News & DepartmentsLocal

Mark Your Calendars, The Maritime Festival Is Almost Here

The Maritime Festival, formerly known as the Tall Ship Festival, is coming back to Dana Point on Sept. 9, but here’s what you can expect before you go!

DANA POINT—The Maritime Festival will return to the Ocean Institute in Dana Point the weekend of Sept. 9-11. The event is sponsored by Toshiba and is put on to celebrate and honor California’s rich maritime history.

New additions to the event this year include an inaugural Pirate and Mermaid Ball on Sept. 10 from 6-10 p.m. The ball will offer libations, food, music, and challenges for treasure and will take place while the tall ships return from the cannon battle. This ball is 21 and over, with all proceeds supporting the Institute’s educational programs.

The festival will also feature a mermaid swim show, cannon battles, the Sails n’ Ales Kick-Off Party on Sept. 9, a mermaid breakfast, and Cap’n Jack’s Pirate School lessons. Guest appearances for the weekend festivities are the visiting tall ships, Bill of RightsIrving Johnson, and Exy Johnson, which will be docked at the Institute and will participate in the cannon battles.

“We are ecstatic that we could bring back Maritime Festival and be able to offer festivities for all,” said Dr. Wendy Marshall, Ocean Institute CEO and President, in a press release from Aug. 4. “Of course, having a good time throughout the weekend is paramount. But knowing that your attendance and support benefit others makes the weekend even sweeter.”

Here is when and what your ticket gets you:

Festival General Admission: A general Admission ticket for Sept. 10 and 11 is $20 for adults, $17.50 for seniors and $15 for children ages 3-14. The ticket will include tours of the ship and A Sailor’s Life Tour, which will take place every hour from 10:30 a.m.- 3:30 p.m., as well as touch tanks and activities such as panning for gold, scrimshaw, morse code classes, a sea monster scavenger hunt, and much more. In addition, on Sept. 11, the Ocean Institute will offer free Festival General Admission to First Responders, Active Service Members, and Veterans. Qualified guests must present identification at the festival check-in to receive a ticket. Tickets can be purchased at

Sails N’ Ales — Kick-off party: Sept. 9 from 6-9 p.m. Although this event is geared towards 21 and over, guests under 21 are allowed to be in attendance. Enjoy craft beer tasting from eight local brewers, live music by The Trip, mermaid encounters, food vendors, and a prime viewing location of the visiting tall ships. Adult ticket purchase includes an exclusive tasting cup and unlimited beer and mead tastings. Early Bird Pricing until Aug. 29 is $60 for guests 21 years and older and $35 for designated drivers and persons under 21. After Aug. 29, tickets are $65 for adults and $35 for designated drivers and guests under 21. Participating Breweries include Batch Mead, Bottle Logic, Delahunt, Docent, Dog Park, Game Craft, Lost Winds, and Station Craft.

Pirate & Mermaid Ball: Sept. 10 from 6-10 p.m. This event will offer specialty drinks, appetizers, games and challenges for booty and bounty, and lively music to entertain and delight. At the same time, the tall ships come in from their cannon battles. Guests can enjoy a glass of mead while interacting with the mermaids and pirates. A firepit will be lit for guests to sing along to sea shanties or get on the dance floor and shake their mermaid tails. Guests are encouraged to dress the part and come as a mermaid or pirate. This is a 21 and over event. Food and drinks are included in the ticket; tickets are $110 before Aug. 29 and $125 after that.

Cannon Battles: Cannon Battles will take place Sept. 9-11 from 4-8 p.m. (ships will load their cannons from 4-4:30 p.m.).

Mermaid Swim Show: Mermaid swim shows will take place Sept 10-11, with multiple 30-minute shows per day starting at 11-11:30 a.m. – 3-3:30 p.m. The mermaids from Sheroes Entertainment will dazzle guests with their mermaid swim show. General admission is included with the price of the mermaid show ticket, which is $15 for adults, $35 for children (3-14), and toddlers are free before Aug. 29. After that, tickets are $20 for adults, $40 for children (3-14), and toddlers are free.

Mermaid Breakfast: A mermaid breakfast will take place Sept. 10-11 from 9-10:30 a.m. The breakfast is a buffet-style meal of your favorite continental breakfast foods. Tickets before Aug. 29 are $60 for adults and $65 for children (3-14), and toddlers are free. After that, tickets are $65 for adults, $70 for children (3-14), and for toddlers, $15.

Cap’n Jack’s Pirate School: Cap’n Jack’s Pirate School will be in session Sept. 10-11 from 2-2:30 p.m. Cap’n Jack’s School for Lil’ Scallywags has some new lessons planned for his pirates-in-training! Suitable for ages 8-12 years old. Tickets before Aug. 29 will cost $15 for adults and $35 for children (8-14) and $20 for adults and $40 for children (8-14) after that.

The festival will also feature the Peddler’s village, where guests can shore the fare of local crafters, artists, jewelers, and more than 27 local vendors. In addition, Seafarer’s Landing will be going strong with tasty grub from five local food trucks.

“Maritime Festival was created 36 years ago to honor and celebrate our state’s maritime history and help educate attendees,” said Ocean Institute Communications Specialist Miranda Lentz. “It is important to us because it aligns with our mission to use the ocean as our classroom to educate not only children but the community as a whole about our roots.”

For more information on the festival, tickets, and scheduled events, please visit

Share This:

One thought on “Mark Your Calendars, The Maritime Festival Is Almost Here

  • Truman Trowbridge Legg

    I shall miss the Pilgrim. I am only one lottery win away to building her again – TTL



Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *