FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. - The National Air, Sea and Space Foundation will launch the Nao Victoria Experience Tall Ship Event in Fort Myers Beach on February 13th.
Fort Myers is the first stop in a nationwide tour for the 16th century-era Nao, which will include other visits to seaports throughout Florida and the US. The Tall Ship Event Tour of Florida is part of the 500th Anniversary Viva Florida Celebration that commenced in 2013.
The Original Nao Victoria was one of five ships given to Portugese explorer Ferdinand Magellan to sail around the world. Magellan, along with 245 other men, set sail from Spain in 1519. The historic voyage crossed over 32,000 miles, ending three years later with only 18 of the original crew returning on the Nao Victoria. Magellan was killed in the Philippines leaving Spanish explorer Juan Sebastian de Elcano to complete the voyage. From 2004-2006, The Nao Victoria replica retraced some of Magellan’s footsteps while sailing around the world using only 16th century navigation technology.
The Nao Victoria recently arrived in the United States from Spain. It is an exact replica of Ferdinand Magellan’s history-making ship and will be open to the public for tours. The Nao will be docked at Snug Harbor Marina near Nervous Nellie’s Waterfront Eatery from February 13 to March 17 and will be open daily from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm for the public to tour. Additional Florida ports-of-call that have been announced to date include Tampa and Port Canaveral.
In addition to public tours, the National Air, Sea and Space Foundation will host 4th and 5th grade students during the weekday mornings as part of the Future Explorers Education Program. “This is our way of bringing the rich historical experience of a field trip to St. Augustine here to Fort Myers Beach” said Bryan Lilley, chairman of the foundation.
General admission tickets and express line VIP tickets that also include free use of an audio guide headset, are available for purchase in advance at http://www.tallshipevent.com. The foundation is also seeking volunteers to be part of the Nao Victoria Experience team.
Corporate partnerships and Friends of the Foundation memberships offering onboard experiences for private events are also available. For more information, contact Kate DeCarlo with the National Air, Sea and Space Foundation at 321-328-7110 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.