Tall Ship Silva - Gem of the Halifax Harbour
The Tall Ships Festival is just a week away and there is plenty of excitement in the air! Halifax's own Tall Ship Silva is part of the festival's beautiful fleet of ships, but you can see her sail in all her glory from spring through fall. Docked on the Halifax waterfront, Tall Ship Silva welcomes visitors and locals to explore, set sail in Halifax Harbour and enjoy her many themed cruises - the party cruises are a blast! Tall Ship Silva wasn't always in Halifax - Michelle Clark tells us about the ship's history and a very important anniversary. Continue reading for the details...
Tall Ship Silva in all her glory and the Halifax skyline
The Tall Ship Silva has become a fixture of the Halifax skyline. She is filled daily with tourists and locals alike.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of Tall Ship Silva Inc., and on Sunday, July 15 you can join in the celebrations starting at noon. There will be one hour cruises ($10 adults, $5 for kids tax included) all day with treats, music and button making - that's right, you can make your very own Tall Shilp Silva keepsake button to pin to your backpack and carry with you wherever you go.
Can't make it? We welcome you to share our enthusiasm for this piece of marine history by joining us on one of our many sails throughout the season. During July, purchase a full price day sail ticket & receive a free 2012 Day Sailor Season Pass, which lets you come back as many times as you like. We feel that Silva is one of the best patios in Halifax and want locals to come and enjoy what we call the spot “where every seat has a view”.
Tall Ship Silva in Sweden on her original launch date, 1939
Tall Ship Silva has a very unique history. Silva was built on the shores of Lake Vanern in Karlstad, Sweden in 1939. Silva sailed in the Baltic throughout the war years, but the lack of bunker fuel forced the Silva and her sister ships to travel by sail power only. Following WWII, Silva was engaged as a coal carrier on behalf of the Swedish Navy. In fact, Silva spent the majority of her career (1939 until 1960) trading general cargo year-round (often breaking ice in and out of port) along the coast of Sweden, the Baltic countries, and throughout Scandinavia.
The crew of Tall Ship Silva in Sweden on her original date, 1939.
In 1960 she was purchased and deployed on the west coast of Sweden. The new owners down rigged Silva to a motor vessel and she traded grain and fish throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s. By 1993 she had stopped trading and was purchased by a museum that was planning on restoring her.
Tall Ship Silva undergoing new construction in July, 2002
In the spring of 2001 while in Sweden, three business partners purchased the Silva and relocated her to Halifax. With no sailing rig or rudder, and an engine that did not work, Silva was and towed via the North Sea, English Channel, and the Azores, arriving in Halifax in July 2001. With the assistance of a complete set of ship’s blueprints published by the Sjöhistoriska Museum in Stockholm, Tall Ship Silva was refitted and put back to her original state right at Halifax’s waterfront infront of the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. Since 1939 Silva has been making a living on the sea and she continues to do so today.
As a small local business, we would like to thank everyone who has made the last 10 years a great success! Hopefully we’ll see you onboard Sunday!