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El Galeon Andalucia arrives for Viva Florida 500


Florida - yes, that's Florida in the US - is all abuzz thanks to the arrival of a magnificent Andalucian galleon.
The voyage of El Galeon, a replica l6th-century Spanish trading ship, celebrates 500 years since the Castillian explorer Juan Ponce de Leon first discovered Florida - on 2 April 1513. The 55-metre tall ship, which is now docked in Cape Canaveral, is manned by a crew of 22, and is equipped with three masts and seven sails, plus 10 cannons. Fundacion Nao Victoria, the Seville-based organisation behind El Galeon, worked on the design for five years to ensure the vessel was as accurate a replica as possible.
Launched in 2010, El Galeon has sailed all around the world, spreading the word about Andalucia's rich history, covering more than 35,000km and receiving over 600,000 visitors in 50 ports. Its previous part of call on the Viva Florida 500 tour was Miami, Florida, when it stayed for three weeks (the ship left Tenerife, and sailed via Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic). After Cape Canaveral, El Galeon will sail to Fort Lauderdale (14-19 May) and finally St Augustine (23 May-2 June).
The ship will be in port in Cape Canaveral until 12 May, and is open to visitors during the day.
To see a short video about El Galeon, click here. This is a longer video about Florida's fifth centennial celebrations. For more about Fundacion Nao Victoria, go here.
Under another identity, as La Pepa, the same ship was involved in the events commemmorating the 200th anniversary of the first Spanish Constitution last year.
Blog published on 2 May 2013