Nao Victoria: Replica of first ship to circumnavigate the planet sets off from Almeria

The Nao Victoria replica sets sail from Almeria
The Nao Victoria replica sets sail from Almeria Copyright Associated Press
Copyright Associated Press
By Luke Hurst with Associated Press
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The Nao Victoria took three years to sail around the world, setting off in 1519.


A stunning replica of the first ship to circumnavigate the globe has set sail from the Spanish port of Almeria, after drawing thousands of visitors for the city's maritime festival.

The original Nao Victoria set sail from Seville in August 1519, returning three years later as the first vessel to sail around the planet.

The replica, finished in 1992, was built with all the original materials - oak, pine and olive.

Unlike the original however, the replica is fitted with a motor.

Once on board the 26-metre-long ship, visitors can climb up to some of the four decks, peek inside the captain's cabin or gaze up at the crow's nests on top of two of three dizzyingly high masts.

The crew, who actually live aboard the ship, act as guides and sometimes even swing from the rigging as they explain the history of the original vessel and the replica.

The ship was docked in the southern Spanish city of Almeria for the city's festival Maritimo which ran until October 27 2019.

The replica is normally based in Seville but has itself embarked on some epic journeys in recent years.

In 2004, a crew set out to follow the route of the Nao Victoria and successfully completed the journey two years later.

A ship that made history

The Nao Victoria, a carrack (large sailing ship with masts), was part of a Spanish fleet of five ships known as the Spice Route Armada.

Commanded by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, the Nao Victoria was the only one to complete the journey, with the four others either lost or turned back.

Magellan himself was killed in the Philippines, and many of the rest of his crew suffered similarly grizzly ends.

The original ship was lost in about 1570 on a trip from the Antilles to Seville. The replica is based on 16th century documentary sources, which guided the designers in recreating the original ships dimensions and features.

Another replica ship is currently being constructed and will be on permanent display in Seville to mark the 500th anniversary of the Nao Victoria's circumnavigation of the globe.

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