Published on June 25 2015

UPDATE: The Mama Duck has not been able to make it up completely due to some complications during the towing and now weather. Please check out our FB page and Tall Ships Philadelphia-Camden. In addition, the United States Army Band concert has been CANCELLED tonight, and the fireworks have been rescheduled to Sunday night at 9:30PM.  

Just like you, we at the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation have been waiting all year for Tall Ships Philadelphia Camden 2015. Now that the festival is here, we feel a responsibility to ensure that all attendees have the absolute best possible time at this once-in-a-lifetime event. Whether you are visiting our great city from distant lands or you’re a Philly native, use this guide for all things Tall Ships this weekend to make sure things go as smoothly as the waters of the Delaware (well, the Delaware before the Tall Ships arrive, at least.)
The majestic vessels of Tall Ships travel cyclically, rotating between the Great Lakes, the Pacific and the Atlantic each year. They attract thousands of visitors and festival-goers, featuring ships taller than buildings and straight off the pages of history books. This weekend, 12 Tall Ships will arrive on the shores of the Delaware River, along with the world's largest rubber duck. The event will include opportunities to board, explore and even sail on the ships, as well as many other activities along the Waterfront.
Tall Ships 2015 begins this Thursday, June 25th and runs through this Sunday, June 28th. The specific schedule is as follows:
  • Thursday June 25, 2015: 11am - 7pm
  • Friday June 26, 2015: 9am - 5pm
  • Saturday June 27, 2015: 9am - 5pm
  • Sunday June 28, 2015: 11am - 7pm
Off-ship programming will be running outside of these hours and well into the night. With nearby parks, attractions, restaurants and beer gardens, this week be a weekend of nonstop activities.
If you are wondering who, exactly, to take with you to this affair, the answer is simple: anyone and everyone. Games and activities on the ships and at nearby parks (think: roller skating and ice cream cones) make Tall Ships perfect for children of all ages. With beer gardens, bars, and some of Philly’s hottest neighborhoods within walking distance, adults won’t find it hard to have a good time, either.
Be the first to witness these awesome vessels at the Parade of Sail on Thursday, June 25th at 1:30pm. The ships will sail in one by one and are predicted to be arriving sporatically throughout the afternoon until about 4 or 5pm. The ships will be divided between the Philadelphia Waterfront and the Camden Waterfront. Transportation between the two sides is possible via the RiverLink Ferry. The ships on the Philadelphia side include:
  • Barque Eagle - 295 feet long, with a mast size of 147.3 feet tall
  • Gazela - 177 feet long, with a mast size of 94 feet tall
  • Sagres - 292 feet long
  • L’Hermione - 145 feet long, 184 feet tall
  • Tree of Life - 91 feet long, with a mast size of 85 feet tall
  • Hindu - 79 feet long
  • Privateer Lynx - 78 feet long, with a mast size of 94 feet tall
The ships on the Camden side are: Picton Castle, El Galeon, Pride of Baltimore II, Serenity, Al Meerwald and Lettie G. Howard.
These ships range from all shapes, sizes, design and notoriety. The headliner, L’Hermione, was designed to replicate the 145-foot long Concorde class frigate that carried General Lafayette from France to America in the 18th century to lend aid to the states during the Revolutionary War. Philadelphia’s official Tall Ship, Gazela, will also be there.


