El GaleÃ³n, the authentic replica of a ship that traveled the coast of Florida 500 years ago, has returned to St. Augustine, its North American home port at the cityâ€™sÂ Municipal Marina.
The 170-foot, 495-ton authentic wooden replica of a Spanish galleon, is owned and operated by theÂ Nao Victoria FoundationÂ 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.
El GaleÃ³n first arrived in St. Augustine in June 2013 and has been back on multiple trips. During its departures, the ship has visited ports along the east coast including New York City and was used in the making of the television series Crossbones on location in Puerto Rico.
The first ship like El GalÃ©on to arrive in St. Augustine was the flagship of founder Don Pedro MenÃ©ndez de AvilÃ©s. 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.
The ship is open for tours continuing through April 12 from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. Admission for the tour is $12 for adults ($10 for St. Johns County residents) and $6 for children, aged 5-12 ($5 for St. Johns County residents).