Replicas of two of Christopher Columbus’ sailing ships are destined for the Schooner Pier Complex in Biloxi.

Scheduled to sail into port on Feb. 19, the Nina and the Pinta will open to the public the following day.

The ships will be docked at the Schooner Pier Complex, located at 367 Beach Boulevard, until their departure on March 2nd.

The Nina, a caravel, was built completely by hand and without the use of power tools. Archaeology magazine called the ship “the most historically correct Columbus replica ever built.”

The Pinta, also a caravel, was the first European ship to sight land in the New World on Columbus’ historic voyage.

Historians consider the caravel the Space Shuttle of the fifteenth century.

Both ships tour together as a new and enhanced ‘sailing museum’ for the purpose of educating the public and school children on the ‘caravel’, a Portuguese ship used by Columbus and many early explorers to explore the world.

Before Columbus, the Old World and the New remained separate and distinct continents and ever since their fates have been bound together, for better or for worse.

While in port, the general public is invited to visit the ships for a walk-aboard, self-guided tour. Admission charges are $8.50 for adults, $7.50 for seniors, and $6.50 for students between 5- and 16-yers old. Children 4-years-old and under are free.

The ships will be open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. No reservations necessary.

Teachers or organizations wishing to schedule a 30-minute guided tour with a crew member should call 787-672-2152 or email ninapintatour@gmail.com. There is a minimum of 15 group members. $5 per person. There is no maximum number for groups.

More information is available by visiting the website, www.ninapinta.org.

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