Ocean City Today

El Galeón Andalucia returns to OC

By Kara Hallissey | Aug 10, 2017
A 160-foot-long replica of the Spanish tall ship, El Galeón Andalucia, sails back into Ocean City this weekend for tours and special receptions until Aug. 27.

(Aug. 11, 2017) A 160-foot-long replica of the Spanish tall ship, El Galeón Andalucia, sails back into Ocean City this weekend for tours and special receptions until Aug. 27.

The authentic, 17th century wooden replica ship, will be docked on the bay next to the bayside boardwalk between Second and Third streets after narrowly passing through the Route 50 drawbridge.

The Galeón Andalucia has already spent time in Ocean City during the summer, first in August of 2013 and again in 2014.

“Having a Spanish galleon in Ocean City is such a rare, visual opportunity,” Special Events Superintendent Frank Miller said. “Add to that, the chance to tour it.”

Visitors will have the opportunity to walk the main decks and gun deck while interacting with the crew. They will also learn about the vital role galleons played in sea trade, hear pirate stories and can purchase official galleon retail merchandise on board.

“There will be vendors likely set up port side where patrons can peruse crafts, jewelry and other goods,” Miller said. “Opportunities are available to host receptions on the vessel while it is in Ocean City.”

The Galeón Andalucia is a replica of a vessel used by the Spanish Crown for maritime expeditions from the 16th to 18th centuries. Galleons discovered and established trade routes between Spain, America and the Philippines, which was later named the Fleet of the Indies.

After three years of research, six months of structural design and 17 months of construction, the nonprofit Nao Victoria Foundation (NAO) launched the 500-ton vessel in November of 2009.

“We are always looking for new, exciting and family-friendly activities for our residents and patrons to enjoy while in Ocean City,” Miller said. “Tall ships are a great attraction, but come with the need for fairly deep waters to accommodate a typical vessel’s draft. This galleon is unique as it can make it to our berthing location even with the shallow waters of our bay.”

In addition, the foundation is building a replica of the Santa Maria, one of the three ships sailed by Christopher Columbus to the new world in 1492, which is slated for completion next year.

“We are hopeful that patrons will continue to seek the opportunity to walk the decks of this galleon and future vessels we can logistically bring into our bay – the future NAO Santa Maria replica included,” Miller said.

El Galeón Andalucia was slated to arrive on Thursday between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., but contingent on tidal conditions and delays coming out of the Hudson River. The arrival window on Friday is from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Tours are slated to start on Friday or Saturday depending on when the vessel arrives. They will take place daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. until Aug. 27.

Tickets cost $12 for adults, $6 for children 5-12 years old and children under 5 are free with the purchase of an adult ticket.

For more information or to book a reception on the vessel, contact the Town of Ocean City Special Events Department at 410-250-0125.

Check out www.fundacionnaovictoria.org to purchase tickets or for more information on the El Galeón Andalucia and Nao Victoria Foundation.

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