Visit Pensacola Invites the Public To Step Back in Time While Touring El Galeon

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The 16th Century Spanish tall ship sails into Pensacola on October 21.

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Our city’s rich nautical history is rooted in our deep ties to Spain and our Spanish ancestors who first settled this region more than 450 years ago. It’s exciting to be able to bring a piece of history to our downtown waterfront.

After sailing more than 40,000 nautical miles and visiting dozens of countries, EL GALEON, a Colonial-era Spanish galleon replica, will sail into Pensacola Bay on Wednesday, Oct. 21, and dock at Plaza de Luna in Downtown Pensacola. The historic two-masted tall ship is owned and operated by the Nao Victoria Foundation, a Spanish non-profit organization.

The galleon is similar to the one that Tristan de Luna, governor of Florida in the 16th Century, sailed when he arrived to what today is called Pensacola Bay.

EL GALEON will be open to visitors daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. starting on Thursday, Oct. 22, and ending Sunday, Nov. 1. Five of the six decks will be available for tour.

Admission cost is $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 5-12. Children five and under are free. School groups are welcomed and invited to tour the ship with advanced arrangement.

“The Port of Pensacola is so happy to be a part of bringing another Spanish tall ship to Pensacola for a visit,” said Amy Miller, Port Director. “Our city’s rich nautical history is rooted in our deep ties to Spain and our Spanish ancestors who first settled this region more than 450 years ago. It’s exciting to be able to bring a piece of history to our downtown waterfront.”

EL GALEON is a full-scale reconstruction of the popular 16th Century sailing cargo vessel. Built by the Nao Victoria Foundation in 2009, the ship measures 170-feet long by 125-feet-tall, has a 30-foot beam, weighs 495 tons and draws 10.5 feet of water. The ship is commanded by Capt. Rosario Fernandez Rodriguez and maneuvered by 22 crewmembers.

“Pensacola represents the mutual history of Spain and the United States,” said Maria Davis, honorary vice consul of Spain in Pensacola. “Spain was the superpower of its day and in 1559 the Spanish made their first settlement in Pensacola. Even though that settlement was destroyed, Pensacola persisted being a Spanish colony.”

“An example of the importance of Pensacola to Spain is King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia’s visit here in 2009 to commemorate the 450th anniversary of Pensacola's first settlement,” she furthered.

El Galeon originally came to the United States from Spain in 2013 to celebrate Florida’s 500th birthday and has been traveling around the country ever since. The ship has made more than 25 ports of call since its arrival in 2013.

The ship is set to depart Pensacola on Monday, Nov. 2, depending on weather and sailing conditions.

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For more information on El Galeon or to purchase tickets, visit http://www.elgaleon.org.

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About Visit Pensacola
Visit Pensacola leads the effort of economic development through tourism in Escambia County. Comprised of over 200-member businesses, Visit Pensacola’s mission is to position the Pensacola Bay Area as a premier year-round travel destination through tourism marketing, communications, meetings and conventions, reunions and group tour initiatives. For more information about Visit Pensacola, call 1-800-874-1234 (toll-free) or go to VisitPensacola.com.

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