OpSail 2012 Virginia will be Norfolk's largest gathering of international tall ships and naval vessels in more than one hundred years! 3 1/2 miles of the downtown waterfront will come alive with ships - from the Berkley Bridge to Waterside Marina, Town Point Park to Nauticus, historic Freemason Harbor to NOAA, Fort Norfolk at the foot of Colley Ave to the West Ghent docks at MHI. Public parking will be located at both ends of the festival and in the public garages downtown. Pedestrians and bicyclists will be able to enjoy the entire waterfront, utilizing the Elizabeth River Trail to connect between all of the docking locations. Start making your plans now to visit the ships! Consult the docking plan below to learn where specific ships will be berthed. Please note that all docking locations are subject to change.
3.5 miles of docking locations along the Norfolk waterfront, plus additional ships and activities at Portsmouth's High Street Landing and Ocean Marine docks. The entire waterfront can be accessed by foot, following the red path marked on the docking plan images below.
SPIRIT OF NORFOLK will operate from behind the Sheraton Hotel.
The Mexican tall ship CUAUHTEMOC, AMERICAN ROVER and Virginia's tall ship GODSPEED will be docked in Waterside Marina.
Otter Berth and Town Point Park will be full of ships. Barges will be used as floating docks, allowing ships to berth along the park's waterfront and visitors to board the ships during public visitation hours (12-8PM, with some variations depending on the ship/day). The fleet of ships includes the USCG Barque EAGLE (USA) and the CISNE BRANCO (Brazil) at Otter Berth, USCGC SHEARWATER, KRI DEWARUCI, ARC GLORIA (Colombia), GUAYAS (Ecuador), SPIRTI OF BERMUDA (Bermusa), PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II (USA), PICTON CASTLE (Cook Islands), and the Canadian naval vessels HMCS GOOSE BAY and HMCS MONCTON. Town Point Park will be the epicenter of the OpSail 2012 Virginia and Norfolk Harborfest activities. Activities will include concerts, games, and ship tours.
The Nauticus docks will host the Spanish tall ship JUAN SEBASTIAN DE ELCANO and the Norwegian frigate HNoMS THOR HEYERDAHL.
Wisky Basin, adjacent to the USS WISCONSIN, will be home to the OpSail 2012 Virginia Rendezvous Fleet of yacht clubs and sailing associations. The BAP VILLAVISENCIO (Peru) and the BNS INDEPENDENCIA (Brazil) will be docked next door in Historic Freemason Harbor. Along the shore in the Freemason area, visitors will step into the early nineteenth century, as re-enactors portray historic figures like Presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, first lady Dolly Madison, and others from the War of 1812 period in American history.
NOAA's Atlantic Operations Center on York St. will be hosting a number of research and educational vessels and shore-side exhibits and activities for the entire family. Visit research boats from Tidewater Community College, Old Dominion University and the Virginia Beach Aquarium. Climb aboard the Elizabeth River Project's LEARNING BARGE and explore our area's wetlands. In addition, visit NOAA's newest vessel, the FERDINAND HASSLER.
The Front Street and Army Corps of Engineer Docks at Fort Norfolk will host military vessels from the U.S. and Germany, as well as the ADAMS II, a hydrographic research vessel operated by the Corps of Engineers. Three acres of land adjacent to the docks, Front Street Park at Fort Norfolk, will be filled with static displays of military equipment and technology, re-enactors from across America's history, demonstrations of military tactics and weaponry, music, vendors and much more!
The West Ghent Docks at Marine Hydrolics International (MHI) will berth the RFA ARGUS (United Kingdom) and the HMDS ESBERN SNARE (Denmark). A family oriented festival full of activities, games, and rides will be found adjacent to the MHI docks. You will not want to miss all of the fun taking place in West Ghent! A big thanks to MHI for all of their support of the OpSail 2012 Virginia events.
Portsmouth will be hosting three tall ships as part of the OpSail 2012 Virginia events. Right across the Elizabeth River from Norfolk, Portsmouth can easily be reached via the Norfolk-Portsmouth Ferry, which operates from right behind the Sheraton Hotel area in Norfolk and from numerous points along the Portsmouth waterfront.