Visiting the Cleveland Tall Ships Festival

Cleveland Harborfest Hosts Tall Ships
••• Mark Stahl/Getty Images

The Cleveland Tall Ships Festival, held every third July in downtown Cleveland, is a five-day festival showcasing magnificent tall sailing ships. Activities include ship tours, a ship parade, a kids' discovery area, live entertainment, food, and fun. Visitors can even take a sail-away tour on one of the ships.

Activities

The Cleveland Tall Ships Festival begins with a Wednesday afternoon parade, as the ships are escorted to the dock.

The festival continues Thursday to Sunday with live entertainment, a children's play area, food vendors, a maritime marketplace, and tours of the fabulous ships. In addition, visitors can take a "sail-away" tour in one of the ships for an extra fee.

Ships for 2016

Thirteen ships participated in the 2016 Cleveland Tall Ships Festival, which was held at Fairport Harbor in Lake County due to the preparations for the 2016 Republican National Convention in downtown Cleveland. They include:

  • Appledore IV - an 85' schooner from Bay City, Michigan
  • US Brig Niagara - the 198' official flagship of Pennsylvania
  • Unicorn - an 118' schooner, crafted from salvaged German U-boats during WWII.
  • HMS Bounty - an 180-foot, wooden hull ship built for the 1962 film, "Mutiny on the Bounty"
  • Pride of Baltimore II - a 156' top-sail schooner

Hours and Admission

Cleveland Tall Ships Festival starts with a sailing ship parade at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, followed by the opening ceremony at Voinovich Park at 7 p.m. The festival continues Thursday to Sunday from 930 a.m. to 6 p.m. Ship tours are available 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Location and Parking

Cleveland Tall Ships Festival is customarily held on the waterfront in downtown Cleveland, between the E. Ninth Street Pier and Dock 32 (the new home of the William G. Mather). In 2016, the festival was held in Fairport Harbor in Lake County.

Parking is available at the Great Lakes Science Center lot as well as the North Point Garage, the Port of Cleveland, and the Cleveland Municipal Lot on Marginal Rd.

Hotels near Cleveland Harborfest

Hotels within walking distance to Cleveland Harborfest include the Doubletree Lakeside (check rates) and the Marriott Key Center (check rates). Other hotels, such as the Cleveland Renaissance and Ritz Carlton Cleveland are just a few more blocks away from the event.