Last October 13, 2010, Wednesday, Cebu welcomed the galleon “Andalucia.” Five days later, over 10,000 visitors have toured the replica of the 17th-century Spanish galleon, which traversed the Manila-Acapulco route a number of centuries ago.
The galleon serves as the main attraction of the first-ever Dia del Galeon Festival. The festival is aimed at evaluating the Galleon Trade’s impact in the transmission of culture across the globe.
Fundacion Nao Victoria built the new ship in Spain. The oak wood Andalucia and its exquisite interiors are replicates of everything from the 17th-century galleon, from the ship’s furniture to its maneuvers. The galleon has six decks and three masts that support the controls of its seven sails, which provide for powerful navigation in the early centuries. The ship principally relies on wind power and early navigational techniques for its voyages.
If you’re looking to visit the Andalucia, be prepared to wait in queues because the ship can only accommodate 100 visitors at one time. But don’t worry, while waiting for your turn, you can feast your eyes on exhibits relating to the Galleon Trade. Several indigenous arts and crafts and a number of items from all over the world are available for sale.
The Andalucia is docked near the Malacañang sa Sugbo, in Cebu. The galleon previously docked in Manila and will be visiting Bohol after its week-long stay in Cebu. The replica galleon will follow the old trade route, which covers Malta, then Israel, followed by Egypt and Oman, and then through the Indian Ocean to Sri Lanka, then Singapore, and the Philippines. It will sail to Shanghai, China afterwards.
The Galleon Andalucia is open for public viewing from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and again from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Admission is free and there is no age limit.
Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime experience.