ALTON,IL. (KMOX) – On Tuesday, May 21 the “Pinta” and the “Niña,” replicas of Christopher Columbus’ ships will be open for touring in Grafton. The ships will be docked at the Loading Dock, located at 401 E. Front St., until their departure on Monday, May 27.

The Niña was built completely by hand and without the use of power tools. Archaeology magazine called the ship “the most historically correct Columbus replica ever built.” The craftsmanship of construction and the details in the rigging make it a truly fascinating visit back to the Age of Discovery. The ‘Niña’ was also used in the production of the film ‘1492’ starring Gerard Depardieu and directed by Ridley Scott.

The Pinta was built in Brazil to accompany the Niña on all of her travels. She is a larger version of the archetypal caravel. Historians consider the caravel the space shuttle of the fifteenth century. Both ships tour together as a new and enhanced “sailing museum” for the purpose of educating the public and school children on the “caravel,” a Portuguese ship used by Columbus and many early explorers to discover the world.

While in the port, the general public is invited to visit the ships for a walk-aboard, self-guided tour every day of the week. Admission prices are $8 for adults, $7 for seniors and $6 for students 5-18. Children 4 and under are free. The ship will be open every day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. No reservations necessary.

Teachers or organizations wishing to book a 30-minute guided tour with a crew member should call (787) 672-2152. The cost is $5 per person with a minimum of 15, no maximum.


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