Tomorrow, June 14, marks 55 years since the Sailing Ship Columbia first began sailing the Rivers of America at Disneyland park. The ship is an exact replica of the 18th century merchant vessel, Columbia Rediviva, the first American ship to circumnavigate the globe, and the namesake of Oregon’s Columbia River.
One of the earliest photos of the Columbia we have on file was taken in May 1958, alongside the Mark Twain Riverboat. If the Columbia appears to be incomplete in this photo, it is likely because portions of the 110-foot ship were pre-built in San Pedro, Calif., and then delivered to the dry dock harbor on the Rivers of America for assembly.
These rare color images show the Columbia during some of its earliest Disneyland sailings.
Disneyland park guests don’t sail around the globe aboard the Columbia, but the 12-minute journey along the Rivers of America remains as beautiful and tranquil as it has been for 55 years.