Tall Ships is a ticketed event. Tickets can be purchased as a range of levels and provide different opportunities for access of the festival and the ships. Most tickets will gain you access to all 19 ships, including the Battleship New Jersey. Buy tickets here or call 877-4FLY-TIX.
  • A Multi-Day Pass will provide ticket-holders admission to the event and on-board ship tours each day of the event. They will have access to both waterfronts throughout the entire festival.
  • The Day Sail Pass brings ticket-holders aboard a ship for a sail along the Delaware River. This pass also provides admission to the festival grounds the day of the sail and access to the vessels providing on-board tours on the same day. With sails of approximately 90 minutes, purchasers can choose which vessel they would like to set sail aboard and their time slot.
    • *Note: Day Sail Passes must be used at the specific day, time and vessel that they are purchased. Many day sails are already sold out so consider getting this ticket as soon as possible.
  • The Grand Parade of Sail Pass is valid for a sailing experience on-board one of the Tall Ships as they arrive to the Philadelphia and Camden waterfronts on the opening day of the festival. This pass is also valid for festival admission and on-board tours on the opening day.
  • The Single Day On-Board Tour Pass is valid for festival admission and on-board ship tours for only the day purchased.
    • Keep in mind that it will be nearly impossible to explore all 19 ships in one day, so if you intend to see more than a few ships, this pass may not be for you.
  • With the Fast Pass, pass-holders will be gain front of the line service at each ship tour. WIth this pass, they will also have admission to thevent and on-board ships tours on each day of the festival.
Don’t sweat it if you prefer to head to Tall Ships without breaking your bank. The U.S. Coast Guard Barque Eagle will be open for FREE tours. There will also be plenty of places to view the Tall Ships from outside the ticketed festival area, like at Spruce Street Harbor Park, Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest, and along the waterfront and Columbus Boulevard.
Aside from the tours, sails and Tall Ships exploration, many other attractions and activities will be featured along the waterfront throughout the festival. Perhaps the star of the event will be the world’s largest rubber duck that will can be found hanging out on the Delaware this weekend. Standing at 61 feet and weighing a whopping 11 tons, this giant bath toy is sure to steal the show. The rubber duck became a media sensation after last year’s Tall Ships Los Angeles and we cannot wait to see what excitement it splashes up here. There will also be a gigantic ferris wheel standing even taller than our duck friend and providing unbelievable views of the Tall Ships from above.
The Delaware River Waterfront has been a vibrant feature of Philly for years, and it will be just as alive during Tall Ships. Don’t miss out on the attractions all along the waterfront before, after or in between your tours of the ships. Spruce Street Harbor Park is a floating park and beer garden featuring food from renowned local chefs like Jose Garces, multiple bars, and hammocks for relaxation and recreation. At night, dripping lights turn the Harbor Park into a magical outdoor bar that will be the perfect way to end a day of Tall Ships.
Similarly, Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest is just a few street down. The RiverRink is a summertime paradise with a huge outdoor roller-skating rink, a lodge with food and seating areas, and outdoor music and DJ’s always ensuring a good time. Roller skating and merriment continues into the night and is one of Philly’s favorite ways to enjoy the summer.
Beer Gardens at the Independence Seaport Museum and the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing will be happening all throughout the event so make sure to taste some of the city’s best local brews and flavors. Other venues for great waterfront nightlife include Morgan’s Pier, Cavanaugh’s Riverdeck, SugarHouse Casino and Dave and Busters.
Philly is good at plenty of things, and food is definitely at the top of our list. Whether you’re from here or visiting, you are guaranteed not to leave the weekend on an empty stomach. The waterfront has foods and flavors to suit everyone’s fancy, be it breakfast, lunch or dinnertime. Here are most of the food options on the waterfront, but be sure to also explore nearby neighborhoods to find some of Philly’s more hidden gems:
  • Spruce Street Harbor Park
    • Chifa’s signature Pork Belly Bau Buns, Chicken Wings with spicy garlic-ginger sauce and Glazed Pork Ribs
    • Franklin Fountains’ waffle ice cream sandwiches, ice cream flavors and the Mighty Warship, a colossal ice cream sandwich atop a fluffy waffle
    • Federal Donuts’ Cold Brewed Iced Coffee, Fried Chicken Sandwich with American cheese, buttermilk ranch seasoning, Red Hot mayo and dill pickles, and Bag O Donuts, containing 6 mini cinnamon sugar donuts
    • Froman’s Chicago-style hot dog, Bacon Knockwurst with truffle-apple salad, Sausage and sauerkraut, and Lager fondue-topped fries
  • Blue Cross RiverRink
    • Get all of the Cotton candy, popcorn, house-made chocolates, salt-water taffy and fudge that you can handle at Shane’s Confectionery in the Lodge
    • Also in the Lodge, find the famous Village Burger
  • La Peg
    • This brand new restaurant at FringeArts features french inspired fare from Chef Peter Woolsey and offers something for everyone. Make a reservation here.
  • Keating’s River Grill
    • At the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Keating’s features an outdoor terrace, happy hour specials and contemporary American cuisine. Make a reservation.
  • Cav’s Riverdeck
    • For a delicious twist on classic bar food, head to Cavanaugh’s Riverdeck, which is restaurant by day, nightclub by night.
  • Morgan’s Pier
    • Mouth-watering food and an awesome beer garden merged and Morgan’s Pier was born. Check it out by day for lunch or by night for dinner and dancing
  • Moshulu
    • Located on an anchored boat with a gorgeous nighttime view of the river and the city, the Moshulu is the perfect location for a gourmet meal the put the cherry on top of your Tall Ships weekend.
  • Old City Restaurants
For visitors travelling to Philadelphia for Tall Ships, make the most of your time here and check out everything this city has to offer. With landmarks, historical attractions and events, this weekend has the opportunity to be your most jam packed weekend yet.
  • Relive the defining moments of our country’s quest for liberty at Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell and the Constitution Building
  • Visit living history at the Betsy Ross House and Elfreth’s Alley
  • Check out Art of the Brick: a LEGO Exhibition and the Genghis Khan Exhibition, both happening at the Franklin Institute right now!
  • See a play at FringeArts or listen to a concert at Morgan’s Pier
  • Take the Riverlink Ferry to Camden and bring the kids to Adventure Aquarium or to a Camden Riversharks baseball game
The opportunities for adventure and fun are endless in Philly, and Tall Ships is just an awesome excuse to immerse yourself in the city.
Public transportation will most likely be the most efficient way to get to Tall Ships. Visitors can use SEPTA buses, subways and regional rails, or the Philly Phlash Bus Service. To transport from one side of the river to the other, attendees can take the Riverlink Ferry.


Tall Ships 2015 is guaranteed to excite, awe and inspire, and the Delaware River Waterfront looks forward to this magical event.