Tall Ship cruise is the chance of a lifetime


By Barb McKay


A few lucky individuals will have a chance to sail on the Toronto Brigantine Tall Ships when they visit Kincardine later this month.


There are 40 tickets up for grabs to embark on Pathfinder or Playfair for a sunset cruise as part of Kincardine’s Marine Heritage Festival. The tickets are up for auction with a starting bid of $50 per ticket. There are five packages of four tickets and 10 packages of two tickets available.


As part of the cruise experience, ticket holders will be welcomed as trainees for the evening and will have the opportunity to participate as members of the ships’ crews.


“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity because the boats don’t often do this once they pull into the harbour,” said Kincardine tourism co-ordinator Kelly McDonald. “It’s pretty amazing that they are allowing us to do this.”


To bid on the tickets, visit the Kincardine Welcome Centre at 777B Queen Street or call the office at 519-396-2731. Once bids are placed, participants will be notified if a higher bid comes in, allowing them to up their bid. The auction will close on Friday at 4 p.m. The sunset cruise will take place Friday, Aug. 22 from 6-9 p.m.

The Marine Heritage Festival is a new event to celebrate Kincardine’s rich marine history. This is the fourth year that the Tall Ships will sail into Kincardine for a weekend visit as it carries young sailing students on a voyage through Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.


“It’s exciting; with the buzz that the visits have generated over the past couple of years the timing is great for the festival,” McDonald said. “It’s a feather in our cap to have them come back here when other communities have to compete to have them come. The crew seems to love it here.”


McDonald said the Marine Heritage Festival organizers are thankful that a number of sponsors have helped to make the event possible. The festival is large undertaking and additional sponsorships and donations are welcome. Anyone who would like to contribute can contact the Kincardine welcome centre.

There are a number of activities that are running as part of the festival. The Walker House is currently displaying a special Marine Heritage Exhibit featuring interesting stories and photographs of Kincardine’s marine history and captains of the first vessels who came here and their families who are still here.


“This is what kept the town together,” said committee member June Daniel. “It’s fascinating.”


In addition to the Walker House, the Kincardine lighthouse will be open for tours during the weekend.


Local artist Andrea Zimmer will have a children’s art zone in MacPherson Park on Aug. 23 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. An Artisan’s Alley will be set up along the north pier with work by a number of artists and Stan McLellan will hold nautical woodworking demonstrations. The Victoria Park Gallery is currently holding a silent auction fundraiser for the Marine Heritage Festival. Photographs and small artworks are up for auction with a starting bid of $20. As well, prints of Malcolm MacDonald’s painting of the Tall Ships are for sale in various locations including the Walker House and Fincher’s.


The Tall Ships will be open for tours on Aug. 23. There is no set admission fee but donations of $2 per person or $5 per family are suggested. The coast guard and OPP boats will also hold tours from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

All events are weather permitting. For more information, visit the Kincardine Tourism Facebook page.