Things To Know Before You Go



We strongly recommend using NFTA Metro Rail and various parking and shuttle options being planned for your convenience.  Keep this interactive map handy on your mobile device for quick reference and ease in traveling to the festival.



If you are booked on a Sail-away Excursion, or other activity where punctuality is important, please plan to arrive at least 60 minutes in advance.

Reaching the Sail-away and attraction ships at Erie Basin Marina (Zone C) is an easy 0.4 mile walk from the Zone B docks.  If you'd rather ride, the FREE Double Decker Shuttle will get you there in a flash! Runs continuously from Templeton Terrace to the Erie Basin docks. (Priority boarding is given to Sail-away patrons, St. Lawrence II Youth programs, and VIP Passport holders.)


to Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, Go Buffalo Niagara, Greater Buffalo Niagara Regional Transportation Council, and Kim Reynolds, Basil Port of Call Buffalo Transportation Chair



As an Official Host Port of the Tall Ships Challenge®, Basil Port of Call Buffalo observes the US Coast Guard’s safety measures as a Marine Event of National Significance.  To help assure your safe enjoyment of this event, please observe all security procedures designed to protect you and all our guests.

 All personal belongings, bags, and purses are subject to search prior to entry at secure areas near the tall ships. The following items will not be permitted in the secured areas near the tall ships:  No coolers, cans, bottles or beverages, except special food related to a health or medical condition or for feeding a baby. Backpacks and selfie sticks are not allowed. No weapons, alcohol, or illegal substances.

Purses, diaper bags and camera bags will be inspected at the entrance gates.  Baby food/formula must be in plastic containers and may be stored in coolers no larger than 5 quarts. Coolers for any other purpose are prohibited. Any other items deemed unlawful or dangerous may be prohibited at the discretion of security personnel. No prohibited item will be held at the gate.  

Strollers are not permitted on the ships.  They may be placed near the ship gangways.

Non-commercial photography and video is allowed. Commercial and media photographers should contact the Media Tent at Zone A/ Canalside.


• What if I’m not able to board all the tall ships in one day… can I return to the festival a second (or third) day to tour the other ships?  Yes. Bring your POCB Passport to any Info Center at the festival site, and purchase a dated hand stamp for ship boarding on that day. ($20 for adults, $18 for seniors 65+/veterans, $10 for children 11 and under).

•  What is your refund policy?All sales are final. POCB Passports are not refundable. 

• What if I lose my Passport Voucher or my POCB Passport?  Sorry, we cannot issue replacements. Protect these valuable documents the way you would protect cash.

• What if it rains? Event will be held rain or shine. Bring your hooded slicker and come see the ships, they won’t return for three more years!
















You can now pay your NFTA MetroRail or bus fare quickly and easily with your smartphone using the Token Transit app. On the Token Transit app, you can purchase tickets using your credit or debit card. Tickets can be purchased for immediate use or stored for future trips.


Due to their historic nature, the tall ships have limited accessibility to those with physical disabilities.  Guests boarding ships must be able to walk up a gangway and be able to handle vertical ship stairs and/ or ladders if present. 

The Basil Port of Call Buffalo Steering Committee has extended the festival experience to everyone by offering dockside interpretations for those with limited mobility, vision impairments, or deaf.  From 10:00 – 11:00 am each morning (Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 5-7), the captains and crew of three of the tall ships will give FREE dockside talks about life aboard a tall ship, and how the ship is rigged and operated.  ASL interpreters will be present to sign.  The talks will take place on shore on the Erie St. Riverwalk at Zone B near the entrance to Erie Basin (adjacent to Miss Buffalo’s dock).  Handicapped parking is available just across the street in the 20 Wilkeson Way lot and 1-81 La Riviere lot.  See site map for location details..  Service dogs are not allowed on board the ships.


• VIP Parking is located near Zone B at 20 Wilkeson Way in Waterfront Village.  Present your Eventbrite VIP Voucher, Wegmans VIP ticket, or red VIP Passport for parking lot entry. See "GUIDE & MAP" section of this web site, or visit:

• Visit any ticket tent to receive your red VIP Passport book and VIP wristband good for the entire weekend.  You must present your VIP Passport and wristband to board the ships.

• Wegmans VIP Hospitality Deck is located aboard tall ship Empire Sandy in Zone B, directly across Erie Street from the VIP parking lot. Serving Wegmans refreshments and Big Ditch Brewing's signature GATEWAY IPA, brewed exclusively in honor of the Tall Ships!

Enjoy expedited Tall Ship boarding all weekend long! Enter through VIP lines at all ships.








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