Embarking on its voyage from Seville, the capital of Andalucia in Spain, this replica of a 17th Century Galeon is an emblem of culture and history of the country. On its voyage, which began in March, the Andalucian Galeon recently made a stop at the Colombo port following several similar stops including Malta, Haifa in Israel and Sudan, its final destination being Shanghai in June in time for the China Expo 2010. The crew and the captain of the ship were received by Stasshani Jayawardena, daughter of Priya Jayawardena, Honorary Consul for Spain in Sri Lanka.
At the China Expo the Andalucian served as a cultural and economic platform while facilitating business opportunities. Back in the day this Galleon would ply along the Atlantic and Pacific routes trafficking large numbers of people, animals, food and other goods. The crew comprising of 30 members including two women manoeuvre and maintain the ship while on its voyage at sea, providing guided tours of the masterpiece at each stop. Supported and funded by Nao Foundation of Spain and other private companies, the building of the Andalucia Galeon and its voyage is the second of its kind.
At 40 metres high and 50 metres in length it’s a completely handmade faithful replica entirely in wood.Furthermore this multi-deck sailing vessel was built in a mere 17 months demanding the labour and commitment of 150 people. Apart from the six decks that mainly served as manoeuvring areas, a kitchen and dining area and the towering masts, the vessel also comprises of 12 canons with two at the upper and ten at the lower deck. The lower deck while housing the cabins for the crew, served as a space for an exhibition area at the Expo 2010.
Following its stop for a few days in Colombo it headed on its way to the next stop in Singapore.