The Spanish Navy’s Juan Sebastián de Elcano tall ship cruised into Charleston’s harbor this week for its last port visit on a training cruise before heading back to its home port of Cádiz, Spain.
Named after the first person to circumnavigate the globe, the Juan Sebastián de Elcano has made its one U.S. stop in Charleston’s waters. This historical event is for the seasoned seafarer and city-slicker alike, and you can catch a tour of the ship, docked at the Columbus Street Terminal, today from 4-7 p.m., July 12-14, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and 4-7 p.m., and July 16, 4-7 p.m. These dates and times are weather-dependent, so stay tuned for any updates or changes.
The Juan Sebastián de Elcano is often referred to as the nation’s “floating embassy,” and it doesn’t take long to understand why. The second we stepped on board today, you feel the sense of Spanish pride, from the decorated flags to the strong family bond they sailors have created at sea. This is very important to the morale of the ship, since the crew goes as many as 29 days at a time without seeing land.
By adapting to the day-to-day life in tight quarters, it’s easy to see this crew has become a family. This stunning ship houses 21 officers, 21 chiefs and 150 enlisted. It also has three civilians on board: a professor, a carpenter, and a barber.
[image-4] This is the ship’s fourth visit to Charleston, the last time being in 1985. Captain Ignacio Paz is joined by a crew of 170 enlisted personnel, non-commissioned officers and officer, three civilians, and 61 midshipmen of the 420th naval cadre (class of 2018) and the 150th Marines cadre, all taking part in the training course in order to expand the Midshipmen’s knowledge and experience in both navigation and diplomacy before they graduate as naval officers.
[image-3]By the end of their long journey, the XC Training Cruise will have visited Portugal, Spain, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Peru, and Charleston, before heading home to Cádiz, Spain.