Each summer and fall, Provincetown honors its maritime heritage and coastal identity by hosting tall ships, also called schooners. These historical vessels were once emblematic of the high seas, and their visits bring the beauty and majesty of a bygone era of sailing. Most tall ships offer recreational sailing excursions. In addition to being fully operational sailing vessels, many serve as floating museums, with tours and talks designed to inform the public on the history of sailing and fishing on the East Coast.
Provincetown has two local schooners that spend summer and fall in port, Hindu and Bay Lady (departing October 1 and 14, respectively). The Hindu and the Bay Lady each have two afternoon outings as well as a sunset trip, providing you with a rare East Coast opportunity to watch the sun set over the water. Each ship is also available for private charter.
In September, Provincetown celebrates the annual Great Provincetown Schooner Regatta. The event begins with a race from Gloucester to Provincetown, followed by a series of races in Provincetown Harbor. Historic schooners and all classes of modern sailing vessels are included in the races. Spectators have the option to purchase seats aboard a racing schooner or on a spectator boat. There are also a number of great viewing locations in town.
Although the tall ships depart Provincetown in October to sail for warmer waters, there is already exciting news for the summer of 2020. The Mayflower II is scheduled to visit September 7–14 to commemorate the first landing of the Pilgrims in Provincetown’s harbor and the signing of the Mayflower Compact and to continue the legacy of maritime culture in Provincetown.