PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Barque Eagle, “America’s Tall Ship,” is making a stop in Hampton Roads from Sept. 17-20.

Eagle arrived in Portsmouth on Friday, Sept. 17 and will be moored at High Street Landing until Sept. 20.

The public is invited to climb aboard, for free at the following dates and times:

  • Friday, Sept. 17: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m. – Public Tours
  • Saturday, Sept. 18:
    • 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. – Military/First Responder Tours (with valid ID)
    • 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. – Public Tours
  • Sunday, Sept. 19:
    • 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. – Military/First Responder Tours (with valid ID)
    • 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. – Public Tours

Eagle is a training vessel for Coast Guard Academy cadets and candidates from the Officer Candidate School and has served as a classroom at sea to future Coast Guard officers since 1946. This summer, Coast Guard Academy Cadets completed a transatlantic voyage and experienced port calls in Azores, Iceland, and Bermuda.

At 295 feet in length, Eagle is the largest tall ship flying the stars and stripes and the only active-duty sailing vessel in America’s military. It is one of only two commissioned sailing vessels, along with the USS Constitution.

10 On Your Side went to see the Eagle and its crew Friday.

“The Eagle, there’s only one of them in the Coast Guard, so you only get this experience once in a lifetime,” said Marilanne Hudson, an officer candidate with the U.S. Coast Guard.

10 On Your Side got a glimpse into the long-established training protocols for Coast Guard officers.

“We’re a seagoing service so this kind of, this kind of weaves tradition into, into what we’re doing day to day,” said Marissa Skidmore, another officer candidate with the U.S. Coast Guard.

For weeks, trainees work hand-in-hand to master the skills needed to be an officer.

“Trainees will work on their seamanship. They’ll work on their deming control. They’ll work on their navigation, engineering, all those aspects of training that is essential for officers of the United States Coast Guard,” said Nicholas Vratsenes, another officer candidate.

Candidates say their service has given them a purpose, and they hope to inspire the next generation of leaders at sea.

“Any little girl or little boy that is watching me, of color, needs to understand that we need this representation. We need to let everyone know that there is a spot for us,” said Hudson.