The vision of President John F. Kennedy, OpSail promotes cultural exchange and goodwill through sailing, along with staging major gatherings of historic and military vessels. Its related educational programs encompass everything from sail training to America's maritime history.
Prior tall ships events took place for the 1964 World's Fair, the U.S. Bicentennial of 1976, 1986's Statue of Liberty Centennial, and in 1992 for the 500th anniversary of Columbus' trip to the new world.
This year's journey began in late May with a flourish of sails in San Juan, Puerto Rico, as scores of ships representing over 20 countries gathered for seaside festivities before embarking on a seven-port excursion to Miami, Norfolk, Philadelphia, Baltimore, New York, New London and Portland, Maine.
Gatherers at each port are invited to walk the decks of some of the world's most formidable sailing vessels. The crews mingle with visitors and take in the local scenery before heading off to the next port of call.
This grand flotilla of international seafarers comes to a close in Portland, Maine. From there, the ships embark on other voyages, perhaps carrying with them a piece of President Kennedy's dream.