Columbus 1492 Expedition Replica on FMB

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Tall Ship Nao Santa Maria

Fort Myers Beach has seen a number of replica ships representing historical eras cruise into our waters. Now another famous ship is at port in Fort Myers Beach, the Nao Santa Maria, a replica of Christopher Columbus’ flagship during his 1492 voyage to the New World. One of the most famous ships ever, the original Santa Maria, along with the Nina and the Pinta, all caravels, sailed from Huelva, Spain on August 3, 1492.

Shown here with sails furled, the Nao Santa Maria is a replica of Columbus’ 15th century flagship during his first voyage to the new world. Photo provided.

On October 12, 1492, the Santa Maria, manned by 40 men, made landfall in the Bahamas, and later, Cuba and Hispaniola during that first voyage. The ship foundered on Christmas Eve 1492 on the return voyage.

This replica Nao Sant Maria was built to celebrate the 525th anniversary of Huelva, Spain and is now on a world tour. Taking a year to build, the ship was launched on March 16, 2018. It weighs about 250 tons and has three masts. It is 100 feet long with a maximum beam of 28 feet, flies 3200 square feet of sail and boasts 1.86 miles of line.

1492 columbus replica, fort myers beach, nao santa maria
The Nao Santa Maria in full sail. Photo provided.

The Nao Santa Maria will be at berth behind Nervous Nellies from February 7 – 17 and open from 10am to 6:30pm each day. Tickets to board the ship will be $10 for adults (over age 10); $5 for kids 5-10 years old; free for kids under age 5 and $25 for families (2 adults and up to 3 kids. Tickets will be available at the dock. Nervous Nellie’s is located at 1131 1st Street, Fort Myers Beach.

Previous historic replica ships to visit Fort Myers Beach include the Privateer Lynx, a replica of a privateer of the same name built in 1812 to fight the British naval fleet then blockading American ports. The Lynx was a regular visitor at the docks at Nervous Nellie’s in 2013 – 2016.

The Nao Victoria, a replica of Magellan’s ship that first circumnavigated the world in the 16th century visited the docks at Nervous Nellie’s in February 2014.