The USS Gunston Hall, a ship designed to transport Marines and launch amphibious operations, has been announced as Mobile’s 2023 Mardi Gras ship.
It’s traditional for a Navy ship to dock in Mobile during the Carnival season’s festivities, though that routine – like Mardi Gras itself – was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Destroyers visited in 2019, when the Navy held Fleet Week activities in Mobile, and in 2020.
The USS Gunston Hall is a dock landing ship, designated LSD-44. Ships in the class are more than 600 feet long, with a flight deck that can handle helicopters and Osprey aircraft, plus a well deck that can store and launch a variety of amphibious craft.
According to information released Monday by the city of Mobile, the ship is expected to begin its voyage up the Mobile Ship Channel shortly after daybreak on Friday, Feb. 17, arriving at the Cruise Terminal around 10 a.m.
The vessel will remain in port until Ash Wednesday, Feb. 22. Public tours will be offered from Thursday through Tuesday, Feb. 18-21. Tours will take place from 9-11 a.m. and from 1-3 p.m. daily at the Alabama Cruise Terminal.
The Navy League also will be sponsoring a “Dinner for Sailors” program where local citizens can apply to take Sailors from the USS Gunston Hall to dinner or to a parade. The minimum is two Sailors. Citizens can obtain more information or apply at navyleaguemobile.org or through the Navy League Facebook page.
© 2023 Advance Local Media LLC
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC