17th-century replica Kalmar Nyckel is coming to Kingston

Does summery weather make you yearn to get out on the water, preferably on a vessel powered by the wind rather than a stinky, noisy motor? From August 3 through 12, you’ll have multiple opportunities to do that, aboard the sailing ship of your dreams: the Kalmar Nyckel. It’s a full-scale replica of the Dutch-built, square-rigged merchant pinnace that brought Swedish settlers led by Peter Minuit to North America in 1638 to establish the colony of New Sweden, later known as Delaware. With ten cannons, 7,500 square feet of sails, six miles of rigging and a ten-story-high mainmast, the Kalmar Nyckel is a sight to be seen.

On Saturday, August 4 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, August 5 from 2 to 6 p.m., the ship will be open for deck tours while docked at the Hudson River Maritime Museum on the Strand in Kingston’s Rondout District. Visitors can ring the ship’s bell, march around the capstan and steer the ship using the whipstaff. Deck tours cost $10 for adults and $5 for children under age 17; younger kids come aboard for free. Captain Lauren Morgens will present a special talk, “Working the Kalmar Nyckel: Understanding History and Innovation through a Sailing Ship” at 7 p.m. on Saturday, August 4. Lecture tickets are $10 for purchase at the Hudson River Maritime Museum.

But you wanted to be out on the actual river, didn’t you? Day sails are scheduled from noon to 2:30 p.m. on Monday, August 6, Thursday, August 9 and Sunday, August 12, and from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Friday, August 3, Monday, August 6 and Thursday to Sunday, August 9 through 12. Guests are invited to haul lines, set sails and enjoy maritime tales of the original Kalmar Nyckel – or just bring along a picnic and enjoy time on the water. Prices for day sails are $60 for adults, $40 for children under 17.


Special Pirate Sails have been added to the schedule for the more adventurous and young at heart. The Kalmar Nyckel welcomes landlubbers to “walk the plank” for a fun-filled Pirate Sail on Sunday, August 5 from 10 a.m. to noon or Friday and Saturday, August 10 and 11 from noon to 2 p.m. Tickets cost $55 for adults and $35 for children under 17. The ship’s crew don pirate and sailor garb, spin pirate tales, host a scavenger hunt and raise the Jolly Roger. Costumes are optional for guests.

To book your sail, visit www.kalmarnyckel.org/bookasail.asp. While tickets may also be purchased at the dock prior to a scheduled sail, it is best to make reservations. The Hudson River Maritime Museum is located at 50 Rondout Landing in Kingston.