BILOXI, MISS. - The Nina and Pinta have arrived along Mississippi's Gulf Coast, sailing into a Biloxi harbor as spectators lined a pier, aiming their phones out to the horizon.
Christopher Columbus sailed across the Atlantic on the Nina on his three voyages of discovery to the New World beginning in 1492.
The original Nina was last heard from in 1501, but this replica, which was finished in 1991, serves as a floating museum. It was built entirely by hand, without the use of power tools, and is considered to be the most historically accurate Columbus ship replica ever built.
The Pinta replica was built in Brazil and launched in 2005 to accompany the Nina on travels. It's a larger version of the archetypal ``caravel,'' the term for a Portuguese ship used by Columbus and many early explorers.
While in port, the ships will be open for public tours, beginning Thursday. They are scheduled to leave Biloxi on Monday, March 2.
After a week-long stop in Gulf Shores, Alabama, beginning March 4, the ships will head to Florida, where they have scheduled stops in Fort Walton Beach, Venice, Vero Beach and Fernandina Beach.