Kalmar Nyckel will not return to Lewes in 2019

Kalmar Nyckel, the Tall Ship of Delaware, is unable to visit Lewes in 2019 due to the high level of silt at the Lewes Ferry Terminal finger pier dock. It is the second consecutive year that Delaware’s Tall Ship could not berth and sail from the same dock due to high silt levels.

“This decision comes with much remorse, as Lewes, Delaware, is an amazing summer destination and has always been one of Kalmar Nyckel’s favorite ports. The ship used to spend a month of the sailing season at the Cape May-Lewes Ferry serving summer visitors,” said Cathy Parsells, executive director of the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation. “We have explored many options, but the silt build-up has made it too shallow for the ship to dock, much less sail.”

The Kalmar Nyckel Foundation and the Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA) have been working together in an attempt to find a solution that would bring the ship back to Lewes. But the cost to remedy the situation for three years is nearly $3 million. Neither DRBA nor the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation have funding for a project of this magnitude.

“We have been working with DRBA to determine if funding and permits could be secured for dredging the dock for a return this year,” said Parsells. “As much as we would like to be there, the cost of dredging is prohibitive.”

The Kalmar Nyckel will continue to offer public sails in Wilmington and Historic New Castle in 2019 as well as on board crew training programs this spring and summer.

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