San Diego to Host Sailing of San Salvador Replica

San Salvador
Photo by San Diego Tourism Authority

The Maritime Museum of San Diego will make history this Labor Day, September 3, 2016, during the maiden voyage of its full-scale, historically accurate, working replica of the San Salvador. The $6.2 million vessel stands 60 feet tall, weighs 230 tons and is the first of its kind, taking five years to construct.

The original San Salvador, often called “the Mayflower of the West,” was sailed in September 1542 by Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, an explorer looking for Spain who discovered San Diego, anchoring his ship on Point Loma near the entrance to the San Diego Bay, becoming the first European to set foot on the Western Coast of the United States.

The launch coincides with the museum’s annual Festival of Sail, the largest tall ship festival on the West Coast. Guests can board the San Salvador and enjoy other onshore exhibits spotlighting the recreation of the 16th century galleon.


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In October, the San Salvador will embark on a Pacific Heritage Tour of the California coast, anchoring in cities including Oxnard, Monterey and Morro Bay at different museums and historic sites.

Visitors have the option to experience San Salvador’s return voyage to San Diego, seeing the trip through explorers’ eyes.  Guests will join the crew for sailing lessons and shipboard activities including hands-on demonstrations of celestial navigation, cartography and sail handling. Rates are $995 per each direction of the trip, which includes all onboard meals. No prior sailing experience is needed.

For more information on all attractions in San Diego as well as the San Salvador voyages, visit the San Diego Tourism Authority’s website at

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