Kalmar Nyckel Shipyard

Wilmington, DE

4 (2 reviews)

Where are we going?

Address: 1124 E 7th St, Wilmington, DE 19801, USA How do we get there? Number: 302 429 7447
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About this activity

All aboard! It's time to set sail on the historic tall ship Kalmar Nyckel, which today serves as a floating classroom for kids but did you know that the original ship was one of the USA's pioneering colonial ships? 

She is sometimes often known as the Mayflower of the Delaware Valley, yet her story hasn't really been told!

Now, thanks to the Kalmar Nyckel Shipyard, you can learn it all for yourselves!

Did you know that the original tall ship first served all the way back in 1638? She founded the colony of New Swede, and actually made a total of four roundtrip crossings of the Atlantic - which is more than any other documented ship of the American colonial era!

Her journey is said to have ended at the bottom of the North Sea whilst fighting for the Dutch against the English in 1652, but no records have ever been uncovered.

Intrigued? We certainly are, and so are those behind the non for profit experience to teach kids all about this amazing story!

From April to October, the family can set sail on a re-constructed ship where you can haul lines, set sails, or even become a pirate of your own! The experiences are always very hands on, with kids being able to ring the bell, the whole family challenging themselves on scavenger hunts, or even steering the ship!

It's a great way to get out on the high seas, and re-live history in a really special way. All aboard me harties! 

Activity location


The Kalmar Nyckel sails from three different ports in Wilmington, DE, one port in Lewes, DE, and various other ports along the eastern seaboard. Be sure to view the directions to the correct port to ensure you do not miss your sail. Visit the port online directions page for more information.

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Kalmar Nyckel Shipyard FAQ’s

Chairs and baby strollers are not permitted on board.

Beverages and light snacks are sold on-board during public sails so those rumbling tummies will be looked after!

Even in the summer, the sea air can be chilly. If it's a good sailing day, expect some wind! It is advisable to bring warm clothing and/or a windbreaker. Wear comfortable close-toed non-skid shoes. You may also wish to bring sunblock, sunglasses and a hat.

As a full-scale re-creation of the colonial ship that brought the first permanent European settlers to Delaware and the Delaware Valley, Kalmar Nyckel is one of the world's great educational resources.

Students get to travel back in time to the "Age of Sail" and rediscover Delaware's fascinating colonial and maritime history.

Chairs and baby strollers are not permitted on board.

You may bring your own refreshments as long as there are no glass containers or large coolers. Personal size coolers and wine bottles are fine.

Just speak to staff if you have any questions about accessibility!

Please arrive 20 minutes prior to scheduled departure time in order to check in and board the ship.

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