Friday, March 1, 2024

If you see this ship at Yorktown, here’s what’s up

The Santa Maria (WYDaily/ Courtesy of Nao Santa Maria)
The Santa Maria (WYDaily/ Courtesy of Nao Santa Maria)

The Santa Maria will be at Yorktown pier for the weekend to mark the 535th anniversary of Christopher Columbus arriving in the New World.

“This is the first time this tall ship has visited the United States,” said Capt. James Scruggs, dockmaster at the Riverwalk Landing Pier.

The Santa Maria was commissioned last year on March 16 in Spain and made its first transatlantic voyage this year, Scruggs said.

“We wanted more tall ships to stimulate the tourism and economic growth to bring in education to local and youth about the sailing community,” Scruggs said.

Àngel Rosa, the project manager for the Nao Santa Maria, said the ship is 92 feet long, 27 beams and is manned by a 12-person crew.

It took the ship 29 days to sail from Spain to the U.S. to recreate the journey taken by Christopher Columbus some 500 years ago, Rosa said. See the ship’s previous stops here.

People who visit the Santa Maria can go aboard to learn about the history of the ship and talk with the crew.

An former sailor himself, Rosa said working with a professional ship like the Santa Maria is a school where volunteers work alongside crew members. The organization is hiring American volunteers for a minimum of three months to learn about sailing and tourism.

“You have the opportunity to learn a little bit of everything,” he said.

The next stop after Yorktown? Newburyport, Massachussetts

The Santa Maria docked Wednesday night and will have free and paid decks tours from Thursday, May 23-27. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for kids and children younger than 5 are free. Tickets can be purchased online or at the dock.

There is also a family package available for $25 which includes two adults and up to three kids. See the schedule below.

  • Thursday, May 23: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Free
  • Friday, May 24: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free
  • Saturday, May 25: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Sunday, May 26: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Monday, May 27: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information about becoming a volunteer with the Santa Maria, email Àngel Rosa at

Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She covers everything on the Peninsula from local government and law enforcement agencies to family-run businesses and weather updates. Before WYDaily, she covered Hampton and Newport News for WYDaily’s sister publication, HNNDaily before both publications merged in December 2018. Julia was born in Tokyo, Japan and moved to Long Island, New York in 2001. A true New Yorker, she loves pizza, bagels and good Chinese food. Send comments, tips and other tidbits to You can follow her on Twitter at @jmarsigliano

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