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Port of San Diego's Festival of Sail Will Grace San Diego's Waterfront

125,000 People Are Expected to Attend Tall Ships Event on the Embarcadero


August 1, 2015

SAN DIEGO—The Port of San Diego 2015 Festival of Sail, hosted by the Maritime Museum of San Diego, will transform the North Embarcadero into a nautical theme park. More than twenty tall ships and other fascinating vessels from around the world will visit San Diego, Sept 5-7. The festival kicks off with a majestic parade of tall ships on San Diego Bay, Friday, Friday 4 led by the new Spanish Galleon, San Salvador. This will be the first time the public will be able to see the new ship for the first time. Parade begins at 3pm and can be seen from the embarcadero, Harbor Island, Shelter Island and Coronado. Festival visitors will enjoy touring the ships, marvelous food and drink from dozens of restaurant booths, a petting zoo, pirates, cannon battles on the bay, sunset cruises and shop for one of-a-kind items among more than 150 festival vendors.

Parade of Sail

The festival will kick off with a grand parade of sail on San Diego Bay at 3pm on Friday, Sept 4. The parade will be led by the recently launched San Salvador, a replica’s of Juan Cabrillo’s 16th century galleon. More than a dozen majestic windjammers will sail into San Diego’s harbor in a magnificent nautical procession. The best spots to view from shore include the Maritime Museum, Cabrillo National Monument, local restaurants and businesses on Shelter Island, Harbor Island and the North Embarcadero. Please note that the list of ships scheduled to appear in the parade is subject to change. Ships should be docked by 6pm at the museum and open for visitation starting on Saturday, Sept 5 at 9am. Guest may purchase tickets to sail on the Californian.

The Festival Ships

The festival will include more than twenty tall ships and other extraordinary vessels from around the world. The official tall ship of California, the Californian, the Gaff topsail schooner Bill of Rights, Irving and Exy Johnson, twin ships from San Pedro, and many more. A complete list of the participating ships can be found on the museum’s website at: Please note that the list of ships scheduled to appear in the festival is subject to change.

Cannon Battles

Join the crew for a cannon battle at sea and experience naval warfare during the age of sail! Several ships will engage in cannon battle reenactments on San Diego Bay during the festival. Individuals can purchase tickets to be on board for the experience. Tickets are $65 for adults and $40 for children 12 and under. This is not recommended for children under 5. A 2015 tall ships ticket is also required. Tickets are for sale now on the museum’s website at Cannon battle sails will sell out so we suggest that people get their tickets early.

Kids Zone

Petting zoo, jump house and craft activities will be open Sat, Sun and Mon from 10am-6pm. Petting zoo is included with admission.

Napoleonic Cannon Firings

The twelve pound cannons, known as Napoleons, are authentic Civil War cannons built in 1863, not replicas. The museum’s Shore Battery Artillery Team will also salute the ships with several rounds of fire as they pass by during the parade. The unit will demonstrate how the guns are cleaned and then will fire the 3 & 4 pound guns for a “noon salute” each day as well as firing volleys at the ships during the Gun Battles on the Bay.

Tall Ship Tickets

Visitors must purchase a tall ships ticket to tour the festival ships. Each participating ship has its own unique stamp and guests can get their tickets stamped at each vessel. Tickets are an exceptional value at only $7 for adults and $5 for children (age 3-12), Seniors (62 and over) and military (valid identification required). Tickets are for sale now on the Maritime Museum’s website at and will also be for sale at the festival. Tickets include entrance to the Maritime Museum of San Diego during the event and the build site for the construction of the new ship the San Salvador. Entrance to visit the vendor area is free.

Location, Parking, Etc.

The Festival of Sail will be located along the North Embarcadero between Ash and Grape Street. Parking will be extremely limited, we urge festival visitors to use public transportation. The County Center/Little Italy trolley station is only 3 blocks from the festival. For those that must drive their cars, nearby paid parking lots are available.


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