The replica of a trail-blazing 16th-century ship will visit Wilmington this weekend and will be available for tours.
The Nao Trinidad, a precise copy of the explorer Ferdinand Magellan’s flagship, will dock Friday evening at the London Wharf, located alongside the Riverwalk near Hotel Ballast and the Veterans Memorial. The tall ship will be open for tours starting Saturday and continuing through June 11, according to a news release.
In 1519, Magellan led an armada fleet that was the first to circumnavigate the globe, leading to the ultimate opening of new trade routes but falling prey to bad weather and less-than-welcoming island populations in the Pacific Ocean. Although Magellan was killed and all but one ship (including the Trinidad) destroyed, the remaining ship, captained by Juan Sebastian Elcano, sailed westward via the Indian Ocean to reach the Atlantic coast of Africa and from there back to the expedition’s point of origin in Portugal.
Visitors to the 85-foot square-rigged Nao Trinidad can tour all four decks of the ship and talk with crew members about their experiences sailing this replica. Tickets are available here
or at the dock.
The ship is operated by the Nao Victoria Foundation, a nonprofit entity that specializes in promoting and spreading historical events, which are supported by the construction of historical ships (the Nao Victoria, El Galeón and the Nao Santa María) that are sailed throughout the world’s ports. This year, the Nao Trinidad is sailing up the Atlantic coast. Its host in Wilmington is the Wilmington Harbor Enhancement Trust.