The Savannah Waterfront Association will welcome the National Air, Sea and Space Foundation and the Spanish tall ship El Galeón Andalucía to historic River Street on Thursday.
The 170-foot long, 500-ton ship is the only Galeón class vessel sailing today. Five of the seven decks will be available for the public to tour. It carries an all-Spanish crew of 25 sailors, several of which will welcome visitors aboard when they tour this one-of-a-kind vessel.
El Galeón Andalucía is currently featured in the NBC series “Crossbones,” starring John Malkovich as the legendary pirate Blackbeard which airs on Friday nights. The ship spent three months in Puerto Rico where the series was filmed.
“El Galeón will bring the spirit of discovery and exploration to over 200,000 visitors on its sail to sunny Fort Lauderdale,” said Bryan Lilley, head of the National Air, Sea and Space Foundation. “When you step onboard the ship it’s like traveling back in time 500 years to experience for yourself what it was like to explore the New World,” he continued.
The tall ship will be visiting Savannah for a 10-day stay during its five-month tour of the east coast. The Sail to Sunny 16th Century Ship Tour 2014 will take the ship from Ocean City, Md., to sunny Fort Lauderdale, Fla., making nine ports-of call in five states along the way.
The ship will be open for public tours daily from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. starting Friday and continuing through Nov. 2.
The ship also will pay homage to one of the most haunted cities by transforming into a haunted pirate ship over Halloween weekend.
“This is one of the most amazing ships I have ever seen and Savannah will have the opportunity to experience it in a different way each night. We will have events for both kids and adults, so whatever level of party or pirate you want, you will have a choice,” said Carrie Bligh, executive director of the Savannah Waterfront Association. The haunted pirate ship will take place Oct. 30-Nov. 1.
“We are very excited to scare the wits out of folks during the haunted pirate ship,” added Bligh.
Families are invited to River Street on Oct. 30 to enjoy Pre-Trick or Treat on River Street from 6-9 p.m. and tour the kid-friendly haunted pirate ship. On Halloween Night the SWA will host its second annual Crawl-O-Ween Pub Crawl and tours of the haunted ship.
In addition to the tours, the Savannah Waterfront Association and the Air, Sea and Space Foundation will host several unique opportunities to immerse yourself in Spanish culture or tap into your inner pirate aboard the El Galeón. Guests are invited to celebrate the Spanish heritage of the 16th century Spanish tall ship Friday for a night of “Tapas and Tango.”
Guests can enjoy Spanish tapas, beer, wine and entertainment featuring dance instruction and a performance by tango instructor Rick Cody and music by American Tango Group. Tickets are available for this exclusive event aboard the ship that will feature a silent auction benefiting Bethesda Academy and sponsored by Seacrest Partners, Inc.
The fun continues Saturday with the “Party like a Pirate” rum tasting and concert on historic River Street. Shellback Rum will fuel the party with a rum cocktails and entertainment will be featured on the Arbor Stage.
For guests looking for a VIP experience, tickets are available aboard the El Galeón Andalucía for exclusive viewing of the concert, pirate grub and an open rum bar. If you don’t have the sea legs for it you can be a landlubber and party on the plaza with a few complimentary tastings and tidbits, then pay-as-you-go.