Panama City Beach – Niña, Pinta sail to town – Replicas of Columbus’ sailing ships docked at Panama City Marina until Monday 3.22.10

PANAMA CITY BEACH — Amidst the morning rain, replicas of Christopher Columbus’ Niña and Pinta vessels sailed into the Panama City Marina on Wednesday to set up a temporary floating museum and will stay until Monday.

The ships are touring as a sailing museum. They offer guided tours and displays for school groups and the public. Each ship has a crew of four people who will be on hand to answer questions and talk about the vessels.  The two Columbus replicas were most recently docked in Alabama and, after a weekend in Panama City, they will make their way south to St. Petersburg and then up the East Coast.

This Niña was launched in 1992 and has been called by Archaeology magazine the “most historically correct Columbus replica ever built.”  Of the Niña, Pinta and Santa Maria, the smaller, faster Niña was Columbus’ favorite ship, and he made most of his journeys on it. The replica Niña has sailed a half-million miles, docked in 600 ports and traveled through the Panama Canal about a dozen times. This is the fourth time the Niña has docked in Panama City.  “Panama City has always been great,” said Niña Captain Morgan Sanger. “They really support the ship.”

This is the first time the sister ship Pinta has come to town.  The Pinta was built 50 percent larger than the original vessel and was completed in 2005. After spending some time taking day-sailing trips in the Caribbean, the Pinta joined the Niña to tour the country and offer a historical perspective.

The two ships — both built in Brazil — are run by the Columbus Foundation and give tours of the vessels to remain in operation. The vessels also periodically are used for films and documentaries, Morgan Sanger said. There currently are no plans to build a replica of the Santa Maria.  To learn more about the ship visit

The marina is only a few miles from Celadon Beach Resort and our Panama City Beach Condo for rent


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