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Kalmar Nyckel returns to Wilmington Saturday

Delaware Public Media

Delaware’s tall ship - the Kalmar Nyckel - will be back on the Wilmington Riverfront this weekend, but the public’s access will be minimal. 


The coronavirus pandemic means visitors will not be able to tour or sail on the Kalmar Nyckel this summer.  

Kalmar Nyckel Foundation executive director Cathy Parsells says the vessel is limited to dockside appearances on the Riverfront starting this Saturday.


“We’re very excited to be able to go down to the Riverfront and support our community, Delaware and Wilmington and to be where the people are out walking and enjoying what Wilmington has to offer,” Parsells said.


Parsells notes that vistors to the full-scale replica of the Swedish ship that landed in present-day Wilmington back in 1638 will find it is not be business as usual.


“The situation for us this year is that we are not sailing with the public onboard because of the pandemic and COVID. We really want to keep everyone safe - our guests, as well as our crew and our staff," said Parsells. "So we made the decision this summer not to sail. But we still want people to be able to enjoy and learn about the ship.”

Parsells notes they will offer social-distanced outdoor family activities, such as scavenger hunts, and a chance to learn about the ship from the people who sail it each Saturday this month.

“Our captains and mates will be on the Riverwalk actually providing tales and information and history about the ship - I think four times an hour,” Parsells said.

The Kalmar Nyckel will be docked at the Wilmington Riverwalk on Justison Street - adjacent to the Delaware Children’s Museum. Saturday events run from noon until 4 p.m.

Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.