Leading up to a historic event that will bring a fleet of historic tall ships to Pensacola this spring, Visit Pensacola has announced that tickets for the Pensacola Tall Ships Challenge are now on sale.

Set to take place April 12-15 at Plaza de Luna in downtown Pensacola, the event will include educational and special event tours, onboard tours, sail away ventures, VIP viewing parties, and private ship receptions.

The 140-year-old tall ship Elissa and six other historic tall ships will sail from Galveston to Pensacola in April 2018. (Galveston Historical Foundation/Special to the Pulse)

The inaugural tall ship expedition — led by the 19th-century tall ship Elissa — will depart the port of Galveston, racing across the Gulf Coast on an expedition to the ports of New Orleans and Pensacola.

The event is hosted by Tall Ships America. Founded in 1973, the non-profit organization is 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.

The fleet of seven traditionally rigged sailing ships hail from locations along the Gulf Coast, the Atlantic Coast, and Europe. After visiting Pensacola, the fleet will then sail to New Orleans.

Ships are seen in Pensacola Bay at the historic Port of Pensacola in the late 19th century. (UWF Archives/Special to the Pulse)

The primary sponsor for the stop in Pensacola is Visit Pensacola, the Pensacola Bay Area tourism agency. Officials hope to attract as many as 30,000 visitors to the event. If successful, Visit Pensacola officials said future opportunities to host another stop in the series could be possible.

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