A full size replica of a 17th century Spanish galleon will visit Plymouth this summer and be open to the people of Plymouth and visitors to the city to step onboard. El Galeón will be moored within the Cattewater with visitors being able to explore this ‘living museum’ during her stay.
The impressive tall ship is nearly 50m in length and will be impossible to miss when she arrives in Plymouth at the start of August. As a floating museum, members of the public will be able to go onboard and explore the ship’s six decks which offer a fascinating range of features, exhibits and displays. El Galeón’s live-in crew will also be on hand to talk to visitors and explain more about the ship and the history behind the Spanish galleon fleet which were used predominantly between the 16th and 18th centuries and took the lead role in many of the world’s trade and cultural routes that were the longest in length and duration than any other in the history of maritime navigation.
And, whilst these were the ships that comprised the Spanish Armada which in 1588 attempted, unsuccessfully, to defeat an English fleet led by Sir Francis Drake it was the galleons that brought the “two halves of the Earth” together, exchanging goods, people, cultures, ideas and aesthetics from several continents.
Captain Richard Allan, CEO and Harbour Master, Cattewater Harbour Commissioners:
“We’re really pleased to have been able to secure a visit from El Galeón as part of her summer programme and to be one of the very few UK ports that she will be visiting as part of her wider European schedule.
It will be quite a spectacle to have her moored in the Cattewater – vessels such as El Galeón were the forerunners for the modern day cargo vessels that we have entering the port on a daily basis.”
Councillor Sue Dann, Cabinet Member for Customer Services, Sport, Leisure & HR, Plymouth City Council said:
“A Spanish galleon in Plymouth? I think we can safely say we’ve all moved on from the days when this would be feared. In fact, it is wonderful to be able to welcome this ship into the Sound and for people to climb aboard and learn about life on board. It’s also a good reminder that ships were more than about skirmishes, but about forging trade and culture links between nations.”
Built by the Nao Victoria Foundation at the Punta Umbria shipyard at Huelva in Spain, El Galeón was launched 2009 and has since covered more than 70,000 nautical miles around the world’s oceans, visited ports in four continents, participated in many cultural projects, and has been visited by thousands of visitors at over a hundred ports all over the world.
El Galeón will be in port for five days at the start of August and online booking for tickets will be going on sale shortly. Access to the galleon, which will be moored in the Cattewater, will be via a dedicated tender operating regular crossings from the Barbican Landing Stage each day.