The Museum Marítim de Barcelona (Maritime Museum) is located by the waterfront in one of Barcelona’s finest landmark buildings: the Reials Drassanes, the medieval shipyards which are a unique example of civic Gothic architecture. On Barcelona’s Moll de la Fusta quay, a few metres away from the Museu Marítim, the schooner (“paleibot” in Catalan, pronounced “pah-leh-ee-bot”), the Santa Eulàlia, is a wonderful example of a historic vessel, which has been restored to the delight of anyone wishing to learn a little bit more about Catalonia’s seafaring past.
The Santa Eulàlia, a 46-metre-long, three-masted vessel dating from 1918, was a typical merchant ship of that time. Nowadays it offers the museum visitors the possibility to set sail on Saturday mornings (10am to 1pm), most of the year -except in August and during the ship’s maintenance periods-, on a journey by the coast of Barcelona using the old techniques and sailing navigation only. Visitors are invited -but not required!- to participate alongside the crew on the chores onboard (ie. to strike sail). It’s always a hit with kids!
Please note this is NOT a tourist attraction but part of the exhibitions of the museum so English-speaking staff might not be always available. Also, pre-book in advance as this activity is very popular and has a long waiting list -sometimes even months ahead! Booking procedures for sailing on the “Paleibot Santa Eulàlia” are old fashioned, that is, by phone: +34 933 429 920 and reservation has to be pre-paid in advance. Cost is around 15€ for adults and cheaper for children (2013).
Santa Eulàlia schooner fact file
Barcelona Maritime Museum fact file
Barcelona Maritime Museum – official site. In Catalan and Spanish only
The audio is in Catalan yet the video will give you an idea about this activity.
Video: © Barcelona Cultura