No more tickets remain for free public tours of the USS Independence (LCS 2) at the Port of St. Petersburg this weekend. Tickets were handed out from the Mahaffey Theater Box Office beginning at noon today, with all tickets distributed to the public in less than an hour.
The Navy is requiring timed tickets for the tours in order to ensure the security of the ship and safety of the visitors since the ship is in a public port and not on a secured military base. The tickets are being issued to best manage the crowd of visitors interested in touring the ship. Because of the narrow passages and stairways, as well as a small crew size, the ship can only handle a flow of about 150 passengers per hour.
While people wishing to view the warship will not be able to access the Port unless they are participating in one of the tours, they might be able to catch a glimpse of the USS Independence (LCS 2) as it enters local waters near the Sunshine Skyway on Friday. The Navy trimaran is expected to dock at 10 a.m. Friday at the Port.
The best areas for viewing the USS Independence while it makes its way to the Port of St. Petersburg are Bay Vista Park, 7000 Fourth St. S.; from the St. Petersburg Pier, 800 Second Ave. N.E.; Lassing Park, 18th Ave. S. or 22nd Aves. S.; Poynter Park, located at 1000 Third St. S. via 11th Ave. S.; or the city’s panoramic webcam (Camera 1) at www.stpete.org/webcam.
For more information about the USS Independence, visit www.stpete.org.