|The world’s third largest tall ship – the 370 foot long, four-masted Juan Sebastián de Elcano – sailed into Dublin port this
morning (7 June 2014) for a five-day visit.
The steel-hulled schooner was met by two Dublin Port Company tug boats and a flotilla of yachts from local sailing clubs in a ceremonial escort to mark its arrival at 0730hrs in Dublin Bay.
Led by Captain Enrique Torres Piñeyro, the Elcano is used primarily as a training ship for the Royal Spanish Navy, preparing its officers for long periods at sea. His excellency the Spanish Ambassador said Its arrival in Dublin with 191 crew, will participate in a five-day programme of engagements. This will include a number of free public open days, when members of the public will be able to board and inspect the vessel. The Ambassador to Ireland, said the visit is aimed at prompting a Spanish-Irish cultural exchange and will strengthen the relationship between the two countries.
“It symbolises the strength of the bilateral relations between Ireland and Spain, two nations united throughout history by close ties, nowadays reinforced by their common membership of the EU,” he said.
The ship, which is on its 85th training voyage, has been sailing for 23 days across the Atlantic from the Port of New York to Dublin Port. Built in Cádiz (Spain) in 1928, the Elcano has visited 152 ports in more than 70 countries, and of its 85 cruises to date, 10 have been round-the-world trips. The Elcano last visited Dublin in July 1999. After leaving Dublin next Thursday, it will visit Hamburg, Germany and Fredrikstad, Norway before returning to Spain.
“The arrival to Dublin of the Elcano is an event of major importance and significance,” said Javier Garrigues, Spanish Ambassador to Ireland. “It symbolises the strength of the bilateral relations between Ireland and Spain, two nations united throughout history by close ties, nowadays reinforced by their common membership of the EU.
“The fact that Dublin has been chosen as a port of call by the Elcano is proof of the importance Spain attaches to Ireland. I am convinced that Elcano´s visit will further enhance the mutual understanding and friendship between the two countries.”
The ship will be open to the public at Sir John Rogerson’s Quay from 12pm to 1pm and 3.30pm to 7pm on Sunday 8 June, and from 10am to 12pm and 3.30pm to 7pm on Monday 9 June; and at Alexandra Basin from 3.30pm to 7pm on Tuesday 10 June, and from 10am to 1pm and from 3.30pm to 7pm on Wednesday 11 June. Access to the ship in Alexandra Basin is via a free shuttle bus service from Dublin Port Company’s headquarters on Alexandra Road, Dublin 1.