Galeón Andalucía returns to Plymouth

29 Apr 2024

Following a hugely successful visit last year, a full-size replica of a 17th Century Spanish galleon, Galeón Andalucía, will be returning to Plymouth from the 15th to 19th May and be one of the star attractions as part of Plymouth Pirates Weekend (18th and 19th May).

The incredibly impressive tall ship, which is nearly 50m in length, will once again be berthed alongside on the Barbican Landing Stage, managed by the Cattewater Harbour Commissioners.

Sean Marshall, Deputy Harbour, Cattewater Harbour Commissioners:

“It’s a pleasure to be able to welcome Galeón Andalucía back to Plymouth – she really is a sight to see. Vessels such as Galeón Andalucía and the Pascual Flores, were the forerunners to the modern-day cargo vessels we have entering the Harbour every day.”

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. Galeón Andalucía’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.

Built by the Nao Victoria Foundation at the Punta Umbria shipyard at Huelva in Spain, Galeón Andalucía 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.

Accompanying Galeón Andalucía this year to Plymouth is the Pascual Flores, an original example of a “pailebote” (Spanish for pilot’s boat) which was dedicated to the export of fruit, salt and general cargo, both in Mediterranean ports and anchorages and on the North and West coasts of Africa. Visitors will also have the opportunity to explore this interesting vessel.

Jon Walton, CEO, Plymouth Waterfront Partnership:

“Plymouth Waterfront Partnership are proud to be supporting Galeón Andalucía’s visit to Plymouth this year following her hugely successful inaugural visit last September. We will provide that fantastic welcome to her great crew that only Plymouth can offer!  Both vessels really are going to add to the atmosphere and experience of our hugely popular Plymouth Pirates Weekend – with thanks to Barbican Botanics who are sponsoring the Historic Ships as part of the weekend.”

Tickets to visit Galeón Andalucía can be booked in advance here or on the day at the entrance to the Barbican Landing Stage.

Visitors will be able to visit the Pascual Flores for free by showing a Galeón Andalucía ticket, but will need to pay to get to the vessel which will be berthed on the Cattewater visitor pontoons by water taxi from the Barbican Landing Stage. Water taxi charges will apply to visit.