Photo: Laura Boycourt

Norfolk Welcomes “Spirited” Tall Ship from Uruguay

With colorful flags flying, lively music playing, and her crew standing ready on deck, the Uruguayan tall ship Capitan Miranda docked at the Norfolk waterfront, where she is scheduled to be open for public tours over the next several days.

Capitan Miranda, the Uruguayan Navy’s schooner-style sail training vessel, is in the midst of completing its 2019 Sail Training Tour, which includes stops in Baltimore, New London, Miami, and Boston, her last port of call before arriving in Norfolk. 

According to Tall Ships America, Capitan Miranda was built in 1930 in Cadiz, Spain, as a cartographical survey ship. She was refitted in 1977 and in 1987 was rededicated as a sail training vessel for graduates of the Uruguayan Naval Academy. When Capitan Miranda isn’t in the midst of training exercises or exploring worldwide waters, she can be found in her homeport of Montevideo. With colorful sunburst sails, she frequently wins the “Most Spirit” award at tall ship festivals around the world.

A number of onlookers, military, police, and other officials were on hand to take in the sight of Capitan Miranda as she passed Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, circled in the harbor, and took her place in a berth situated between the American Rover and Spirit of Norfolk

One spectator named Anna, a Norfolk resident originally from Uruguay, says she was up early to welcome the ship and its crew. She last saw Capitan Miranda years ago during Norfolk’s Harborfest and this time enthusiastically greeted the tall ship with waves to say, “Welcome to the USA, to Virginia, and to Norfolk.”

Brook Smith of Norfolk’s Waterside Marina says festival management company Festevents occasionally sponsors visits from tall ships in Norfolk harbor including sail training vessels from foreign countries such as Capitan Miranda. Smith says that in addition to the public being able to tour ships and enjoy accompanying festivities, visiting crews have a good time exploring the host city.

“It’s a really fun group,” he says of Capitan Miranda’s crew. “Usually sail training ships are quite a bit bigger; this one is a little more intimate. The guys are a lot of fun.” 
To learn more about the Capitan Miranda’s Norfolk visit, click here.

Laura Adams Boycourt