USS Constitution Sets Sail in Boston Harbor

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USS Constitution is scheduled to set sail in Boston Harbor on Sunday, August 19th to commemorate the 200th anniversar of her victory over HMS Guerriere, when she earned her nickname "Old Ironsides."  The USS Constitution Museum is partnering with Boston Harbor Cruises to offer a cruise following Constitution on this momentous event.  Join us for lunch on Boston Harbor Cruises' Frederick L. Nolan for a cruise with the expert narration of USS Constitution Museum staff.

Cruise departs from Long Wharf promptly at 10:00 AM.  Boarding begins at 9:30 AM at Long Wharf.

USS Constitution will get underway with tug assistance from the Charlestown Navy Yard at 10:00 AM. She will arrive at Castle Island 11:15 AM and will prepare to set sail to President Roads. The sails will be set by 12:00. The tug will assist Constitution back to her berth by 2:30 PM.

Ticket price includes the cruise and lunch. 

Note that the USS Constitution setting sail depends on the weather dependent.  Follow the USS Constitution Museum on Twitter for updates Sunday morning: @USSConstMuseum

And there's much more going on to mark the 200th anniversary, including a Marine encampment that begins Friday and runs through Sunday night.


Additional information from Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kathryn E. Macdonald, USS Constitution Public Affairs

CHARLESTOWN, Mass. – USS Constitution is scheduled to set sail Aug. 19 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of her victory over the British frigate HMS Guerriere during the War of 1812. This underway demonstration on Guerriere Day is the first time that she has sailed on her own since 1997.

The underway will begin at approximately 10 a.m. Once Constitution is at President Roads (between Deer Island and Long Island) at approximately 11:30 a.m., the crew will set up to four sails and make toward open water for about 10 minutes.  After leaving President Roads, a 21-gun salute exchange with the Massachusetts Army National Guard’s 101st Field Artillery Regiment will then be fired toward Fort Independence on Castle Island at approximately 1 p.m. The 101st Field Artillery Regiment is the oldest regiment in the Army. Sails will be furled at 2:30 p.m. and crew members will depart the ship at 3 p.m. Constitution will re-open for free public tours at 4 p.m.

More than 150 chief petty officer (CPO) selectees will also assist Constitution’s crew in setting sails. CPO selectees will be participating in Constitution’s annual CPO Heritage Weeks, a weeklong training cycle divided by two weeks that teaches selectees time-honored maritime evolutions, such as gun drills, line handling and setting sails. The training is also designed to instill pride in naval heritage in the Navy’s senior leadership.

”I cannot think of a better way to honor those who fought in the war as well as celebrate Constitution’s successes during the War of 1812 than for the ship to be under sail,” said Cmdr. Matt Bonner, Constitution's 72nd commanding officer. “The event also ties our past and present by having the ship not only crewed by the outstanding young men and women who make up her crew but also the 150 Chief Petty Officer Selects who join us for their Heritage Week.”

The last time Constitution sailed under her own power was to honor the ship’s 200th birthday. This year’s sail will honor Constitution’s decisive victory over the HMS Guerriere during the War of 1812, marking the first time a United States ship defeated a Royal Navy frigate at or nearly equal size.  It’s also the battle in which the ship earned her famous nickname “Old Ironsides.”

Constitution is the world's oldest commissioned warship afloat and welcomes more than 500,000 visitors per year. She defended the sea lanes against threats from 1797 to 1855, much like the mission of today's Navy. America's Navy: Keeping the sea free for more than 200 years.