A grand ship brought the first 24 Swedish settlers to the Delaware Valley in 1638. Now, on the shores of the Christina River near Old Swedes Church and Fort Christina Park, the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation has re-created the three-masted ship with its fine carvings and richly appointed captain's cabin. When it's not sailing, visitors can tour the 139-foot-long electric-blue ship and take a look at its seven guns, 7,500 square feet of sail, and 10-story-high main mast. The best time to find the Kalmar Nyckel at home is November through April. It sails along Delaware's coast -- with 1 month each summer in Lewes -- May through October. It also sometimes docks at the Riverfront Park downtown. Ninety-minute sailing excursions are offered during its Wilmington stay. Three-hour sails are offered from Lewes. See the website for schedule and fees.
The Sail Loft Museum at the shipyard has a few displays about shipbuilding and sailing the Kalmar Nyckel. Off-season, visitors may also see the crew hard at work repairing sails and lines for the coming year's sailing season.