Pensacola Announced as Official Host Port of Tall Ships Challenge Gulf Coast 2018


Media Contact:

Nicole Stacey
Visit Pensacola
(850) 434-2142

Tall Ship


Pensacola, Fla. (September 20, 2017) –  Visit Pensacola, Escambia County’s Destination Management Organization, announced earlier this month that the city is slated as an official host port for the Tall Ships Challenge Gulf Coast 2018. This is the first time in history Tall Ships America will bring its TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Series of Tall Ships® races and port festivals to the Gulf of Mexico.

Tall Ships Challenge Manager Erin Short and Captain Sterling Gilliam, USN (Ret), Director, National Naval Aviation Museum and Tall Ships Committee Chair gave an update on the event Wednesday morning.

“We are excited to expand the Tall Ships Challenge and its adjoining festivals and events to the Gulf Coast for the very first time,” Tall Ships Challenge Manager Erin Short said. “Pensacola has a rich history and bringing the tall ships here makes sense. The fleet hasn’t been to Pensacola before so this is a whole new festival for the city and ships, to get excited about. These festivals are a way to bring people downtown, showcase your waterfront to the visiting public and engage your community.”

Set to take place April 12-16, 2018, Pensacola will celebrate its maritime history by welcoming four high-mast sailing ships, known as Tall Ships. Residents and visitors will be given the opportunity to tour and experience these impressive vessels. In addition, there will be sail-away opportunities available on three additional ships.

Visit Pensacola will have more information on the Tall Ships Challenge Gulf Cost 2018 as it develops. For more information, visit


About Visit Pensacola

Visit Pensacola is the destination management organization for Escambia County which includes Pensacola, Pensacola Beach and Perdido Key. With over 450 years of rich history and 18 miles of sugar-white sand beaches bordered by the emerald-green waters of the Gulf of Mexico, visitors from all over the world are lured to our pristine shores every year. Visit Pensacola supports the community vision of tourism by serving as the central body responsible for building tourism as an economic engine for our community through leadership, connection, collaboration and communication.

About Tall Ships America

Founded in 1973, Tall Ships America is a non-profit organization dedicated to enriching youth education through character building and leadership programs aboard tall ships. It is the hub for tall ship activity, expertise, and information in North America, and is commended by the United States Congress as the Sail Training Organization representing the United States in the international forum.  Tall Ships America supports the people, ships and programs of sail training and tall ships through grants, scholarships, conferences, education, publications, regulatory and licensing information, public events and advocacy. The mission of Tall Ships America is to encourage character building through sail training, promote sail training to the North American public, and support education under sail.