Columbus ships Pinta and Nina arrive in Port of Dubuque - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Columbus ships Pinta and Nina arrive in Port of Dubuque

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

The Pinta and the Nina, replicas of Christopher Columbus' ships, arrived in the Port of Dubuque early Thursday afternoon.

The ships are docked at the Port of Dubuque Marina, next to the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium, through Monday, June 27.

Both ships are now open to the public for viewing, though an admission fee will be charged.

The Nina was built completely by hand and without the use of power tools, prompting one magazine to call it the "most historically correct Columbus replica ever built."

"The Nina is the most historically accurate replica ever created," said Pinta's 1st Mate Justin Johnson. "And the Pinta comes in a close second, but she's a little bit larger than she originally would've been by about 20 percent."

Not only are the nearly exact replicas of the ships that sailed more than 500 years ago, they were built in nearly the same fashion.

"The Nina's make was all constructed of hand, which is pretty much how they would in the time period with hand tools. It was completely constructed by a crew of about 20 men who took about three years," said Johnson.

Their stay in Dubuque allows many the chance to step way back in time.

Like Amber Ferguson, who said being on the deck of the Nina was like "being a kid in a candy store."

Many visiting the ships may be surprised by their size--many expecting much bigger ships.

"A lot of people don't really realize how really small these ships were, and that they traveled across the vast ocean of the Atlantic. They're not like your normal tall ship like you see in Boston or New York," said Johnson.

The ships tour together as a sailing museum to educate people on the caravel, a Portuguese ship used by Columbus and many other early explorers.

For more information about admission prices, visit http://thenina.com/.

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