Take a sail on America’s tallest ship -- the Barque Eagle, offering free public tours starting Thursday

Two 2 nautical miles off the coast of Miami you can see the U.S. Coast Guard's Barque Eagle ship.

MIAMI – The U.S. Coast Guard’s Barque Eagle will be anchored for three days in Miami and will be open for free public tours from Thursday through Saturday.

The Eagle is the tallest ship flying the stars and stripes, and the only active square-rigger in United States government service.

The ship is a three-masted ship with more than 6,797 square meters of sail and 9.7 kilometers of rigging.

It was constructed in 1936 by the Blohm and Voss Shipyard in Hamburg, Germany, and originally commissioned as the Horst Wessel by the German Navy. The Eagle was a war reparation for the United States following World War II.

The purpose of the ship as of today is for training and community relations.

Onboard, there are currently eight officers, 50 enlisted crew, and 150 cadets who are currently training for the U.S. Coast Guard.

For Sonia Sriniwas, one of the cadets, this was the first ship she’s been on.

“I have more responsibility for my own division of sophomores, so I have six sophomores that I am in charge of and then I have collateral responsibilities, and mine is logistics,” she said.

The ship is decorated with American history and visitors who take the tour can see the wardroom where officers have their meetings, to the captain’s quarters where guests are entertained.

“We’ve turned her from a symbol of fascism to a symbol of freedom, bearing the American eagle with stars and stripes,” Ben French of the U.S. Coast Guard Third Class said.

If you want to find out more info on the Eagle and how you can get a tour click here.

About the Author:

Parker Branton joined Local 10 News in January 2019 as a reporter. He was born and raised in Rome, Georgia, but now loves living on the sunny beaches of South Florida.