In 1933, Chicago was the on the forefront of the world’s stage hosting its second world’s fair: A Century of Progress Exposition. The sail training ship SS Sørlandet (Norwegian for “The South Land” and the name for the southern region of Norway) made her first transatlantic voyage from Kristiansand, Norway to serve as the Norwegian Pavilion at the fair, docking at the southern tip of Northerly Island.
Now eighty years later, Sørlandet returns to the Great Lakes and Chicago as the largest ship at Tall Ships® Chicago 2013 presented by Pepsi®, this time docking at Navy Pier for the five-day festival.
Step aboard and explore the decks of this magnificent 210-foot Class “A” (a nautical definition for square-rigged vessels and other vessels over 131-feet long) tall ship with a Dockside Boarding Admission at the festival, August 8-11. Built in 1927, Sørlandet is the oldest full-rigged ship in the world and the oldest of three Norwegian tall ships in existence. It’s impossible not to be awed by her towering 100-foot tall masts, 22 sails and over 200 lines running down to the deck.
Other notable moments in Sørlandet’s history include her participation in World War II when she was captured by the German Navy and used as accommodations for submarine crews, and the first school ship in the world to allow women to be educated on board in 1981.
Today, Sørlandet is a floating classroom and home for the Canadian school Class Afloat and 60 students that study while they sail to over 20 ports of call on four continents.
She is truly one of the stars of Tall Ships® Chicago 2013 and one of nine tall ships available for the public to tour. Dockside Boarding Admission is $25 for adults and $12 for kids (ages 3-12) and is available August 8 through 11. On Tuesday, August 7, Sørlandet will be in the Parade of Sail amongst 15 other ships sailing towards Navy Pier for the festival.
For more information, visit www.navypier.com/tallshipschicago.