Saturday 11th - Sunday 12th August 2012, 10am-4pm*
FREE ENTRY TO SHIP
One of the world’s most spectacular tall ships will be open to the public for two days at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, during a visit to Portsmouth Naval Base this month.
The Italian Naval Training Ship Amerigo Vespucci - the last surviving three-decked square rigger – welcomes visitors on August 11th and 12th, from 10am-4pm.
The impressive vessel has a crew of 278, commanded by Captain Domenico La Faia, and has been in service with the Italian Navy since 1931. She has 24 sails, the tallest of her three steel masts is 54 metres high and she is 101 metres long. Vespucci is also equipped with 11 ship’s boats.
Apart from during World War II, the ship has been in continuous service. The ship was conceived with the purpose of maintaining a high quality level in the Naval Academy Cadets’ military training and formation. Most of her training cruises are in European waters but she has also sailed to North and South America and navigated the Pacific.
In 2002 she undertook a voyage around the world and she is a regular participant in sailing parades and tall ships’ races.
Lt Cdr John Webb, who is helping organise the visit, said: “Amerigo Vespucci is a spectacular tall ship and will be a wonderful sight as it enters Portsmouth. The Naval Base is delighted to be able to host such an historic vessel and I’m sure she will prove a popular attraction for visitors.”
Jacquie Shaw, Acting Managing Director of Portsmouth Historic Dockyard added: “it is fantastic once again to be working with our colleagues in the Naval Base to welcome such a spectacular and historic sailing ship. Nowhere else in the world can you see such iconic ships as HMS Victory and HMS Warrior 1860 alongside the modern fleet and other visiting naval vessels and we are really excited to share this opportunity with our visitors.”
The Vespucci left the port of Livorno, Tuscany, on July 16th to begin the 78th training cruise of the Naval Academy Cadets. This year the traditional activity is taking place in the Mediterranean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean and the English Channel, visiting the following ports:
- Cadiz (Spain) from July 25th to July 30th;
- Portsmouth (U.K.) from August 8th to August 13th;
- St. Malò (France) from August 15th to August 20th;
- Dublin (E.I.R.E.) from August 23rd to August 27th;
- Lisbon (Portugal) from September 4th to September 7th;
- Valencia (Spain) from September 14th to September 17th.
The ship is due to return to Livorno on September 21st.
Please note it is advised to wear sensible footwear when visiting the ship and there is no disabled access but the ship can be viewed from the jetty.
*The ship will be closed from 12.30pm-1.30pm.
Last entry to Amerigo Vespucci is 4.00pm with the ship closing at 5.00pm.
To make a full day of it, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard has a limited ticket offer running from Saturday 14th July - Sunday 2nd September where every child will receive FREE entry into the attractions when accompanied by a full paying adult!
Full price tickets are valid for 1 year from the date of purchase and give UNLIMITED access to HMS Warrior 1860, National Museum of the Royal Navy and Action Stations and ONE entry to all other attractions on the Historic Dockyard or BIG Ticket (return not valid on special event days). FREE child tickets benefit from the same terms but are only valid until Sunday 2nd September.
Across the Historic Dockyard attractions there will also be costumed interpreters, games, dressing-up, crafts and a trail to keep young explorers amused! For full details of the extensive year-round events programme at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard or for ticketing details to visit the attractions visit the website at: www.historicdockyard.co.uk.
Notes For Editors
The Vespucci is a sail ship with a diesel-electric propulsion system and exhibits, from bow to stern, three masts (the foremast- the main mast- the mizzen mast) equipped with yards and square sails, plus the bowsprit which functions as a fourth mast, for a total sail surface (24 sails) of proximally 2.800 square meters.
The sails are sewn from a particular cloth named Olona (canapé thread, 2 to 4 millimetres thick).
The Vespucci is one of the last sailing ships to manoeuvre the sails manually, using ropes made of natural fibres. It is equipped with 11 ship’s boats.
Compounded of 278 members, the crew is considered the beating heart of the ship, divided in 16 officers, 72 NCOs (Non Commissioned Officers) and 190 sailors performing numerous roles and duties. When the Naval Academy Cadets and Support Staff embark the number increases up to proximally 480 units.