St Augustine 450th Starts With El Galeon’s Return

el galeonEl Galeón, the authentic replica of a ship that traveled the coasts of Florida 500 years ago, will again sail into Matanzas Bay on Sept. 3rd, 2015, for St. Augustine’s 450th Anniversary, offering tours and the opportunity to glimpse back into maritime history by walking the decks and wandering through the ships quarters through the 23rd.

Docked at the St. Augustine Municipal Marina, 111 Avenida Menendez, El Galéon will be open daily for tours. 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.

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.