The Elissa, an original 18th century Tall Ship now docked at the Texas Seaport Museum near the Strand district, was originally built in Scotland and launched in 1877. Over its long history the ship has resided in many countries, and during it's time has crossed the Atlantic on numerous occasions. The Galveston Historical Society purchased the ship in 1975, and after a lengthy restoration process in Greece & Gibraltar, it was sailed to Galveston, where it resides today. After continued restoration in Galveston, Elissa began sailing around to various ports along the Gulf Of Mexico, and continues to this day. Now, when the Elissa is not out on one of its voyages, it is available for tours to the public. Its a great opportunity to see firsthand not only a ship from a time past, but one that is still fully functional! Prices are very reasonable, $6 for adults, $4 for kids. A great historical place to visit while on the island!
Ahoy matey! Ok, this is so funny because before I had read 1000 Places to See Before You Die I never knew about any of this stuff. However, BEHIND the Strand...where all the big restaurants are is the history of Galveston. Elissa is a ship with much history that is docked behind an outdoor restaurant. We didn't elect to go on it, although you could. It's not as big as it might look but, then again, it might have felt bigger once you're on. I'm sure kids would LOVE it as well as boat people. :)
Here is more info from their website:
Share the adventure of the high seas at the Texas Seaport Museum, home of the celebrated 1877 tall ship ELISSA. Explore the decks of this floating National Historic Landmark which has also been designated one of America's Treasures by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Walk ELISSA's decks and imagine the days when daring sailors challenged the world's oceans. In the adjacent museum and theater, witness the story of ELISSA's dramatic rescue from the scrapyard and her meticulous restoration.
Located in the historic port of Galveston, the Texas Seaport Museum also tells the story of a rich legacy of seaborne commerce and immigration. Look for ancestors with a one-of-a-kind computer database containing the names of more than 133,000 immigrants who entered the United States through Galveston, "'The Ellis Island of the West"'. Join the Museum's staff and volunteers as they bring the past to life through special exhibits and educational programs.
Admission includes self-guided tours of the Texas Seaport Museum and ELISSA, a theater presentation and access to the Galveston Immigration Database.
There is quite a long history to the "Elissa" and not all of it legal. While in the Seaport Museum you will get to watch a video on some of this history (Passage to Galveston: The Story of "ELISSA") plus the many alterations the ship has gone through since she was originally built in Scotland 1877. Galveston had been one of the ports she visited back in 1883 and 1886 taking Texas cotton to the mills of Europe. "Elissa" was rescued from a scrapyard and the restoration took eight years of mostly volunteer labour, ending in 1982.