SAN JUAN – Chilean navy’s training ship Esmeralda sailed on Monday into San Juan for a port visit during its 62nd instructional tour of several countries in the Americas.
The vessel, which will remain in San Juan until Aug. 19 and is open to visitors, has now visited this Caribbean port 14 times.
The Esmeralda, which has a crew of 292, is on a mission to strengthen links with friendly countries, including the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, deputy commander Gerard Novion told reporters.
The vessel anchored in the port of San Juan a little after 8:00 am and was welcomed by Chilean Consul Cyril Meduña, local officials and a band playing Puerto Rican folk tunes.
The Esmeralda sailed from Valparaiso, Chile, in May on a 147-day tour that includes calls at 12 ports in Panama, the United States, Canada, Colombia, Chile and Puerto Rico.
The trip provides training for Chilean officers and sailors who must complete the cruise before being assigned to the South American country’s naval operations.
The Esmeralda is a steel-hulled four-mast barquentine tall ship and twin of the Juan Sebastian de Elcano training vessel operated by the Spanish navy.
The Chilean vessel was built between 1950-1955 at the shipyards in Cadiz, Spain.
The 113-meter (370-foot) Esmeralda, with a draft of 7 meters (23 feet), has sailed 1.2 million nautical miles on instructional tours.
The ship has also been involved in humanitarian efforts, including providing support to Turkey after a 1999 earthquake and the 1992 rescue of shipwreck survivors on the coast of South Africa, among other missions.