Galveston Historic Seaport & 1877 Tall Ship ELISSA – What You Need To Know BEFORE You Visit

(Last Updated On: May 10, 2023)

The Galveston Historic Seaport is home to the 1877 Tall Ship ELISSA, one of only three ships of its kind in the world that still actively sail.

This majestic vessel is a symbol of the Gulf Coast‘s historic beginnings as a seaport and active waterfront.

The Galveston Historical Foundation purchased ELISSA from a scrapyard in Piraeus Harbor, Greece and restored it to its former glory by 1982.

Today, ELISSA welcomes over 40,000 visitors annually and is the Official Tall Ship of Texas, a National Historic Landmark, and an enduring symbol of Galveston‘s maritime history. Visitors to the Texas Seaport Museum can explore the decks of ELISSA and learn more about her history.

The museum also has a variety of interactive exhibits, educational programs, and activities to help visitors explore the city‘s rich maritime heritage. From the decks of ELISSA, visitors can witness firsthand the wonder and beauty of the open sea.

The ship is a living piece of history that serves to remind us of the hard work and dedication of those who pioneered Galveston‘s seaport. With its rich and vibrant history, the Galveston Historic Seaport is an essential part of the city‘s culture and identity.

ELISSA History

The 1877 Tall Ship ELISSA is a magnificent vessel that has seen many years of service and has a fascinating history.

The Elissa was built in Aberdeen, Scotland as a merchant vessel in 1877.

She was named after the niece of her first owner and sailed under the flags of Norway, Sweden, and Finland. In 1918, the Elissa was converted into a twomasted brigantine, and an engine was installed.

She was purchased for the San Francisco Maritime Museum in 1970 and eventually sold to the Galveston Historical Foundation in 1975. The Elissa has an iron hull, teak pin rail and bright work, Douglas fir masts, and nineteen sails made in Maine.

She made her first voyage as a restored sailing ship in 1985, traveling to Corpus Christi, Texas.

In 2011, the U.S. Coast Guard declared Elissa to benot seaworthy,” resulting in a hull replacement and other maintenance projects.

However, she was back sailing in March 2014 and remains one of the world‘s oldest sailing hulls still in operation.

Galveston Historic Seaport & 1877 Tall Ship ELISSA Information

Opening Hours

Tuesday 10am–5pm
Wednesday 10am–5pm
Thursday 10am–5pm
Friday 10am–5pm
Saturday 10am–5pm
Sunday 10am–5pm
Monday Closed


Phone: +1 409-763-1877


Address: Pier 22 Suite, 8, Galveston, TX 77550, United States


  • Tamara M

    Hey there! My name is Tamara, welcome to my little world! I’m a 20-something-year-old from Toronto, Canada (though I’m rarely there) and I’m super passionate about exploring the world, photography, and cooking delicious plant-based recipes. I created this blog to share my favorite places, adventures, restaurants, accommodations, and travel tips with all of you and keep a bit of a travel diary for myself.

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