Tall Ship of Texas

Image courtesy of Galveston Historical Foundation Facebook Page

If old artifacts, and especially ancient ships, catch your fancy, you have to check out this opportunity in Galveston to sail onboard ELISSA, the official ‘Tall ship of Texas’ from 1877!

You don’t have to be a pro-climber or a climber at all, for that matter. ELISSA’s sail training adventure is meant for people of all ages and abilities. The introductory meeting for potential crew members is scheduled at 1 PM on Saturday, July 31, 2021, at the Galveston Historic Seaport on Galveston’s Pier 22, Harborside Drive, between 21st and 22nd streets. Here are a few more details about this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Why is sailing on ELISSA, ‘The Tall Ship of Texas’ in Galveston an Exciting Opportunity?

ELISSA Sail Training program features learning ancient skills and techniques to maintain a square-rigged sailing ship. Volunteers will learn to climb ELISSA’s rigging to set and furl sails and maintain the complicated wood, wire, and rope machinery. All these tasks demand skills, and at the same time, a considerable amount of courage. It is also because the ship’s main mast is 99 feet above deck.

Here’s the best part – after completing the training, scheduled on designated Saturdays, and contributing the required number of hours of work on the ship’s upkeep, participants can take ELISSA to sea!

Tall Ship of Texas Galveston – 2021/2022 Schedule

  • July 31 : Orientation (Fun Muster)
  • August 14 : Class 2
  • August 28 : Class 3
  • September 4: Class 4
  • September 11: Class 5 (Fun Muster)
  • September 25: Class 6
  • October 9 : Class 7
  • October 23: Class 8
  • October 30 : Class 9 (Elissa’s Birthday Party)
  • November 13 : Class 10
  • November 20 : Class 11
  • December 4: Class 12 (Dickens on The Strand)
  • December 18: Class 13
  • January 8: Class 14
  • January 22: Class 15 (Chili Cook-off)
  • February 5: Class 16
  • February 12: Class 17
  • March 5: Class 18
  • March 19: Class 19
  • March 26: Class 20 (Graduation)
  • April 2: Make Ready
  • April 6 – April ? : Day Sails Times and Schedule TBD

Other Details of the Training

The program is free. However, you will have to invest in rig knives, crew shirts, etc., and will have to have a lot of time on hand. You need to bring a refillable water bottle, wear close-toed shoes, apply sunscreen, and wear a hat. Now, how to sign up for the program? You will sign up at the white table before the orientation begins, and you will be contacted by email in the future. Handouts with information such as classes, dates, etc., will be available.


ELISSA was a 19th-century British cargo vessel specialized in calling at smaller ports of the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. It twice loaded cotton at Galveston. The Galveston Historical Foundation (GHF) bought the ship, then a cut-down motorship, and undertook her restoration on account of these local ties and the authenticity of her iron hull. Today, she is one of the only three pre-20th-century sailing ships in the world!

For more details, write to ry************@ga**************.org. To know more about joining ELISSA’s volunteer crew, or about the campaign to Keep ELISSA Sailing, call 409-763-1877.

About Galveston Historical Foundation (GHF)

GHF was formed as the Galveston Historical Society in 1871 and then merged with a new organization formed in 1954 as a non-profit entity that would work toward historic preservation and history in Galveston County. To know more about GHF, click here.


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