Adalucia Tours and Discovery
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The Victoria: the first journey around the world

20 Apr 2020

Did you already know that the Spanish expedition to the East Indies organized by a Portuguese explorer started in our city, Seville? In this blog you can read about this expedition, the Portuguese explorer, but you can read mostly about the Victoria, the first ship that successfully made a journey around the world.

Oh happy Magellan

The Victoria was built at a shipyard in Ondarroa, a town located in the province of Biscay (northern Spain). At that time the basques were well-known shipbuilders. The Victoria was named after the Santa Maria de la Victoria church in Triana, where Ferdinand Magellan (the Portuguese explorer) swore an oath of allegiance to Charles V. The king gave Magellan the Victoria and the Portuguese became the leader of the Spanish expedition to the East Indies. This video will give you a funny, but a good example of how his journey went:

The Spice Islands

The Victoria, also known as Nao Victoria was, as we already told, the first ship that successfully traveled the world. The Victoria was part of a Spanish expedition to reach the Maluku Islands, which are known for their spices like nutmeg, mace, and cloves. The expedition started in Seville on the 10th of August 1519 with five ships. It was a long journey of around 68.000 kilometers (42.000 miles). The ships contained a total of 260 crew members, 42 on which were on the Victoria.

Only one ship...

Unfortunately, only one ship, the Victoria, completed the journey and returned on the 6th of September 1522 to Sanlúcar de Barrameda. Ferdinand Magellan (formal leader of the Spanish expedition), itself didn’t make it, because he was killed in the Philippines. Eventually, the victoria returned to Spain under the guidance of Juan Sebastián Elcano with only 18 crew members left, but the ship was loaded with a lot of spices, whose value was a lot more than the costs of the entire original fleet. The ship itself was in a horrible condition, but later they repaired the Victoria. A merchant shipper bought her and she sailed for almost fifty years. Until… she got lost on a trip from the Antilles to Seville in 1570.

A new replica

Now you know why the Victoria is a special ship, and that’s probably the reason why there are made several replicas of her. The first replica was build in 1992 by the Fundación Nao Victoria (Seville). Last year this foundation started a new project, building a new replica, the Nao Victoria 500. This replica will be located on the Guadalquivir river, near the Torre del Oro (where we also cycle along during our highlight bike tour). The ship will be a new visual attraction for the city of Seville.

Maluku Islands:
Fundación Nao Victoria:
Our highlight bike tour: