SEPT. 15, 2011 -- The "Pinta" and the "Nina," replicas of Christopher Columbus' ships, will be docked in Grafton, Ill., from Friday, Sept. 30, through Monday, Oct. 10.
While in port, the general public is invited to visit the ships for self-guided tours every day of the week. Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors and $6 for students 5-18. Children 4 and under are free. The ship will open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Niña was built completely by hand and without the use of power tools. Archaeology magazine called the ship "the most historically correct Columbus replica ever built." The craftsmanship of construction and the details in the rigging make it a truly fascinating visit back to the Age of Discovery. The Niña was also used in the production of the film "1492" starring Gerard Depardieu and directed by Ridley Scott.
The Pinta was recently built in Brazil to accompany the Niña on all of her travels. She is a larger version of the archetypal caravel, a Portuguese ship used by Columbus and many early explorers to discover the world. Historians consider the caravel the space shuttle of the 15th century. Both ships tour together as a new and enhanced sailing museum.
The ships will be docked at the Loading Dock, 401 E. Front St., Grafton, Ill., 62037.