Mystic, Connecticut is home to one of the greatest tall ship ports in the United States. It is known as the home of iconic tall ships, such as the Charles W. Morgan and the L.A. Dunton. Mystic Seaport Museum is not only a place where you can experience the beauty of these vessels, but it is also a place full of history and culture.
The Charles W. Morgan is the oldest merchant vessel still in existence. This wooden whaling ship was built in 1841 and has landed its last whale in 1921. It served as a floating factory, harvesting hundreds of whales from the ocean and allowing the ships crew to process them into oil at sea. When it was retired, the ship was brought to Mystic for preservation and as a memorial to the whaling trade. In 2014, it embarked on an historic 38th voyage that marked the first time this vessel had been out to sea in almost 100 years.
The L.A. Dunton was built in 1921 and came to Mystic in 1923 where it has since called the Mystic Shipyard its home. This traditional two-masted schooner was designed and constructed by the original owner, a Mr. Alfred A. Dunton, as a private fishing vessel. It remains today much as it was when it was launched all those years ago. The Dunton is also notable as the first vessel to join the historic fleet of Mystic Seaport Museum.
When you come to Mystic, you will be able to walk around the docks, take a tour of the ships, and even climb aboard for a close-up look at what life was like aboard these vessels. Mystic Seaport Museum offers educational programs and guided tours, and many of the ships host daily demonstrations and activities. These activities help to bring the ships of the past back to life, with crew members demonstrating rope work, setting sails, and other tasks required of sailors in the 19th century.
Mystic also features a number of other impressive sailing vessels, such as the Sabino, an antique steamboat; the Mystic Whaler, an 85 foot gaff-rigged schooner; and the Joseph Conrad, a beautiful replica of a 19th century square-rigged trading vessel. You can even board the already on-site Spirit of Massachusetts, the largest full-scale sailing replica of a 19th century vessel in the world!
No matter what your interest, Mystic delivers a unique experience that allows visitors to feel the power, spirit, and excitement of sailing aboard a tall ship. Its tall ships are living monuments, connecting us to our maritime history and providing us with a glimpse into what life was like on the open seas. So whether you’re looking for a unique adventure or just some peaceful sightseeing, there’s nothing quite like taking a trip down to Mystic and experiencing its amazing tall ships.