Editor's Note: Tickets were given out in under an hour Thursday. Please see related story.
ST PETERSBURG – The USS Independence will be open for public tours for the Labor Day weekend, when it anchors in the Port of St. Petersburg.
But visitors have to get their free tickets today or Friday at the Mahaffey Theater to be allowed on board the 418-foot, high-tech Naval warship.
That's right. No ticket, no admission. So take your place in line.
Here's what you need to know:
- While the ship tours are free, you still need to have a ticket. But supplies are limited.
- The free tickets will be distributed at the Mahaffey Theater box office, at 400 1st St. South, from noon to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday.
- Tickets are limited to four per person. No one under 8 is allowed on board the ship.
The tours are from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Saturday for organizations. Individuals and families will take the tours Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Monday from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
There will be no charge to park in the Mahaffey Theater garage when picking up tickets.
But parking will cost $5 per vehicle Saturday-Monday during public tour hours.
Organizations of 25 or more should request tickets for organization tours via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 727-893-7465.
If using email, please note USS Independence in subject line.
Tours will be timed so no more than 150 people are on board the ship per hour. Plan to arive an hour before your scheduled tour this weekend. Visitors must go through a security check and shuttle to the ship itself.
The USS Independence, the sixth vessel to carry the name, is a small assault transport that can go as fast as 40 knots and carries a crew of 40. It was commissioned in 2009 and is one of the Navy's newest ships.