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August 22, 2011

Newport Beach, CA – The cherished yacht of screen legend John Wayne, the M/V Wild Goose, now holds a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. The 149-passenger yacht is owned and operated by Hornblower Cruises & Events, which applied for the historic designation. A plaque marking the honor has been installed on the vessel and the vessel will be listed in the database of the National Register of Historic Places online.

The application process took nearly a year and required extensive efforts by Hornblower staff and outside consultants. The vessel’s application was approved based on the criteria that the vessel was “associated with the lives of persons significant in our past” (Form 10-900, United State Department of the Interior, National Park Service).

John Wayne was determined to be a person significant in the history of the United States and this was the first instance of anything associated with the actor being placed on the register.

“We sought recognition for the Wild Goose for several reasons,” noted Kevin Lorton, General Manager for Hornblower Cruises & Events. “The primary was to have the yacht recognized for its truly unique place in history with its direct tie to one of America’s most beloved icons, John Wayne. Mr. Wayne cherished this vessel and it remains one of few existing links to Mr. Wayne’s time in Newport Beach.

Wayne owned the vessel from 1962, purchasing it as a retired Navy minesweeper. He completed extensive renovations, including adding staterooms and entertaining areas and raising doorways and ceilings to fit his tall frame. He used the yacht for family vacations and entertaining until 1979 when he sold it shortly before his death.

Hornblower Cruises & Events took over management of the vessel in 1993 (purchasing it in 1997) and set out to preserve the legacy of Wayne by keeping the vessel’s unique structure and style.

Hornblower has taken great care to maintain the vessel in the last 18 years, including careful attention to the wood hull and original 500 horsepower diesel engines.

Hornblower also submitted applications for the historic vessels M/V Renown located in San Diego and the Ferryboat Santa Rosa, located in San Francisco. These are the first historic designations in the Hornblower fleet.


Celebrating over 30 years of excellence on the water, Hornblower has 32 charter yachts throughout California in Newport Beach, Marina Del Rey, Long Beach, San Francisco, Berkeley, Sacramento, and San Diego. Hornblower’s popular Newport Beach, Long Beach, and Marina del Rey port offers private charters, Public Weekend Dinner Cruises, Champagne Brunch Cruises, and Summer Sunset Cocktail Cruises. For more information call our Newport Beach/Long Beach office at 949-646-0155 or our Marina del Rey office at 310-301-6000 or go online to: