Tall ship Spirit of South Carolina to sail into Norfolk this June

A schooner, the 19th-century-style Spirit of South Carolina, will dock in Norfolk from June 1 to 5. (Courtesy photo/Spirit of South Carolina)
A schooner, the 19th-century-style Spirit of South Carolina, will dock in Norfolk from June 1 to 5. (Courtesy photo/Spirit of South Carolina)

A piece of floating history will sail into Norfolk this June.

A schooner, the 19th-century-style Spirit of South Carolina, will dock in Norfolk from June 1 to 5, according to schooner director Fletcher Meyers.

The schooner has not yet been assigned a dock.

The 140-foot-long ship partners with The Citadel, South Carolina’s military college, for the semester-long Citadel at Sea Program. The schooner will make the trip to Norfolk as part of The Citadel’s summer semester program.

In June, the school’s summer cadets will be on board the Charleston, South Carolina-based ship.

“We always welcome the attention and having people visit,” Meyers said.

In addition to classes on the ship while in port, the schooner will also host alumni gatherings each evening for The Citadel’s Hampton Roads alumni.

“The American schooner type achieved world-wide fame when, in 1851, the American schooner America defeated a fleet of British yachts in a race circumnavigating the Isle of Wight to win what came to be known as America’s Cup,” according to the schooner’s website. “Spirit of South Carolina’s design closely resembles that of the 19th century Charleston Harbor pilot schooner Frances Elizabeth which in turn was based on the famous schooner America.”

The Spirit of South Carolina will leave from Charleston in late May, make port in Wilmington then head to Norfolk for a June 1 arrival.

The ship will go to Washington, D.C. after leaving Norfolk on June 5. Following the visit to the country’s capital, the schooner will visit New York City and Boston.

Now, the schooner is located in the Bahamas for the spring semester Citadel at Sea Program.

Citadel alumni in Hampton Roads should contact the alumni association in Charleston if they are interested in going. Thomas McAlister, a contact for the alumni association, can be reached at 843-953-7696.

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Adrienne Mayfield is an award-winning, multi-media journalist hailing from Clermont, Fla. She moved to Lynchburg, Va. on a whim when she was 19, and worked her way to Hampton Roads in 2013. Adrienne is passionate about telling people stories via covering public safety and the judicial system. She isn’t afraid to take a heads-on approach to covering crime, including knocking on doors to get the details police aren’t sharing. Adrienne is a 2014 Old Dominion University graduate who still lives within walking distance of the college. You may see her cruising around Downtown Norfolk on her bike, enjoying a sandwich from Grilled Cheese Bistro or playing fetch with her dog, Greta, at the Colonial Place dog park.