Tall ships will be jamming Baltimore’s Inner Harbor over the next week, and it’s likely that drivers will contribute a jam of their own, because the Sailabration could draw a million people.


The start for the War of 1812 bicentennial features a visit from more than 40 tall ships and naval vessels. They are scheduled to sail into the harbor on Wednesday and hang around for tourists till next Tuesday.

The ships should arrive between 8:30 and 5 p.m., but there’s no exact schedule for when they will reach the Inner Harbor. When they sail out next Tuesday, the Navy ships will leave between 7 and 11 a.m., and the tall ships will depart between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

For arrival day, the Capital Weather Gang is predicting a partly sunny sky and cool breezes.

The Maryland Transportation Authority, which operates the state’s toll bridges and tunnels is worried about traffic delays throughout the week-long stay at the Fort McHenry Tunnel on I-95 and along I-95 and I-395 in the city.

Of course, the city itself will be very crowded, especially around the Inner Harbor. Many of the ships will be open for tours Thursday through Monday. See some ships here on the Sailabration Web site.

But the really big show — and the big traffic draw — will be Saturday and Sunday, when the Navy's Blue Angels perform. There will also be concerts and fireworks Saturday evening.

See our Going Out Guide’s map of the Inner Harbor.

Christina Barron also wrote a guide to parking and getting around Baltimore during Sailabration. MARC trains operate only on weekdays.

In case you’re one of the history-challenged people whom Steve Vogel wrote about, this isn’t the anniversary of the bombardment of Fort McHenry. Wait two more years for those fireworks.

If you just want to get around the traffic over the next week, you’re probably best off taking the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel (I-895) or the Francis Scott Key Bridge (I-695) to get by Baltimore.

For those heading into the city, you could try I-83 from the north, or Route 40 from the west.