SAN JUAN – The Spanish navy’s training vessel Juan Sebastian Elcano, which set sail on March 5 from the southwestern Spanish city of Cadiz, will arrive next Thursday in Puerto Rico, the third port of call on its 2016 Atlantic voyage.
The visit to San Juan will be the sailing ship’s 24th to the Puerto Rican capital and is “proof of the friendship and common roots” shared by Spain and the Caribbean island, the Spanish consulate in the U.S. commonwealth told EFE.
The vessel, crewed by 80 Spanish navy midshipmen, including six women, will arrive in the city from the Brazilian port of Fortaleza, where it docked on April 4 after sailing from Santa Cruz de Tenerife, in the Canary Islands.
The public may come on board the Elcano every day from next Thursday afternoon through the following Monday, except Sunday morning.
The Elcano’s voyage around the Atlantic includes stops in Havana, Miami and Baltimore, after which it will return to Cadiz by way of the Spanish port of Marin, finally arriving back at its home port on July 6.
Commanding the training vessel since July 23, 2015, is navy Capt. Victoriano Gilabert Agote, the consulate told EFE.
The ship’s mission is to help train Spanish navy midshipmen in handling vessels at sea as well as to support Spain’s foreign policy by way of its naval presence in different ports around the world.
The ship bears the name of the Spanish sailor who first circumnavigated the world in 1522 under the command of Portuguese mariner Ferdinand Magellan, serving the Spanish crown at the time and who died halfway through the journey.
The Elcano was constructed at Cadiz shipyards and delivered to the Spanish navy on Aug. 17, 1928. Since that time, it has sailed more than 1.7 million nautical miles and made port in 71 countries.