Tall Ships organizers being ‘more overt’ about headliner’s late arrival

06/18/2015 5:47 PM |
(Credit: Association Hermione-La Fayette courtesy photo)

(Credit: Association Hermione-La Fayette courtesy photo)

The replica sailing ship Hermione has been touted as the main attraction for the Greenport Tall Ships festival next month. 

But the committee running the festival wants to make something more clear: the ship itself will miss the first half of the four-day festival due to prior obligations.

Greenport Business Improvement District president Peter Clarke, who is a member of the event committee, said organizers have made changes to the event’s website to stress the Hermione would miss the weekend days.

“Because it’s the headliner we’re trying to be more overt and sensitive with the information so that none of our customers are disappointed,” he said.

But he said the remaining five ships are still impressive.

Other ships are just as important and they are international vessels as well,” he said. “Each ship has its own story.”

The Hermione will first open for tours in Greenport harbor Monday, July 6, after arriving from New York City between 7:30 and 8:30 a.m., according to a recently published schedule of events.

Two of the other ships, the Kalmar Nyckel and the A.J. Meerwald, are due to arrive two days before the festival begins, with the remaining three ships arriving the day before, the Greenport Village schedule document states.

The Hermoine, a historical replica of a colonial era warship, has been featured prominently in advertising for the festival.

An image of the ship itself on the event website includes a watermark explaining the ship will only be in port on July 6 and 7. Information updated Wednesday night in the tickets section of the site also notes that Hermione will not be in port Saturday or Sunday.

A photo of the ship at sea had been featured as the primary image on the site, but that has since been replaced with a different sailing ship.

Mr. Clarke said the Hermione has its own schedule that is independent of the other official Tall Ships. The ship will sail to New York City for the weekend and will arrive in Greenport early Monday morning. A second welcoming ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. Monday specifically for the Hermione, the village announced Thursday.

The Tall Ships festival is being funded by the village itself to the tune of about $275,000 and is run by a committee of board members and local business and civic leaders. The Hermione cost $50,000 to book for the festival, the most expensive ship in the fleet.

Mr. Clarke said the festival was extended to four days specifically to fit in the Hermione.

The BID has promised to raise $100,000 in sponsorship deals to pay back the village. The village will also be reimbursed with all of the revenue from ticket sales.

Village Trustees Jack Martilotta and Julia Robbins are due to present a monthly report on the Tall Ships festival at Thursday night’s work session meeting, according to an agenda. Mr. Clarke said a letter from the events committee will also be read at the meeting.

It’s a positive reaffirmation of the event,” he said. “Since we’ve had very little positive coverage in the media … I’ve been trying to get it out there.”

The letter includes a paragraph devoted to the historical significance of the Hermione; however it makes no reference to the July 6 arrival date.

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