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Tallships at the Ocean Institute

Pilgrim | Spirit of Dana Point | Toshiba Tall Ships Festival

Ocean Institute tall ships

A tallship is a large traditionally rigged sailing vessel. Popular modern tall ship rigs include topsail schooners, brigantines, brigs and barques.

The Ocean Institute maintains two tall ships, the brig, Pilgrim, and the Spirit of Dana Point, an accurate replica of a 1770's privateer used during the American Revolution. This year, the Ocean Institute celebrates its 30th year as host of the Toshiba Tall Ships Festival, the largest annual gathering of tallships on the West Coast.

Featured Events

A Whale's Tale Sailing Adventure
March 7, 2014; Optional whaling talk in the boathouse at 12:15pm and sailing
1pm – 3:30pm

From “Devil Fish” to “Friendliest Whale,” explore how time and discovery have shaped man’s perception of the magnificent Gray Whale. Join us for an exciting tallship sailing adventure as you gain new insights into man’s evolving relationship with the ocean and the giants that roam our California Coast.

Pyrate Adventure Sail
Seasonal; check back for future dates
Experience the thrill of sailing a tallship as you discover the real pirates of Dana Point. Hoist sail, fire the cannons and fight off pirates during this family-fun adventure on the high seas!

Adventure Sail
February 21, 2015
2pm – 4:30pm

Set sail aboard the schooner Spirit of Dana Point and experience California from the perspective of an early tallship explorer! Join the crew to help raise sail, handle lines, and steer the ship, or simply sit back, relax and enjoy the majesty of sailing the seas aboard a tallship.

Facts & ‘Fin’tasea Sailing Adventure
March 8, 2015
How are humans impacting our friends in the sea? Find out when Catalina Mermaid shares facts about her friends and ways you can help protect not only the whales, but all of the animals in the ocean. During your sail onboard our tallship, the Spirit of Dana Point, guests will learn about man’s ever changing connection with the sea and its mysterious creatures. Join Catalina Mermaid of Sheroes Entertainment and touch live tide pool animals during our pre-sail talk at 12:15 PM, with sailing from 1 PM to 3:30 PM.
Catalina Mermaid is provided by Sheroes Entertainment LLC

LiteraSea Sailing Adventure: Moby Dick &The Essex
March 14, 2014; Optional whaling talk in the boathouse at 12:15pm and sailing
1pm – 3:30pm

If you enjoyed reading Herman Melville’s Moby Dick or look forward to seeing Ron Howard’s In the Heart of the Sea, then this is the sail for you. Re-enact life onboard the Essex, an 1820s whaling ship that inspired Moby Dick. Watch literature and history come to life as you sail onboard our tallship, the Spirit of Dana Point.

Two Years Before the Mast: A Tallship Sailing Adventure
March 15, 2014; Optional history talk in the boathouse at 12:15pm and sailing
1pm – 3:30pm

You have watched students reenact life as a sailor onboard the Pilgrim, you have heard about Richard Henry Dana Jr.’s book, Two Years Before the Mast, and now it is your turn to experience life as a sailor in the 1830s. Come relive the adventure and learn about Dana Point’s history in a hands-on and interactive way as you haul lines and sail onboard our tallship, the Spirit of Dana Point. Will you survive for two hours before the mast?

Children must be at least 4 years old to go aboard. OI members enjoy a 10% discount. Call (949) 496-2274 for reservations and availability.

$36 adults, $21 children 12 & under
(min age 4)
Member Registration
$40 adults, $23 children 12 & under
(min age 4)
General Registration

Donate to the Tallship Restoration Fund

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At a Glance: Public Hours
Weekends: 10am-3pm
Pilgrim open most Sundays: 11am-3:30pm
$6.50/adult $4.50/child (3-12yrs)
Members and children 2 yrs and under are free.

Cruise Prices*
$35/adult (Members: $22/adult)
$22/child (Members: $19/child)

Sail Prices* (Min age 4yrs)
$40/adult (Members: $36/adult) $23/child (Members: $21/child)

*Includes weekend admission.

A processing fee is added to all credit card, phone, and internet reservations.

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California Travel Expert
View video clip of the tallship Pilgrim as seen on California Travel Expert with Veronica Hill.
View Now >