Grand Fleet of Ships to Arrive and Dock in Sturgeon Bay Aug. 14

Door County is once again included in the Baylake Bank Tall Ship Festival that  returns to Green Bay Aug. 16-18. The tall ships will muster and navigate into the Sturgeon Bay canal the afternoon of Wednesday, Aug. 14, between 3 – 6:30 pm (timing is approximate and is pending weather and other sailing conditions).

While in Sturgeon Bay, the ships will tie up for the evening along the many public docks and waterfront walkways between the Bay View Bridge and just north of the Michigan Street Bridge, where the public is invited to view the ships and attend city and county supported events being planned for the late afternoon and evening. 

“The Baylake Bank Tall Ship Festival has become symbolic of our deep commitment to the community, and we are thrilled to once again serve as title sponsor of this event,” said Sue Anschutz, Baylake Bank marketing representative. “We are also very excited to help bring this unique preview opportunity to Sturgeon Bay and Door County. Although ships will not be open to board, we encourage the public to welcome the ships from key viewing areas and public walkways as they come into Sturgeon Bay to dock for the evening. With all that our waterfront and Sturgeon Bay has to offer, we hope businesses, community groups and homeowners will embrace this occasion and host or support other planned activities to create even more ways for people to see and enjoy these amazing ships.”

According to Sgt. Chad Hougaard of the Sturgeon Bay Police Department, the ships will be escorted by the U.S. Coast Guard and the Sturgeon Bay Police Department Marine Patrol Unit and will come through the channel in groups of three or four, before docking for the evening on both the east and west sides of the bay. More information as it relates to marine safety zone details for boaters will be provided at a later date.

A Sturgeon Bay waterfront map is currently available at the Sturgeon Bay Visitor Center or online at and shows the key viewing areas, public docks and walkways in downtown Sturgeon Bay as well as highlights some of the community events currently scheduled.

Trolley services have also been sponsored by the Sturgeon Bay Visitor Center and will be downtown to take visitors to the east and west sides of Sturgeon Bay.

“There is a lot happening in Door County and Sturgeon Bay in August, and we’re hoping to spread the word early about this unique maritime event to visitors and residents alike,” said Todd Trimberger, executive director of Sturgeon Bay Visitor Center. “We have a lot to be proud of in our community.”

For more information contact Amy DeMeter at the Sturgeon Bay Visitor Center at 920.743.6246. For festival ticket information visit


The confirmed ships taking part in the 2013 Baylake Bank Tall Ship Festival include:

• The Appledore IV:  A gaff-rigged schooner of a typical of those sailed on the Great Lakes to the end of the age of sail.

• Denis Sullivan:  Wisconsin’s flagship S/V Denis Sullivan, which was designed by Sturgeon Bay marine architect Timothy Graul. Milwaukee is the three-masted schooner’s home port.

• Flagship Niagara: During the War of 1812, Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry fled to the Brig Niagara when his own vessel was destroyed by enemy fire. Skillfully maneuvering Niagara and firing on the British fleet, Perry won the Battle of Lake Erie within 15 minutes of taking the helm. This pivotal event in the battle secured the Northwest Territories and opened trade routes for the United States. Today’s Niagara is an accurate recreation of her namesake and includes some of the ship’s 1813 timbers in her construction. She is the Flagship of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and a National Historic Landmark. The Niagara also served last year and this summer as the research vessel for Dr. Sherry “Sam” Mason of the State University of New York – Fredonia, who is collecting samples of plastic microbeads in the Great Lakes to determine how these byproducts of personal cleaning products such as facial scrubs are affecting the environment.

• The Hindu:  This sleek 79-foot tall ship was built in Portland, Maine in 1925 as a pleasure vessel for a wealthy family.

• Lynx:  A 21st century recreation of a War of 1812-era privateer of the same name.

Madeline:  A reconstruction of a 19th century Great Lakes schooner and an official tall ship of Michigan. She was built between 1985 and 1990 in Traverse City by volunteers to serve as a floating center for the interpretation of Great Lakes maritime history. The original Madeline was built in Ohio in 1845.

Pathfinder:  The original vessel of Toronto Brigantine, a charitable organization founded in 1962 to develop leadership, discipline and citizenship in a maritime environment. The founders of Toronto Brigantine believed that exposure to the challenge of the seagoing lifestyle could benefit young people. From standing watch to coordinating daily operations, from preparing meals to repairing systems, the entire ship’s complement is between 13 and 18 years of age, aside from the captain. Toronto Brigantine celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2012.

• Peacemaker: Is a barquentine-rigged vessel that was built for a Brazilian industrialist and launched in 1989. Today it is owned by the Twelve Tribes, a religious group with 50 or so communities located in North America, South America, Europe and Australia.

Playfair:  Another ship belonging to Toronto Brigantine, the Playfair was christened in 1973 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and is the only Canadian ship to be commissioned by a reigning monarch.

Pride of Baltimore II:  Thomas Boyle, one of America’s most notorious privateers, sailed to the British Isles, harassed the British merchant fleet and captured or sank 17 British vessels before returning home to Baltimore Harbor in the original Pride of Baltimore. As a Goodwill Ambassador for Baltimore and the State of Maryland, Pride of Baltimore II has sailed nearly 200,000 miles and visited more than 200 ports in 40 countries.

• The Sorlandet:  A majestic Class-A square-rigged ship built in Norway in 1927. At approximately 201 feet, it is the largest ship at the festival.

• Unicorn:  This gaff-rigged topsail schooner is the only all-female crewed tall ship in the world with proven on-board leadership and development programs for teenage girls and women.