Columbus’s Nina making its way to Demopolis

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 20, 2005

DEMOPOLIS-Many boats make their way through the waters of Demopolis, but on Friday June 3 a different type of schooner will dock in the River City. The Nina, a replica of Christopher Columbus’ favorite ship, will dock and open in Demopolis at the Yacht Basin on Highway 43 North. The ship will remain in the basin the entire weekend before departing early Monday morning.

Demopolis will be the second port of call for the Nina’s summer tour, which will include the upper Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. The ship will serve as a traveling history lesson and a chance for area residents to meet a unique member of the crew. Elenore Kaiser, a 73-year-old member of the crew, is always a favorite. In an interview on the Nina’s website Kaiser said the ship serves as a museum and a fun way to learn. Kaiser said everyone chips in to make their trips pleasant.

“We are a floating museum, and we visit ports all over,” says, ” My job is to cook, sell admission tickets, and run the gift shop. Our publicity people at the Columbus Foundation ( notify the schools and the newspapers that we will be coming.”

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The Nina was built completely by hand without the use of power tools. Some have even referred to the ship as the most historically correct Columbus replica ever built.

The Nina was built in Bahia, Brazil by the Columbus Foundation, which is based in the British Virgin Islands. The ship has been touring continually since 1992 as a “sailing museum” for the purpose of educating the public and school children on the Caravel, a Portuguese ship used by Columbus and many early explorers to discover the world.

While in port, the general public is invited to visit the ship for a walk-aboard self-guided tour every day of the week. The charges are $5 for adults, $4 for Seniors and $3 for students ages five through 18 years old.

The ship will open every day from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. Children under four will be admitted free. No reservations will be necessary.