Pride of Baltimore II “Reboot” 2019

Pride crew & friends

Photo: Pride crew and friends in Annapolis for Maryland Day, March 25, 2019, courtesy of the office of the governor.

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Pride is back. Or as headlined in Annapolis and Baltimore front pages, “Pride debut.”

When I was young, I might have asked my parents, “What’s a debut?” What follows is from a dictionary:


  • a first public appearance on a stage, on television, etc.
  • the first appearance of something, as a new product.
  • (of a young woman) a formal introduction and entrance into society, as at an annual ball.
  • the beginning of a profession, career, etc.

verb (used without object)

  • to make a debut, as in society or in a performing art: She decided to debut with several other violinists.
  • to appear for the first time, as on the market: A new product will debut next month.

verb (used with object)

  • to perform (something) for the first time before an audience: He didn’t know when the orchestra would debut his new symphony.
  • to place on the market for the first time; introduce.


  • of, pertaining to, or constituting a first appearance: a debut performance; a debut record album.

The irony for me is that the Pride of Baltimore II legacy is more than 40 years old. She is renowned and admired nationally and worldwide. ‘Tis only Maryland that is characterizing the return of Pride of Baltimore II to her role as this state’s most unique icon as a debut.

It’s been since October of 2017 that Pride II last sailed. For the last 15 months, she has been laid up due to her operating nonprofit company, Pride of Baltimore, Inc., seeing a future of not enough financial support to keep Pride sailing. So a very sober, realistic holding strategy for minimizing expenses by laying the ship up and dismissing her crew was executed. Then an all-hands-on-deck administrative effort was launched by the executive director and the board of directors to secure renewed financial support from the State of Maryland on behalf of what I describe as “the peoples’ boat,” or Marylanders’ Pride. The effort was so very fortunately successful to team up with Maryland’s legislature.

One of the very unique aspects of the Pride legacy is that it was not cooked up by well-meaning private citizens saying to themselves, “This will be such a good thing that the government will want to assist.” Nope. Not at all. Rather, it was the mayor and city council of Baltimore back in the early 1970s that came up with the idea after a hired consultant advised them on a potential strategy for changing the hearts and minds of Baltimoreans about their town. Like most cities back then, there was an effort to revitalize. What is unique in the whole country was a marketing strategy leveraging Baltimore’s particular role in the nation’s history, a point in time nicknamed “The Second War for Independence.” Properly speaking, the 1812 War, in which Baltimore schooners, used as privately funded commerce raiders, aka privateers, drew the wrath of the British Royal Navy. Enough to provoke the Royal Navy to make an effort to sail past Fort McHenry, guarding Baltimore, to burn the shipyards building said Baltimore privateers. The failure of that endeavor, named by historians “The Defense of Baltimore,” inspired an American lawyer, who witnessed the bombardment and the abject withdrawal of the Royal Navy without success, to coin the words to a tune of the period that is now our nation’s national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

What better way to restore the lost pride in the city of Baltimore than to resurrect what the world had long accepted was a uniquely capable and beautiful maritime craft of American invention? Those highly romanticized Baltimore clipper privateers. Solely and wholly a creation of Baltimore, stemming from a long Chesapeake Bay maritime transportation development period, seeking to make sail-driven transportation on the Chesapeake Bay easier and faster. Along the way of the more than 100 years of development starting in the second half of the 1600s, it was learned that the results of hull change and generous rig style created dependable and fast ocean sailors, rather than only Chesapeake Bay transport. That success for achieving speed and agility under sail led to greater astonishing success with American privateering leading up to the 1812 War. Baltimore privateers succeeded in being the only American design that caught or sunk more than 40% of all American privateer targets of that war. Hence the British Navy anger. Enough to come up into the narrow confines of the Upper Chesapeake Bay to burn the Baltimore shipyards. Instead, the failed attempt provided inspiration for the creation of the American national anthem, celebrating freedom from British restrictions on American commerce over the world’s oceans.

