Galveston Historic Seaport - Home of the 1877 Tall Ship ELISSA, Galveston

4.4
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History Museum · Landmark
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ELISSA is a three-masted, iron-hulled sailing ship built in 1877 in Aberdeen, Scotland by Alexander Hall & Company. She carries nineteen sails covering over one-quarter of an acre in surface area. Tall ships are classified by the configuration of their sailing rig. In ELISSA's case, she is a 'barque' because she carries square and fore-and-aft sails on her fore and mainmasts, but only fore-and-aft sails on her mizzenmast. From her stern to the tip of her jibboom she measures 205 feet. Her height is 99 feet, 9 inches at the main mast and she displaces about 620 tons at her current ballast. But, she is much more than iron, wood and canvas.

Unlike some tall ships of today ELISSA is not a replica, but a survivor. She was built during the decline of the "Age of Sail" to fill a niche in maritime commerce. Over her 90-year commercial history she carried a variety of cargos to ports around the world, for a succession of owners. Her working life as a freighter came to an end in Piraeus Harbor, Greece, where she was rescued from the scrap yard by a variety of ship preservationists who refused to let her die. The story of ELISSA's discovery and restoration is nothing short of miraculous, and is beautifully retold in photographs and a video presentation at the Texas Seaport Museum.

Today ELISSA is much more than an artifact from a bygone era. She is a fully-functional vessel that continues to sail annually during sea trials in the Gulf of Mexico. Thanks to Galveston Historical Foundation and its commitment to bring history to life, combined with the dedication of hundreds of volunteers who keep her seaworthy and train each year to sail her, ELISSA and the art of 19th Century square-rigged sailing are alive and well.

The name and image of ELISSA are registered trademarks of Galveston Historical Foundation.
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Galveston Historic Seaport - Home of the 1877 Tall Ship ELISSA reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
806 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Getting a view of not only the ship but the life of sailors back in the day was very interesting. I think there are tour guides for it, but when I went, it was self-guided. But there are plenty of... 
    Getting a view of not only the ship but the life of sailors back in the day was very interesting. I think there are tour guides for it, but when I went, it was self-guided. But there are plenty of...  more »
  • Great experience! Brian and Sarah provided a great tour of the harbor, lower Galvrston Bay, and lots of dolphins. Very interesting to see and learn about all the businesses and things along the... 
    Great experience! Brian and Sarah provided a great tour of the harbor, lower Galvrston Bay, and lots of dolphins. Very interesting to see and learn about all the businesses and things along the...  more »
Google
  • Elissa is so beautiful and interesting, I highly suggest talking to the people working on the boat, they have cool information to share. below decks is pretty warm, so be prepared, there is no moving air down there. The technology on the ship is so amazing. shipbuilders truly knew how to find physical solutions to complicated problems. very cool and worth the price of admission.
  • Neat historical sailboat. Tickets are $10 a person for adults. It's very hot below deck during the summer. Good for adults and kids.

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