NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Island’s official tall ship will be setting sail soon, but it won’t be going very far.
The Oliver Hazard Perry will travel from Quonset Point to Fort Adams State Park in Newport.
A new business model and leadership team of the ship has reenergized the maritime industry in Rhode Island, making for an exciting upcoming summer in Newport.
The Oliver Hazard Perry was built four years ago as a sailing school vessel when she embarked on her maiden voyage, but now the 200-foot tall ship is back home in Rhode Island where it will stay for good.
“Rhode Island should be really proud of this ship,” Captain Jonathan Kabak said. “There’s a lot of great buzz around the ship and this redirection that we’re taking.”
Kabak, a veteran of maritime training, said he has one goal in mind for the ship – to revitalize a new phase of development.
“We’re trying to make an impactful difference in peoples lives and give them new opportunities,” he said. “Opportunites that they may not have realized were at their doorstep.”
Instead of long offshore voyages, people will experience all the ship has to offer in single or multi-day programs. The programs will take place in Newport and will begin in May and continue until mid-fall.
“We’re really trying to take the program opportunities as they’ve existed on the ship and translate them to opportunities for when you get off the ship,” Kabak said. “Bringing education back to its roots, nautically speaking, on this vessel… it’s a fantastic idea.”
Kabak said the feedback they’ve received has been very supportive.
“We want the take-home message to be that it wasn’t just a great experience on the ship,” he said. “Take these lessons and experiences and introduce them into your daily lives.”
According to Kabak, the Oliver Hazard Perry staff is looking to partner with state organizations and the broader academic community.
“We’re really hoping to make deep meaning connections with the community and people are excited about that,” Kabak said.