El Galeón Returns to its North American Home Port
El Galeón, the authentic replica of a ship that traveled the coasts of Florida 500 years ago, sailed into Matanzas Bay on Dec. 17, 2014, after an absence of four months with plans to remain in port through July 2015, offering tours and the opportunity to glimpse back into maritime history by walking the decks and wandering through the ships quarters.
Docked at the St. Augustine Municipal Marina, 111 Avenida Menendez, El Galéon will be open daily for tours starting on Friday, Dec. 19 from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults, $8 for youth age 5 to 12, and free for youth under age 5. Veterans and St. Johns County residents receive a $2 discount per ticket. Additionally, family discounts are available with $2 off per ticket of groups of five people or more.
Ticket purchase locations include:
- At the ship
- Ripley’s Red Train booth located at the miniature golf course in front of the marina
- Online at https://www.elgaleon.org/tickets.html (discount available for online purchases)
El Galeón, a 170-foot, 495-ton authentic wooden replica of a Spanish galleon, is owned and operated by the Nao Victoria Foundation of Seville, Spain. Twenty-eight crew members must maneuver more than 9,600 square feet of sail area in the same fashion as 16th century sailors.
The first ship like El Galéon to arrive in St. Augustine was the flagship of founder Don Pedro Menéndez de Avilés. Named the San Pelayo, the 650-ton ship, one of the most powerful ships of its day, carried 800 colonists and supplies to St. Augustine, establishing the first permanent European settlement in the United States in 1565.
El Galeón first arrived in St. Augustine in June 2013 and has been back on multiple trips. Since its departure, the ship has visited ports along the east coast including New York City and later was used in the making of the television series Crossbones on location in Puerto Rico.
Group ToursGroup tours (10 or more people) are available, including school groups.
Event RentalsThe ship can be rented for events for various durations including quarter day rentals (less than three hours), half-day rentals (less than six hours) or full day rentals (greater than six hours). Half and full day rentals must be booked at least one (1) month in advance. Quarter day rentals (less than three hours) must be booked at least two (2) weeks in advance. The ship event rental fee is based on the type of event, number of guests and duration of the rental.
For more information about El Galeón and Nao Victoria Foundation, visit www.ElGaleon.org.
Photo by Stacey Sather of SGS Design & Art.