Pirate crew plan mutiny aboard Spanish galleon as it visits Southend Pier

Shiver me timbers a pirate crew will visit Southend Pier in hopes of coming aboard El Galeon when it drops anchor, as advanced online ticket sales are launched due to demand.

The back of a large wooden Spanish Galleon ship sailing towards London. You can see some of the London skyline in the backdrop. The ship has reeled in all the sails and prominently displays a Spanish flag.

We announced last month that Spanish tall ship “El Galeon”, which is a floating museum, is visiting our Pier of the Year in Southend-on-Sea at the end of May.

The 200ft ship will be moored at the end of the pier between Wednesday 24 May and Sunday 4th June and is open to visitors between the hours of 11am to 7pm, with some closures due to low tide. Please visit the Southend Pier website for exact timings. Museum staff in period costume will be on hand to tell visitors more about life on the ship.

Due to the level of interest in the ship’s visit, advance online tickets have been released to help the crew manage the number of shipmates aboard. However, visitors who want to pay with gold doubloons (or cash) can still purchase tickets on the day and in person, for each time slot.

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.

Carole Mulroney, cabinet member for environment, culture and tourism, said: “The online advance tickets were in direct response to the level of interest the ship’s visit created on social media. With the Blackwater Pirates visiting too, we think it is the perfect family day out for all wannabe pirates or history fans.

“This really is an exceptional educational experience to learn more about life on a Spanish Galleon and experience aspects of it first-hand, whilst listening to information from the experts. And it’s all taking place on our award-winning pier!”

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 online. Advance tickets are sold in euros and there is a one euro 50 cent booking fee.

You will also need to pay the usual pier admission price to walk the planks of the pier.

The living museum is a full-size replica of a 17th century Spanish galleon, which was designed and built to hold 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 Pier Society last month.

Whilst on the pier you can 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 find out more on the website.

Photos of El Galeon and the Blackwater Pirates can be found on our Flickr site.

Published: 15th May 2023

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