We first wrote about the Nina and Pinta replicas in 2013, when we stumbled across the ships in Clinton, Iowa. The Nina and Pinta, replicas of two Columbus’ ships, offer tours to the public. A couple of weeks ago we visited Peoria, Illinois. As we walked down to the Illinois River to board the Spirit of Peoria for a moonlight cruise, we noticed the Nina and Pinta replicas docked there. Checking the schedule, we found the ships were in Peoria through September 24, 2017. Their next stop was Cape Girardeau, Missouri, where they’ll be from September 29 through October 8. Read further for our original experience and descriptions of the Nina and Pinta replicas.
The Nina is said to be the most historically accurate replica ever built. The Pinta was built larger than the original in order to accommodate a larger deck for visitors. Air conditioning was added to the cabin below for the crew’s comfort. Asked whether a Santa Maria would be built, a crew member said he doubted there would be a Santa Maria since it would require a 14-foot draft, double that of the Pinta. That would make navigating some of the shallower waters difficult. The draft is the distance between the water line and the lowest point of the ship.
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Where to find the Nina and Pinta replicas
The two ships travel ten months per year, stopping at 30 to 40 different locations around the United States. Check their scheduled stops on the Columbus Foundation website.
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