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Washington’s tall ship returns to Tacoma for more than a week of tours and sailings

Ride alongside the tall ship Lady Washington on Tacoma’s Commencement Bay

Ride alongside the tall ship Lady Washington on a gorgeous spring day as the crew and its new captain perform a shakedown cruise to prepare for their extended stay on Tacoma's Commencement Bay.
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Ride alongside the tall ship Lady Washington on a gorgeous spring day as the crew and its new captain perform a shakedown cruise to prepare for their extended stay on Tacoma's Commencement Bay.

Hoist the sails and sing a sea shanty on the Thea Foss Waterway. The tall ship Lady Washington will be docked in Tacoma from June 13-23.

Ship enthusiasts can step aboard for a dockside tour or purchase tickets for an afternoon or evening sail, where crew in period costumes will tell old maritime stories and teach visitors about the history of merchant trading.

The Lady Washington, launched in 1989, is a full-scale replica of a colonial era ship of the same name. The original Lady Washington has a long and influential history.

“It was the first vessel to go to Japan during the fur trade era,” Wesley Wenhardt, the executive director of the Foss Waterway Seaport, told The News Tribune.

The ship also had historical influences closer to home.

In 1787, the original Lady Washington undertook a trading voyage around Cape Horn, and in 1788 became the first ship from the newly founded United States to dock on the west coast of North America, according to Grays Harbor Historical Seaport, the replica’s permanent home.

The replica ship which visits this week was constructed as part of the Washington State Centennial celebration.

It has since made appearances in several movies and TV shows such as “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Star Trek: Generations,” “Once Upon a Time” and “Revolution.”

In 2007, the Washington Legislature designated the Lady Washington as the state’s official tall ship.

The Lady Washington now acts as an “ambassador ship,” Wenhardt said. It sails up and down the West Coast, visiting around 40 ports a year and offering educational programs in Washington, Oregon and California.

“It’s a chance to put down the smartphone and experience life as you would have 100 years ago” Wenhardt said enthusiastically.

Visit the Lady Washington

Dockside Tours

Friday, June 14, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m

Saturday, June 15, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Sunday, June 16, noon to 1 p.m.

Wednesday, June 19, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Thursday, June 20, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Friday, June 21, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Saturday, June 22, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Sunday, June 23, noon to 1 p.m.

Afternoon Sails, 2-4 p.m.

Thursday, June 13

Saturday, June 15

Sunday, June 16

Saturday, June 22

Sunday, June 23

Evening Sails, 6-8 p.m.

Thursday, June 13

Friday, June 14

Saturday, June 15

Wednesday, June 19

Thursday, June 20

Friday, June 21

Saturday, June 22

Costs

Dockside tours free with admission to the Foss Waterway museum. Afternoon and evening sails $55 for adults and $49 for children, seniors, students and the military. To purchase sailing tickets, visit www.historicalseaport.org or call 800­-200­-5239.

For more information on the Foss Waterway Seaport hours and admission, visit www.fosswaterwayseaport.org or call 253-­272­-2750.

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