Sail The Bay On The Historic 1891 San Francisco Bay Gaff-Rigged Scow Schooner, Alma

AlmaTake your class on a voyage into history! The Alma was built here in San Francisco in 1891. She was one of almost 400 workhorse “scow” schooners, plying their trade all over the Bay and Delta region. She is a living link to California’s past. Your students will join the many generations of Californians who have trod her Douglas Fir decks. The Alma, owned by the National Park Service, and her skipper are licensed and certified by the United Sates Coast Guard. The program is taught by our specially trained team of maritime educators.

Explorers uses a hands-on, multidisciplinary approach to enable students in small groups to experience how the tools of exploration such as the magnetic compass, and charts, are used. After the hard work of hoisting and trimming the sails they will try to “navigate” the bay. In doing so they will discover the origins of weather and it’s effect on the earth, the physics of sails, and what it was like for the earliest explorers and immigrants to sail the challenging waters of California. Each student will take a “trick at the helm” to steer the ship, under the watchful eyes of the Captain.

The Explorers program meets the State Standards requirements for the Fourth through Seventh Grade curricula, focusing on history and social studies [4.1, 5.2, 7.3, 7.9, 7.11], science [4.1], and math [4th Grade Measurements and Geometry 2.0, 5th Grade Algebra and Functions 1.0, 6th Grade Algebra and Functions 2.0.] Your pre and post-activity program manual will reinforce the materials presented in the program and extend the value of this experience into the classroom.

Explorers, in partnership with San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, sets sail on weekday mornings or afternoons, in Fall and Spring. The program hours are from 8:30 am to 12:00 pm, or 12:30 pm to 4:00 pm. You may combine your Age of Sail overnight with a morning sail as an optional add-on program.

You will sail the beautiful yet challenging waters of San Francisco Bay with the exhilaration of the wind at your back, the sun on your face and a solid tall ship under your feet. Watch as your class becomes an intrepid crew of Explorers!

The paid minimum number of participants is 27 students and 6 adults (plus one teacher). Actual minimum number of participants is flexible, maximum participants is 35 students and 8 adults in compliance with U.S. Coast Guard regulations.

  • Cost:
    Base rate is $1, 500 for up to 27 students and 6 adults, plus one teacher.
    $55 per student
  • Two Sailing Seasons:
    Fall sailing season extends from late September until Thanksgiving.
    Spring sailing season begins in April and runs until Mid-June.
  • Time:
    8:30 A.M. – 12:00 Noon
    12:30 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.
  • Program Manuals:
    Explorers teachers manual PDF format, 18 pages/1.34 MB.
    Explorers teachers supplemental activities manual (optional)
    PDF format, 63 pages/7.85 MB.
    Adobe Reader required.
    to get Adobe Reader, click here
The Calendar fills quickly! Call Now to make a reservation.

Contact us via email.
T: (415) 561-6662
F: (415) 561-6660
San Francisco Maritime
National Park Association
P.O. Box 470310
San Francisco, CA 94147-0310

For more information or to make reservations, please contact Education Coordinator, Alice Watts via email, or call (415) 561-6662 x 1004


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Version 2.03, 2 June 2017