Ahoy Matey! El Galeon Headlines “The Festival of Tall Ships” Sailing into Pier 15 at the South Street Seaport This Summer

It’s all hands on deck as the El Galeón sails into New York Harbor and the South Street Seaport from July 4 – 12, 2015.  Hornblower Cruises & Events presents this unique experience aboard an authentic wooden replica of a 16th century ship that was part of Spain’s West Indies fleet.  Surrounded by exciting, family-friendly pier activities, visitors will be able to relive the route of explorer Ponce de Leon aboard this 170-foot wooden ship and explore the exhibition of “San Pelayo” to gain first-hand insight into 16th century Europeon sailing techniques and navigational technology.  El Galeón will be available to the public for daytime tours and private evening events for a limited one week engagement beginning July 4th.

 “For one week only, El Galeón is commandeering South Street Seaport which will be a boom to the lower Manhattan community during the busy July 4th period,” said Cameron Clark, Vice President and General Manager of Hornblower New York.  “We are also donating a portion of ticket sales from El Galeón to the South Street Seaport Museum and the New York Harbor School, both staple institutions that represent the best of the maritime industry and its links to New York Harbor and also provide an important piece of history for visitors and its neighbors, including the Museum’s sail training and sea education programs on the Lettie G. Howard.”

Docked at Pier 15 at the South Street Seaport’s Waterfront Esplanade, El Galeón features three huge masts, seven sails, six decks and crew quarters. Visitors can relive the days of the Buccaneers as they stroll through the spacious main and upper decks, gun deck, quarter deck and Admiral’s room.  The ship is available for daytime tours 9am – 5pm as well as options for evening private events with a capacity of 225 and is a unique venue for business and professional conferences, workshops, educational programs, VIP events, festivals, shows and recreational activities.

For more information, please visit www.hornblowernewyork.com.

Media Contacts:

Molly Blaisdell – mblaisdell@hornblower.com / Tel: 925.300.7252

Joshua Knoller – Josh@nicholaslence.com / Tel: 212.938.0836

Shin-Jung Hong – ShinJung@nicholaslence.com / Tel: 212.938.0005

About El Galeón

El Galeón is a 170-foot 495-ton detailed wooden replica of a galleon that was part of Spain’s’ West Indies fleet.  During the Viva Florida 500 voyage, it will cover more than 3,500 nautical miles with 28 crew members aboard, maneuvering more than 9,600 square feet of sail area, as it was done in the 16thcentury.  El Galeón was featured in the NBC miniseries “Crossbones,” starring John Malcovich as the legendary pirate Blackbeard.  

El Galeón began its historic Viva Florida 500 Voyage in Spain and stopped Puerto Rico, where Ponce de Leon was once Governor.  The ship’s Florida route was similar to the one Ponce de Leon sailed 500 years ago, and the crew is using the navigational technology of that era.  Ponce de Leon’s arrival in Florida in 1513 marked the beginning of a European presence in what is now the U.S. mainland. He also is credited with discovering the Gulf Stream, which led to the development of the early trade routes between Spain and America.

About L’Hermione

A French replica of the 145’ long Concorde class frigate of the French Navy, famous for carrying General Lafayette to the United States in 1780 allowing him to rejoin the Americans during the American Revolutionary War. “From the first moment I heard the name of America, I loved it; from the instant I knew it struggled for freedom, I was consumed with the desire to shed my blood for her I will count the days I got the chance to serve it, everywhere and anytime, among the happiest days of my life.” – General Lafayette

In 1778, the original L’Hermione belonged to the category of so-called “light frigates,” characterized by their speed and agility. L’Hermione was fitted out with 26 cannons shooting 12-pound cannonballs. She took 11 months of work for 100 carpenters, blacksmiths, drillers, caulkers and convicts.

About Lettie G. Howard

The beloved Lettie G. Howard  is one of few surviving examples of the fishing schooners once in wide use in the North Atlantic. She is a rare beauty with classic fishing schooner lines, turning heads wherever she goes, and is a designated National Historic Landmark. After an active life in the fisheries of the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, Lettie  arrived at South Street Seaport Museum in 1968. In 1994, after an extensive two-year rebuild that restored her to her original appearance, she was certified as a Sailing School Vessel by the U.S. Coast Guard and began a new career carrying students of all ages on life-changing voyages.

In 2013 she turned 120 years old and she’s as beautiful now as she was when she first slid down the ways at Essex, Massachusetts in 1893. In celebration of this milestone and with an eye to the future of this living artifact, South Street Seaport Museum undertook a capital campaign to raise funds for critical repairs and restoration—most significantly her keelson, a structural element that runs from stem to stern. Projects of this size and scope are periodic needs in the maintenance of historic ships.

This project in particular brought Lettie back into service as a Sailing School Vessel, and working in collaboration with New York Harbor School, it ensured her place in the lives of generations of student-sailors to come. 

About Hornblower Cruises & Events

Hornblower Cruises & Events has been the leading charter yacht and public dining cruise company in the United States for over 32 years.  The company has operates yachts in San Francisco, Berkeley, Sacramento, Long Beach, Newport Beach, Marina Del Rey, San Diego and New York City. Since 2012, Hornblower New York has offered private event charters, dinner and brunch cruises from Pier 40 in the West Village. In March 2014, the company expanded to Pier 15 at the South Street Seaport, where it operates happy hour  & entertainment cruises and daily sightseeing tours. Hornblower creates amazing experiences with unparalleled elegance aboard New York’s premier fleet of luxury yachts. Step aboard today. To learn more please visit: www.hornblowernewyork.com.

South Street Seaport Museum

South Street Seaport Museum is a non-profit cultural institution located in the heart of the historic South Street Seaport district in New York City. Founded in 1967, the South Street Seaport Museum preserves and interprets the history of New York as a great port city. Designated by Congress as America’s National Maritime Museum in 1998, the Museum houses galleries and performance spaces, working nineteenth century print shops, a maritime library, a maritime craft center, and a  fleet of historic vessels that all work to tell the story of “Where New York Begins.”

The New York Harbor School

Founded in 2003  and located in the heart of New York, the Harbor School offers a unique, on-water learning experience for all its students. Students learn to build and operate boats; spawn and harvest millions of oysters; design submersible, remotely-operated vehicles; conduct real-life research; and dive underwater. Students go on trips, tour colleges, hear and learn from experts in science and industry, and participate in the school’s on-going oyster restoration. The maritime programs of Harbor School are supported through funding provided by New York Harbor Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the condition of, and promoting access to and education about, New York Harbor. New York Harbor Foundation seeks to achieve these objectives by conducting research and outreach activities, and designing and running services to improve the quality of the Harbor.


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