.

Viewing Locations and Viewing Hours
Lynnhaven Anchorage, Virginia Beach: 8-10am
Fort Monroe National Monument, Hampton: 9:30am-noon
Ocean View Beaches, Ocean View Beach Park, Sarah Constant Park, and Community Beach Park, Norfolk: 9:30-11:30am
Front Street Park at Fort Norfolk, Norfolk: 11am-1:30pm
Town Point Park and Freemason Harbor, Norfolk: 11:30am-2:30pm
Olde Towne Portsmouth, North Landing, and Crawford Bay, Portsmouth: 11:30am-1:30pm

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