Have you ever wondered what it might have been like to sail with Christopher Columbus on his voyage over five hundred years ago? What must it have felt like to step aboard the Nina, Pinta, or Santa Maria and set off to the New World? Well, your waiting is over because in Columbus, Ohio, you can find out! Well, you can at least get a pretty good idea with the replica of the Santa Maria that is located on the river in downtown Columbus, Ohio.
The original Santa Maria was dismantled after being stuck ashore on Isla Espanola hundreds of years ago, but the ninety-eight foot re-creation of Columbus’ flagship that sits anchored at Battelle Park on the Scioto River, a river that runs through downtown Columbus, is the closest thing you can get to stepping back in time and onto a vessel in Columbus’ infamous three ship fleet that sailed to the new world.
Forty-five minute guided tours bring history alive. Not only are you led through every part of the ship, but inspired guides educate in the ways of the Santa Maria’s original explorers. You also have the opportunity to play the games of the explorers and use replicas of the original navigational instruments that would have been on board in 1492.
At only $3.50 for adults and $2.00 for children under eighteen, the Santa Maria is an affordable way to spend an afternoon. Historical, educational, and actually entertaining for even the most hard to amuse child in your group, the Santa Maria is one of the best family attractions Columbus has to offer. However, if you do not want to pay to go aboard the ship, you can get a great view of it from the bridge over the river.
For those people looking for a bit more of an adventure, if you can round up thirty of your nearest and dearest, you can sign up for the overnight program. Intended to really capture the feel of Columbus’ maiden voyage, the overnight program offers you the opportunity to play sailor. Groups that take up this challenge will discover how the members of the crews of the Santa Maria, Nina, and Pinta had to rely on each other and work in harmony in order to survive such a long and arduous journey across the sea.
The Santa Maria re-opened April 1 for the 2007 season, and will host special events all throughout the summer and early fall, until the seasonal closing at the end of October. A calendar of these events, opening and closing times, and additional information can be found on the official website at http://www.santamaria.org/visitor_info.php