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Tall, historic ships make return for 2022 Harborfest

The Swedish warship replica and a number of other historic tall ships were docked along Town Point Park Friday morning during the 2022 Harborfest Parade of Sail.

NORFOLK, Va. — On the deck of the Kalmar Nyckel, every line and command comes with a piece of history and purpose. 

“They’re beautiful and romantic, but they look like old boats," Ship Captain Lauren Morgans said.

Fare weather and fare winds greeted the replica of the Swedish warship and a number of other historic tall ships Friday morning during the 2022 Harborfest Parade of Sail.

Roughly eight miles of rope and lining wrapped on the ship alone helped steer the ship originally built in the 1600s. Originally built in the Netherlands, Sweden eventually purchased the ship which would eventually help develop what is now modern-day Wilmington, Delaware. 

Centuries after sinking, Captain Morgans steered the ship’s replica, now 25 years old, at the first full-force Harborfest since 2019. 

“It was unusual for these ships to do these big trans-Atlantic voyages more than once, and she did it four times," Morgans said. "She really was the emblematic ship of this colony, nowadays we have people come aboard and say, ''I'm descendent from so and so.'"

The tall ships are docked along Town Point Park all weekend long, including other popular favorites such as the Schooner Virginia, the Sultana and others. 

Tours for the Kalmar Nyckel begin again at 12 p.m. Saturday, July 11. 

This year marks Harborfest's return after being virtual for two years during the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information on this year's events, click here.

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