Replica of Columbus’ Flagship, Santa Maria, To Sail Into Fernandina Harbor

Tour the tall ship, “Nao Santa Maria” June 3-6, 2021, while docked at Amelia Island’s riverfront city, Fernandina Beach.

Nao Santa Maria’s First Visit To Fernandina Harbor Marina

The St. Marys Tall Ship Alliance, Inc. (SMTSA) has organized and is hosting the world-famous tall ship Nao Santa Maria’s first visit to the historic downtown waterfront of Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, Florida.

Nao Santa Maria image
Nao Santa Maria (Photo credit: St. Marys Tall Ship Alliance Press Release)

A flotilla of local boaters, headed by Amelia River Cruises’ Captain Kevin McCarthy, will greet and guide the tall ship from mouth of the St. Marys River here at the Florida-Georgia border, providing a welcoming escort. The estimated arrival time of the Nao Santa Maria at the Fernandina Harbor Marina downtown is in the vicinity of 3:45 – 4 p.m. on Wednesday, June 2, 2021. Amelia River Cruises is one of the proud local sponsors of this special ship’s presence here downtown (see full sponsor list further below).

Some may recall seven years ago (in the spring of 2014), when the Nina and Pinta were docked at Fernandina Harbor Marina. Last year, a second visit by these two tall ships was canceled due to the pandemic, like most events during the year 2020.

Replica Ships Are Sailing Museums

Nao Santa Maria is a beautiful 3-year-old replica of Christopher Columbus’ famous flagship. It’s a floating and sailing historical museum that allows the public to come aboard and tour five different decks. Visitors will be taken back in time, experiencing what life was like back in the 15th century’s “Age of Discovery.”

The Three Caravels

According to the SMTSA website, the Nao Santa Maria:

“On August 3rd of 1492 sailed off from the port of Palos de la Frontera (Huelva, Spain) together with the caravels “Pinta” and “Niña”, the so called three caravels from which this nao was the flagship. In all references written by Columbus about the Santa María in his famous diary of the expedition, he refers to it as “nao”, as did other chroniclers of the time.”

Amelia Island resident and SMTSA Vice Chair, Jon Slaughter, “looks forward with great anticipation to the opportunity it affords our students and citizens to educate and relive an event that was so meaningful in the history of our past.”

Tours 10 AM – 7 PM, June 3-6, 2021

Public, self-guided Nao Santa Maria deck tours will be offered beginning Thursday and lasting through the weekend — June 3, 4, 5 & 6th — during the hours 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (ticket purchase required). 

Santa Maria Tickets — Self-Guided Tours

Ticket costs — Adult $15, kids $5 (aged 5-12), and kids under age 5 are free with an adult. Family tickets $35 (includes 2 adults and up to 3 kids aged 5 to 12). Santa Maria tour tickets can be purchased online at or at the Fernandina Harbor Marina dock.

More Santa Maria Information

 St. Marys Tall Ship Alliance news can be found at their website, and on Facebook and Instagram. Also learn more about the Nao Santa Maria’s construction.

This Nao Santa Maria visit is made possible by the Nao Victoria Foundation, City of Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island TDC (Tourist Development Council), Fernandina Marina Advisory Council, and Amelia River Cruises. 

The Nao Victoria Foundation is a non-profit entity specializing in promoting and spreading historical events, which are supported by the construction of historical ships. The Nao Victoria, El Galeón and the Nao Santa María are sailed throughout the world’s ports.

About The St. Marys Tall Ship Alliance, Inc.

SMTSA is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation founded in 2016 to share the rich tall ship history of the region with students and the general public. Since its founding, the SMTSA has hosted five tall ship visits to the region and over 17,500 public deck tours.