Velas Latinoamérica Curaçao 2018: A Touch of Class

Picture by Michael Copini
Picture by Michael Copini

And just like that, they are gone … the wind filling their massive sails as they cruise towards their next destination.

In mid-July, the island of Curaçao was home to eight majestic tall-ships originating from Peru, Brazil, Mexico, Venezuela, the USA, Colombia, Chile and Portugal. For three wonderful days the seafront was filled with music and color and, most importantly, these impressive and colossal three-masted vessels. 

Visitors were allowed to board and tour the ships, and the festivities also included demonstrations in the harbor by the Dutch Marines by day and lively music by different bands by night.

On the final day of their visit, following the traditional ‘Blessing of the sails’ the vessels motored slowly out of the harbour heading east towards the Caracasbaai. Once gathered in the bay, the ships turned their bows westward, hoisted all sail and made a dramatic exit along the Curaçao shoreline.

Picture by Michael Copini
Picture by Michael Copini

This quadrennial festival started in 2010 when the Chilean and Argentinean navy jointly organized the first ‘International Meeting of Tall-ships’ to celebrate the independence anniversaries of various countries in South America. The event is now hosted by a different participating country every four years. In 2014 Argentina took the honors and this year Chile hosted the event.

Together, the tall-ships tour the South American coast beginning in Brazil with stops at the country of each vessel in the armada. The final stop was Veracruz, Mexico.

To learn more about these magnificent ships and the event, follow them on Facebook.