One of the world's most famous Tall Ships, which has had a starring role in dozens of box office seafaring films and TV series, is on its way to Galway to take part in this week-ends big SeaFest maritime festival.
The Phoenix, left its home port of Charlestown Harbour in Cornwall yesterday and is due to arrive under full sail on Galway Bay on Thursday. Its weekend stay in Galway will be one of the highlights of SeaFest which is expected to attract thousands of visitors to the city.
The 112 foot long twin masted Brigantine which carries 4,000 square feet of sail, will be instantly recognisable to film goers from the role it played in the epic film "1492: Conquest of Paradise" the Ridley Scott directed fictionalized story of Christopher Columbus's discovery of the New World.
For its role in the film "The Phoenix" was converted into a 15th century caravel to accurately replicate Columbus's flagship "The Sancta Maria" and the conditions its sailors experienced on their historic voyage of discovery.
"The Phoenix" also has an extremely interesting maritime history having been built in Denmark in 1929 to serve as a Danish Evangelical Mission Schooner. She was involved in this mission work travelling from port to port carrying evangelical missionaries for 20 years before being retired in 1949.
In Galway festival goers will be able to visit "The Phoenix" and get a sense of what life was like on board a historic Tall Ship over the week end. 8 lucky young people will be able share in the experience of a lifetime by sailing on "The Phoenix" on a sail training voyage from Galway to Warrenpoint departing on 4th July organised by the Atlantic Youth Trust.
According to John Killeen, of SeaFest, (and Marine Institute Chairman) the week end will bring something of the excitement of the two great Volvo Ocean Race festivals to Galway and the arrival of "The Phoenix" – one of the world's most filmed and best known tall ships - will be one of the dramatic highlights.
"Weather permitting the "The Phoenix", which is now making its way across the English Channel, will arrive under full sail in the Bay sometime on Thursday and will have pride of place in the harbour during the festival. We are hoping, because of its association with so many famous films and TV series, that it will be a huge attraction and we will be encouraging people to some to send some time on board it".
"During the week 8 lucky young people will be selected – by competition – to sail on "The Phoenix" from Galway to Warrenpoint as part of SeaFest's role in promoting a love of the sea among young people".