Santa Maria Replica Arrives In St. Augustine Tuesday

Apr 22, 2019

A replica of the tall ship Santa Maria is arriving in St. Augustine, Tuesday, April 23, with tours starting the following day.

The replica of one of the world’s most famous sailing and discovery ships took more than a year to build in Spain’s Punta Umbría shipyards.

The Nao Santa Maria will be docking at the St. Augustine Municipal Marina. Nao - a Spanish word - means vessel or ship.

At 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, April 24, just prior to the start of the tours, St. Augustine Mayor Tracy Upchurch will offer brief welcoming remarks dockside. The public is invited to attend the remarks.

Tickets and additional information: Nao Santa Maria

About one hundred craftsmen, carpenters, historians, mechanics and others made up the ship’s multi-disciplinary construction team, which was put together by the Nao Victoria Foundation.

The tall ship is visiting the United States for the first time.
Credit The tall ship is visiting the United States for the first time.

“We started in 2017 and we finished it last year,” project manager Angel Rosa told WJCT News in February. The ship has crossed the Atlantic and is making its first visit to the U.S.

The Santa Maria was the largest of the three ships that Christopher Columbus led to the Caribbean in 1492. Its replica is now making a tour of the mainland. 

“It’s an amazing opportunity for us,” said Rosa.

The replica took approximately 100 people and one year to build.

The replica weighs around 200 tons. Like the original, it has three masts and a bowspirit.

Ticket prices to tour the ship will be $10 for adults, $5 for children and $25 for families of up to two adults and three children. The tall ship is scheduled to be available to tour through Sunday, May 5, according to the City of St. Augustine.

Historians, engineers, carpenters and others made up the team that built the replica.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at, 904-358-6349 or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.