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Juan Sebastian de Elcano Returns

The City of Pensacola and the Elcano Society proudly announce the return of the Spanish Navy training tall ship, Juan Sebastian de Elcano. The ship will dock at the Port of Pensacola at Commendencia Street Slip from May 29 – June 3. This visit will coincide with Fiesta Pensacola festivities to include free public ship tours.


Philip “Lipo” Davis, the Honorary Consul from Spain in Pensacola having succeeded the position from his Mother Dame Maria Davis will spearhead the return of the Elcano to Pensacola. The World-Famous JS de Elcano has been repeatedly visiting Pensacola since 1959 to celebrate our city’s rich Spanish history. “It is our pleasure to welcome the Elcano back for her nineth visit to Pensacola,” Lipo Davis said.

Commanded by Captain Manuel García Ruiz, the Elcano is a four-masted top sail schooner and is one of the oldest tall ships sailing today. Built in 1927, the Elcano was named after the Spanish explorer who completed Ferdinand Magellan’s first-ever circumnavigation of the earth from 1519 to 1522. At 370 feet long, she is the third-largest tall ship in the world. The hull is made of iron, and there are four masts called Blanca, Almansa, Asturias and Nautilus — named after other Navy training ships that preceded the Elcano. To date the Elcano has completed nearly 100 training cruises, including ten full circumnavigations of the globe.

As a training ship, the Elcano’s main mission is to cultivate seamanship among the future officers of the Spanish Navy: The Midshipmen. The purpose of the training cruise on board the Elcano is to enhance and broaden Midshipmen education and nautical training. Elcano’s presence in foreign ports contributes to Spain’s foreign policy and develops Midshipmen leadership qualities both at sea and on land.

In its role of supporting the Sea Services, “The entire Council of the Pensacola Navy League is honored to welcome Captain Manuel García Ruiz, Commanding Officer of the Juan Sebastian de Elcano, his officers and crew back to Pensacola,” President of the Pensacola Navy League Mark Curley said. “We would also like to thank all the sponsors and the efforts of Pensacola Navy League Past President Dan McCort for his assistance in coordinating the visit. Many exciting events are planned for the ElcanoOfficers and Crew. The goal is for the Crew to engage with and learn more about our city, as we learn more about our city’s Spanish influence.”

The Elcano Society would specifically like to recognize the event’s Bronze sponsors which include Crown Capital, Suze and Brian Finger, Teri Levin and Cat Country 98.7 FM. Other sponsors include: The Port of Pensacola, Escambia County Board of Commissioners, City of Pensacola, the Pensacola Navy League, Seville Quarter, Pensacola Yacht Club, the Naval Aviation Museum and Fiesta Pensacola. Without community support, this event would not be possible.

Schedule of Ship Events & Public Tours *Note: Visitors must be able to climb stairs and strollers will not be permitted on the ship. There are no public restrooms aboard the Elcano*

The Schedule of Events below are subject to change pending weather and other conditions. Updates will be posted on the Pensacola Navy League website at pensacolanavyleague.org, as they are received.

Monday, May 29

  • Elcano arrives at the Commendencia Street Slip at Port of Pensacola: 9 a.m. – 10 a.m.
  • Public Tours: 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, May 30

  • Public Tours: 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Wednesday, May 31

  • Public Tours: 4 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, June 1 

  • Public Tours: 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Friday, June 2

  • Public Tours: 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 3

  • No Public Tours: Ship Departure from The Port of Pensacola at noon.

The entrance for the public tours is located at the southern end of Commendencia Street on the western side of the Port of Pensacola. Public access is not allowed from the Port of Pensacola’s main gate on Barracks Street.

To learn more about the Elcano visit and public tours, visit the Upcoming Events Page at pensacolanavyleague.org.