Holiday Tradition: Ritz-Carlton’s Giant Gingerbread Ship

The S.S. Amelia is on display now in the hotel lobby. Photo courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton.

The sweet smell of the Ritz-Carlton’s gingerbread ship reaches your nose even before you can see the 17-foot long wonder.

Every year for the holidays, the hotel’s pastry team bands together to make the pirate ship, dubbed the S.S. Amelia. It’s made each year using a whopping 3,000 eggs and 1,200 pounds of sugar. Decked out with frosting and candy pieces, the ship features fun details like gingerbread pirates and a gingerbread Santa. It’s 12 feet high, with its mast stretching up beside the lobby’s chandelier.

The gingerbread masterpiece takes three months to prepare and two days to assemble.

I make a point of taking my son, a particularly big fan of pirates (not to mention dessert!), to see the giant confection up close every year. No one will bat an eye when you take a dozen photos — but you’ll probably have trouble fitting it all into one frame.

If you want to go:

When: The ship is on display from shortly after Thanksgiving to late December each year.

Cost: Free

Where: On display in the lobby at The Ritz-Carlton, 4750 Amelia Island Parkway, Amelia Island, FL

Parking: Use the valet at The Ritz or, if it’s a nice day and you’re up for a walk, park at the Peter’s Point beach access parking lot and follow the sidewalk to The Ritz. Peter’s Point is a beachfront park at 1974 S Fletcher Ave., Amelia Island.

For More Information: Call the Ritz-Carlton concierge at 904-277-1100.


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  1. Terri says:

    This seems like a fun FREE thing to do for the holidays!!