The company that owns El Galeon, the 17th century replica Spanish tall ship due to arrive at Southend Pier this week has lengthened its stay due to popular demand.
Unfortunately due to weather predictions the floating museum ship is now expected to arrive at the head of the Pier of the Year on Wednesday 24 May, and will open to the public on Thursday 25 May, but will remain until Sunday 4 June.
Since Southend-on-Sea City Council announced the ship would be arriving at the pier, it has proved so popular that advanced online tickets have been released to manage the number of visitors aboard.
Because so many advanced tickets have now been sold the company have extended the visit throughout the half term holiday, so residents and visitors have extra opportunities to take advantage of this unique experience.
Those who have already bought advanced tickets for Wednesday, can contact the booking office for a refund or transfer to a different day.
Cllr Derek Jarvis, cabinet member for arts, culture, heritage, and leisure, said: “This is a unique experience for families, sea lovers and those who appreciate history, to learn more about what life was like as a 17th century sailor, and how these 200ft galleon tall ships made the world much more accessible.
“We’re thrilled the ship can stay on throughout half term and hope as many people as possible take advantage of its longer stay.”
El Galeon is open to visitors between 11am to 7pm. Museum staff in period costume will be on hand to tell visitors more about life on the ship.
Tickets are £25 for a family ticket (for up to two adults and three children), £10 per adult, £5 per child (aged five to 12 years) and children under five go free. You can book in advance here: ‘El Galeon’ Visiting Southend Pier | Southend Pier. Advance tickets are sold in euros and there is a 1.50 euro booking fee. Visitors who want to pay with gold doubloons (or cash) on the day and in person, can do so.
You will also need to pay the usual pier admission price to walk the planks of the pier.
The Blackwater Pirate Crew will be visiting on the Saturday 27 May, between 12 and 4pm to help landlubbers really get into the spirit of the high seas. They will be posing for photos at the pierhead and raising money for Little Havens Children’s Hospice.
The floating museum is a full-size replica of a 17th century Spanish galleon, which was designed and built to hold more cargo from the East and is often described as the ship that brought the two halves of the world together.
The visit comes following the recent announcement that Southend Pier won the prestigious Pier of the Year, from the National Piers Society earlier this month.
Aside from admiring the ship, whilst on the pier you can also enjoy the view and refreshments at the ‘Tea with the Tide’ tearoom and the newly re-opened Pavilion with ‘Lazy Jacks’ café and the ‘Offshore’ restaurant and bar offering a selection of food and drinks.
You can also visit the Southend Pier Museum at the shore end and find out more about the history of the world's longest pleasure pier. The museum is open to visitors on Friday 26 May to Monday 29 May and Friday 2 June to Sunday 4 June.