Modern-Day Volunteer Landing looks more like Spain in 1492 thanks to two replicas of Christopher Columbus' ships The Nina and The Pinta.
The ships have docked at Calhouns Restaurant on the River where they will be open for tours through November 17. On the morning of November 18, they will sail out of town.
The ships were built by the Columbus Foundation, a group out of the U.S. Virgin Islands that builds replicas of famous ships to use as a teaching tool.
The Nina was built completely by hand (without power tools). It has been called "the most historically correct Columbus replica ever built" by Archaeology magazine.
The Pinta is a new ship. It was built in Brazil to travel with The Nina. The Pinta is larger than The Nina and offers a larger deck space for tourists. In fact, the Pinta is so much bigger than The Nina, there was actually a minor incident as she pulled into Volunteer Landing.
According to Captain Kyle Friauf, the flagstaff scraped the bottom of a railway bridge. Captain Friauf says they didn't consider there would be an issue since The Nina (which had pulled into Knoxville before) had no problems getting to Calhouns.
Captain Friauf says the incident is minor and the only damage was done to the flagstaff and that it wil be replaced.
The public is invited to walk aboard the ship through self-guided tours. Admission cost is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors, $5 for students. Children 4 and under are free. The ships are open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.. No reservations required. For more information vis www.thenina.com
Teachers or organizations wanting to schedule a 30 minute guided tour with a crew member should cal 1-787-672-2152. Minimum of 15 ($4 per person).