Gangway for El Galeon!

  • (9:57 AM) UPDATE: El Galeon has been sighted 30 miles off the coast of Daytona.

    (9: 32 AM) UPDATE: At this time, El Galeon is estimated to be landing at the St. Augustine Marina around 5 pm, Tuesday, May 21st. This time is subject to change, and we'll continue to update as we find out more.

    Tours of the vessel will begin on May 23rd

    Residents of St. Augustine are accustomed to the view of the bayfront with sailboats bobbing in the water. They are perfect for sailing around the bay and off the shore, hosting fishing excursions and taking St. Augustine's visitors on eco tours.

    But could these sailboats cross an ocean in the 1500s? Probably not.

    El Galeon could though, and ships like it did!


    Photo courtesy of Viva Florida 500.

    El Galeon is a replica of the kind of ships used by Spanish sailors 500 years ago. Ships like these were a technical achievement, and unlike our sailboats, they were built to face treacherous seas, stormy waters, and deadly doldrums - not to mention the constant threat of attack from pirates and buccaneers.

    el galeon deck

    Photo Courtesy of Foundacion Nao Victoria.

    El Galeon will arrive in St. Augustine on May 22, with tours being conducted from May 23 until June 9. No events are planned at this time for the May 22 landing. The old city will be the final stop for the 495-ton ship. The galleon is made authentically from bow to stern, hull to mast. The 170-foot ship has covered more than 900 nautical miles and is manned by 28 crew members. The crew performs their functions in the same way they would have in the 1500s, making this ship a piece of history you won't want to miss.

    el galeon exhibit

    Photo courtesy of Viva Florida 500.

    The ship is performing this route in honor of Viva Florida 500 - the ongoing celebration commemorating the 500th anniversary of the discovery of Florida by Juan Ponce de Leon. These events have included the Ponce Landing in St. Augustine from a month ago, and more events are to come throughout the next few years.

    When the massive ship stops in St. Augustine, visitors can climb aboard to view the amazing vessel. You can learn about Florida's nautical history from a first-hand, on deck look. The tour is being coordinated by VISITFLORIDA and Foundacion Nao Victoria who brought the ships from Spain and are sailing them from Puerto Rico, up the shoreline of Florida - the same path Ponce de Leon would have taken.


    Find El Galeon at the St. Augustine Marina between 9 am and 5 pm, Thursday May 23 to Monday June 3. Children 12 and under are $8, while adults are $15. You can order your tickets here.

    For more information on upcoming events, click here to check out our calendar.

    Main thumbnail photo courtesy of Livin' La Vida Local.

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Updated: Friday, April 1, 2016

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