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opsail 2012 virginia®


On the horizon lies an historic American milestone, an extraordinary occasion for the United States of America and the Commonwealth of Virginia...the Bicentennial of the War of 1812, the writing of the Star Spangle Banner, planned together with the spectacle of OpSail 2012...
Parades of Sail

From June 1 through 12, 2012, the Port of Virginia will once again host an impressive fleet of tall ships, navy and military warships representing the world.

Thimble Shoal Channel, located between the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel's southernmost islands, will offer viewing opportunities like no other!

NOTE: The Bridge-Tunnel's Islands No. 1 and 2 will offer very unique viewing opportunities of the tall ships as they parade up the Chesapeake Bay to their various ports of call. However, the islands will be closed to ALL VEHICULAR TRAFFIC during the Parade of Sail on Friday, June 8. The islands will be accessible by MOTORCOACH ONLY.

For those traveling from Virginia's Eastern Shore, visit Tall Ships at Cape Charles to reserve your seat today. Shuttle buses will begin running from the Eastern Shore Welcome Center at 6 a.m., taking passengers with reserved seats to #2 Island for viewing the parade. A narrator will be on site providing an overview of the fleet as they pass through the channel. Limited stadium seating, food and restroom facilities will also be available. Folding chairs are permitted.

For those traveling from Virginia Beach, VA, visit the official OpSail 2012 Virginia® website. A shuttle service will be provided from WAVE Church, located at 1000 North Great Neck Road, Virginia Beach, VA, beginning at 6:30 a.m., transporting viewers to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel's #1 Island. The last shuttle will depart WAVE Church at 8:00 a.m. and return shuttles will begin running from the CBBT at 9:30 a.m., with the last shuttle departing the CBBT at 11:30 a.m. Seating is limited and offered on a first-come, first-served basis. This shuttle service is complimentary and a handicap-accessible coach is available. Narrators will be on-site providing an overview of the fleet of tall ships as they pass through the channel. Limited stadium seating, restaurant, gift shop and restroom facilities are available.

For more detailed event information, please visit the Official Opsail 2012 Virginia® website at www.opsail2012virginia.com

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Sea and Air Parade of Sail

The Sea and Air Parade of Sail is a new event for OpSail 2012 Virginia®. It will include the International fleet of naval vessels as well as waterborne and air assets from the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, NOAA, Army Corps of Engineers and other government and private organizations. The Parade will highlight the importance of the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and other Sea Services within our community while showcasing the Port of Virginia to our International guests.  Details for the event are still being finalized, but the route will include the Parade passing through the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay at Cape Henry, through Thimble Shoals Channel via the Chesapeake Bay Bridge- Tunnel, past Fort Monroe in Hampton, and into downtown Norfolk along the Elizabeth River.  The first ships will pass Town Point Park in downtown Norfolk at noon on Wednesday, June 6, 2012.

Friday, June 8, 2012
Tall Ship Parade of Sail

The International fleet of tall ships will begin arriving on Thursday, June 7, 2012.  They will anchor in Lynnhaven Roads, just north of the John A. Lesner Bridge on the Virginia Beach waterfront.  The Parade of Sail will begin at 7AM on the morning of Friday, June 8, 2012.  The fleet will parade from the Lynnhaven Roads anchorage through Thimble Shoals Channel, past the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel (between Trestles A and B) and past Fort Monroe in Hampton.  From there, the ships will move through Hampton Roads and up the Elizabeth River to downtown Norfolk.  The first ships in the Parade will reach Town Point Park in downtown Norfolk at noon on Friday, June 8, 2012.  Ships will then proceed to their docks in downtown Norfolk, or in other Affiliate Ports, before opening to the public for tours.

For viewing opportunities from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, please see above for details. Island #1 will be closed to all vehicular traffic on Friday, June 8 and accessible by motor coach only.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Parade of Sail Up the Chesapeake Bay

The Parade of Sail Up the Chesapeake Bay is also a new event for OpSail 2012 Virginia!  As the fleet of tall ships departs on the morning of Tuesday, June 12, 2012, they will proceed in formation out of the Elizabeth River, past Fort Monroe in Hampton and turn northward in the Chesapeake Bay towards their next port of call in Baltimore, MD.  The fleet will maintain a speed of six knots, passing Smith Point at the mouth of the Potomac River around sunset (about 9PM) on Tuesday, June 12, 2012.  Recreational boaters, yacht clubs and charter vessels are encouraged to participate in the Parade by sailing alongside the fleet as they make their way northward.  This will offer a unique opportunity to see the tall ships in their natural environment - at sea.  Boaters are encouraged to check this website regularly to learn more about the Parade and look for informational brochures on small boat safety and navigational restrictions specific to OpSail 2012 Virginia.

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