The Magellan Project

Retracing the Route • 500 Years Later

Sail the seven seas with us…12 epic ocean passages that follow in the wake of Magellan’s journey. Or join us at planned onshore events in remarkable global destinations to celebrate exploration and ocean education. If you are a sailor, adventurer, history buff, ocean conservationist, photographer, story teller or someone who loves to dance under the stars…we have an adventure for you!

Welcome Aboard!

In 1519, Ferdinand Magellan departed from the SW Coast of Spain with a fleet of ships in search of the westward route to the Spice Islands. The goal was to complete Columbus’ attempt to reach Asia by sailing west. Five ships with a combined crew of 270 intrepid souls sailed from Spain to the Canary Islands, and then across the Atlantic to the coast of South America. The ship made way South along the coast slowly, eventually arriving at their first New World port, home of present-day Rio de Janiero.  

During the journey, enormous seas and ferocious storms pounded the expedition. Scurvy and starvation decimated the crews. Espionage, shipwreck, and a massacre were all part of the three year adventure. Treachery and attempted mutinies slowed the expedition’s progress. 

Three years later, one ship with 18 of the original souls appeared offshore at San Lucar de Barrameda, the port of departure. The Victoria, loaded with spices and barely afloat, had closed the circle, completing the first documented circumnavigation of the Earth. 

In commemoration of the 500 year anniversary of the expedition, The Magellan Project will retrace the circumnavigation route, on a modern vessel with world-class blue water sailors and modern navigation and communication equipment. The crew welcomes scientists, journalists, sailors, global adventurers and conservationists to participate in the adventure. We will be engaged with virtual and onshore public projects along the way. A documentary will be produced connecting the original geographic milestone with our Magellan Project adventure. Educational content covering subjects related to geography, history, anthropology, navigation, marine biology, and weather will be produced and posted online.

More about Magellan and the project

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