JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The historic USS Orleck is open for tours for the week of July 4th, as leaders celebrate the ship’s first Fourth of July here on the First Coast.
The Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront and the Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association have partnered for “Red, White and Riverfront Views,” a 10-day event that gives guests staying at the hotel a chance to tour the USS Orleck warship. Tours will take place from July 1 through July 10.
It’s the first year that the USS Orleck is here in town for the fourth of July celebrations. Visitors say it’s an amazing sight that brings a patriotic feeling.
“It’s something we weren’t expecting for sure, but Jacksonville is such a historic city already and this is just another addition to the rich history that Jacksonville has," Vance Shepherd, visiting from Montanan, said.
Walking through these small corridors and standing next to weapons used in World War two, guests on Sunday got an exclusive tour of the USS Orleck, part of a partnership between the hotel and the Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association.
Leaders hope the tours will bring something unique to this year’s fourth of Julyh celebrations.
“You get to learn about the science and technology behind this ship and the history. The Orleck is the second most historic Navy ship ever… It kind of encompasses our local heritage of the US Navy and we get to see fireworks with this historic ship right in the foreground," Justin Weakland, the vice president of the Jacksonville Naval Museum, said.
Leaders say they are planning more events on the ship throughout the year, with the goal of sharing the history and celebrating Jacksonville.