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93-foot Santa Maria ship is finally sailing into Beaufort. Here’s how you can see it

An unidentified couple take a selfie as the Nao Santa Maria, a model of the ship captained by explorer Christopher Columbus in 1492, arrives Friday iafternoon at Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park. Tours of the ship will be available from April 6-14 and visitors can buy tickets online or pay on site to board.
An unidentified couple take a selfie as the Nao Santa Maria, a model of the ship captained by explorer Christopher Columbus in 1492, arrives Friday iafternoon at Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park. Tours of the ship will be available from April 6-14 and visitors can buy tickets online or pay on site to board. sfastenau@beaufortgazette.com

The ship is finally here.

After delays caused by the weather and equipment, the Nao Santa Maria sailed into Beaufort County waters Friday morning on its way to dock at Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park in downtown Beaufort. The model of the ship captained by Christopher Columbus will be open to visitors from Saturday through April 14, from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. each today.

Tickets are $10 for ages 11 and older, $5 for ages 5 to 10 and $25 for a family of two adults and up to three children. Admission can be paid on site.

Visitors will be able to walk the ship’s decks on a self-guided tour with informational panels and interact with the crew about what life was like as one of the original crew members.

Ever wonder what the ships that Christopher Columbus sailed on looked like in person? Here's your chance! The Niña and Pinta are docked at the Beaufort Downtown Marina and open to the public from Thursday, April 20, 2017, to April 25. Kat Wilson

The Nao Santa Maria was initially expected to arrive March 29, but high winds damaged the ship after it left Cape Canaveral. It was forced to return to the Florida port for repairs, Santa Elena History Center director Megan Morris said.

The 200-ton ship was built for the 525th anniversary of the expedition, according to its website. It is about 93 feet long and includes three masts, the tallest standing more than 80 feet above the water line.

Stephen Fastenau covers northern Beaufort County as a reporter for The Beaufort Gazette and The Island Packet, where he has worked since 2010 and been recognized with state and national awards. He studied journalism and political science at the University of South Carolina in Columbia and lives in Beaufort.
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