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Amelia Islander

The World’s Largest Gingerbread Pirate Ship Launches the Holiday Season at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island

Nov 20, 2013 02:00AM
There is a sense of magic as you enter the long drive lined with palm trees gleaming with holiday lights. Moments later, the front door opens with those magical words, “Welcome to The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island,” and immediately, your senses are overwhelmed with the sweet aromas, sights, and sounds from your childhood memories.

Standing before you is a 17-foot Gingerbread Pirate Ship with pirate characters sculpted from chocolate. Festive garland hangs from the elegant molding as if to encase the ship and the sounds of holiday songs play gently through the lobby. Your eyes are drawn into the Courtyard where hundreds of gleaming lights twinkle on a 40 foot Christmas tree. Spellbound, you are captivated by the essence of tradition.

“Holiday tradition,” says, General Manager, James E. McManemon, “is what grandparents and parents want a child to experience and every child remembers their first Ritz-Carlton Santa’s Storybook Tea or the desserts at Santa’s Holiday Dinner and taking family pictures in front of the pirate ship,” continues McManemon.

The festivities start on Wednesday, November 27 at 8 a.m. when the Gingerbread Pirate Ship is unveiled. The ship is a tribute to the famed privateer Louis Aury who held the island captive for three days in 1817.

Later in the evening, guests and the public will line the Courtyard sipping hot chocolate and eating cookies from the pastry kitchen to attend the 17th Annual Tree Lighting to benefit the YMCA Scholarship Program for families in need. The Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival Brass Quintet plays holiday music accompanied by local students who sprinkle fairy dust on the tree moments before Santa and Mrs. Claus light the tree to start the holidays on Amelia Island.

For more information on all of the Ritz-Carlton’s holiday festivities call 904-277-1100, or visit