Spanish Tall Ship Nao Santa Maria Arrives in Baltimore This Week

| October 28, 2019 | 0 Comments

Spanish tall ship Nao Santa Maria will arrive Thursday at the Baltimore Inner Harbor Finger Piers. It will be docked until Sunday.

The Nao Santa Maria is a replica of the Santa Maria. It was launched at sea in 2017 and weighs 200 tons and has a length of 28.3 meters. This is Nao Santa Maria’s first trip to Baltimore.

Tours of the five decks of the Nao Santa Maria will take place on October 31st to November 3rd from 10am to 6pm. $5 is the suggested donation. It will leave for Washington D.C. after its stop in Baltimore.

About the Nao Santa Maria from its website:

The Nao Santa María is one of the most famous ships of mankind. On October 12th of 1492, led by Christopher Columbus, it played the main role on one of the most important historic landmarks: the discovery of America, the encounter between two worlds that changed the future of universal history.

On August 3rd of 1492 it sailed off from the port of Palos de la Frontera (Huelva, Spain) together with the caravels “Pinta” and “Niña”, the so called three caravels from which this nao was the flagship. In all references written by Columbus about the Santa María in his famous diary of the expedition, he refers to it as “nao”, as did other chroniclers of the time:

“Cristopher Columbus loaded, apart from those two, a nao… and on the third, being the nao bigger than the rest, he wanted to travel himself, and hence it became the flagship” 

It was acquired by the Spanish Crown to be part of Juan de la Cosa’s columbine expedition. Although De la Cosa was natural from the Spanish northern region of Cantabria and lived in the southern Puerto de Santa María, the general belief is that the vessel was built somewhere on the coast of Galicia, hence her previous name: La Gallega (The Galician).

On October 12th, 1492, the Nao Santa María, manned by 40 men, arrived to America with the caravels, leading one of the most transcendental encounters of history. While sailing close to the Española Island on Christmas day that year, the helmsman got distracted and the vessel run aground and wrecked. On the location of the shipwreck, known as Bahía de Caracol (Haiti), the first Spanish settlement in America was built from the wreckage; it was the Fuerte Navidad (Christmas Fort).

This article has been updated due to a change in the scheduled arrival for the Nao Santa Maria.

Photo courtesy of

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