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Kalmar Nyckel sails into 25th season

Mark Arehart
Delaware Public Media
The Kalmar Nyckel at port near Ft. Christina in Wilmington

The Kalmar Nyckel arrived at Fort Christina in Wilmington Tuesday to celebrate the ship’s 25th anniversary.

Hundreds of visitors were on hand to welcome the official tall ship of Delaware into port,

Debuting in 1997, Delawareans have climbed aboard the replica of the Dutch-built Swedish ship that first landed in Wilmington in the Spring of 1638.

Kalmar Nyckel Foundation Executive Director Cathy Parsells said 60 volunteers helped guide the ship through the 4th Street drawbridge.

“Typically there are about 12-25 (volunteers.) So this is a really big deal. For the most part all of them are going to be in the rigging. Usually there may be a few in the rigging working the sails, but this is going to be more of a majestic display.”

Parsells said the ship is a cornerstone for teaching Delawareans about the history of the First State.

“The ship is really important to the state of Delaware. I talk about it as being sort of the floating icon for the state of Delaware. So it's fantastic to be able to do something that’s this majestic to kick off the 25th anniversary of the launch of the ship.”

The Kalmar Nyckel’s 2022 sailing season includes dozens of stops in Wilmington, New Castle, Maryland and Virginia.