That first Pride of Baltimore of the 1970s and 1980s succeeded in stimulating a pretty rapid change of hearts and minds of Baltimore citizens. Similarly across Maryland and the whole country. Everywhere there was admiration for that beautiful Baltimore privateer. During the European Campaign of 1985/86, while captaining her, I heard Europeans wonder at both our beautiful Pride and where was Baltimore. We had to resort to saying near Washington, DC, or south of New York. More than 30 years later, after the building of Pride of Baltimore II to carry on the legacy of the first Pride, plus five voyages to Europe, we almost never hear the question of where Baltimore is. Everyone knows about Baltimore and Maryland, home of a most beautiful maritime creation — worldwide appreciated and renowned for her voyages, as well as her sailing prowess during international tall ship races.

Call Pride of Baltimore’s first sailings of 2019 her debut if you want. I rather think of these initial sails as the return of Pride in her home port and state, brought about by a stunningly positive vote by Maryland’s legislature, supporting the Governor’s earlier efforts during his first term at keeping Pride sailing. As a Marylander, I give thanks to good governance on behalf of Maryland citizens. There are plenty of opportunities to lose pride. It takes gumption and vision to know that there are untold rewards from energy applied to iconic symbols as ambassadors.

And so it comes to pass, we all can again celebrate together our collective gumption to preserve our more than 40-year vision of showing off, as well as sharing our beautiful-like-art Pride of Baltimore II.

Captain Jan C. Miles

Pride of Baltimore II to Make 2019 Season Debut in Baltimore Escorting Stad Amsterdam

Stad Amsterdam - Pride of Baltimore II

Stad Amsterdam (left), Pride of Baltimore II (right)

March 26, 2019

Pride of Baltimore
Erica Denner, 410.539.1151
Sail Baltimore
Nan Nawrocki, 410.522.7300

BALTIMORE, MD – Pride of Baltimore II‘s 2019 season debut in Baltimore will offer a great photo opportunity! She will escort the 249’ three-masted Dutch clipper Stad Amsterdam in to Baltimore the morning of Thursday, March 28. Pride of Baltimore is partnering with Sail Baltimore to produce this event.

Pride of Baltimore II, Baltimore, Maryland’s tall ship, after returning from her season debut in Annapolis on Maryland Day, will meet Stad Amsterdam around 9 a.m. off Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine. The two tall ships will then sail in company to the Inner Harbor, where Stad Amsterdam will dock on the West Wall at approximately 10 a.m. Pride II will dock on Pier 1 and open for free deck tours from noon to 4 p.m.

Stad Amsterdam, the first visiting tall ship of the season for Sail Baltimore, will open for free deck tours on Saturday, March 30, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. On the upper deck, visitors will feel like they have boarded an actual nineteenth-century clipper ship. The beautiful chart house, original rigging, and excellently maintained teak woodwork are all exactly as they would have been in days gone by.

Points on the waterfront from Fort McHenry, which will open at 9 a.m., to the Inner Harbor will be prime locations to see the two magnificent vessels sailing in to the Inner Harbor.

About Pride of Baltimore II 

Baltimore Clippers, sleek, fast, and maneuverable vessels, gained fame as privateers during the War of 1812. Their success in capturing British merchant ships provoked the Royal Navy to attack Baltimore in 1814. Francis Scott Key, seeing the American flag still flying over Fort McHenry after the 25-hour British bombardment, was inspired to pen the “Star-Spangled Banner.”

Pride of Baltimore II, like her predecessor, Pride of Baltimore, is a reproduction of one of the most famous of these privateers, Chasseur. For nearly four decades, these modern-day prides of Baltimore have promoted historical maritime education, fostered economic development and tourism, and represented the people of Maryland in ports throughout the world. Since her commissioning in 1988, Pride II has sailed 250,000 nautical miles and visited more than 200 ports in 40 countries.

To learn more about Pride of Baltimore II, please visit

About Sail Baltimore

Sail Baltimore brings ships — glorious tall ships, high-tech naval warships, and other ships of historic, environmental, and educational interest — from around the world to Baltimore. Since 1976, Sail Baltimore has hosted more than 750 ships, providing millions of Baltimore residents and visitors a thrilling firsthand look at some of the world’s greatest seagoing vessels.

To learn more about Sail Baltimore, please visit