SOUTH PORTLAND — The Nina and the Pinta, replicas of Christopher Columbus’ 15th-century caravels, pulled into port this afternoon at the South Port Marine.

The vessels, which travel the Americas as “floating museums,” will spend the next five days in South Portland. Visitors can tour the ships between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., starting Thursday. Admission for adults is $8.

The Columbus Foundation, based in the British Virgin Islands, launched the Nina in 1991 and the Pinta in 2005. The ships were built in the village of Valenca, Brazil, using 15th-century tools and techniques.

Captain Joe Hopkins, who has sailed on the Pinta for four years, said that the crewmembers on both ships are mainly students or retirees looking for an adventure. “Some people fall in love with it,” he said.

Morgan Sanger, captain of the Nina, has been with the foundation since 1986, when research for the construction of the ships began. He said the boats travel the East Coast, Great Lakes and river systems 11 months out of the year and spend the 12th month in a shipyard for repairs and maintenance. “Next stop is Bridgeport, Connecticut,” he said.

“We had a great sail today,” said Vic Bickle, the first mate on the Nina. “Beautiful, actually. We came in under full sail on both ships, seeing 5 knots on the way in.”