The First Vessel to Circumnavigate the World

Ferdinand Magellan, the famous Portuguese explorer, is often given credit for being the first person to circumnavigate the planet. But, did you know that he actually died on the expedition and never made it to the end?

In fact, Trinidad, the ship that Magellan had set sail on was also destroyed during the journey. Only one vessel made it back home from the voyage – the carrack named Victoria. This historic sterling silver model ship is among the most popular choices for making antique models, says Premier Model Ship, a company renowned for its large model ships.

History of Victoria

This 85-ton ship was built in the town of Ondarroa in Northern Spain by the Basques, a Spanish ethnic group who were reputed shipbuilders of their time. The ship was then gifted to Magellan by Charles V, the King of the Spanish Empire. The name Victoria comes from Santa Maria de la Victoria de Triana, the church where Magellan swore allegiance to the king. Victoria could accommodate around 40 people.

During the Magellan-Elcano Circumnavigation

The 68,000 kilometers and three-year-long sea journey started in Seville in 1519 with 245 sailors. More than half of this distance was unknown to the crew. There were four other ships in the expedition – The Trinidad, San Antonio, Concepcion and Santiago. San Antonio abandoned the fleet on the way, while the rest three ships got destroyed during the journey.

Victoria sailed alone from Indonesia on December 21, 1521. The carrack was in a very bad shape. Its sails were severely damaged and only the continual pumping of water was keeping it afloat. Still, it managed to return home. Juan Sebastian Elcano, who became the commander of the expedition after Magellan’s death saw through this journey which concluded in Sanlúcar de Barrameda in 1522.

Along with the 18 survivors, the ship brought back a very large quantity of spices. In fact, the value of these spices was more the cost of the entire fleet that had set out on the expedition. Thus, this voyage which was filled with hardships and in which more than 200 people lost their lives ultimately proved to be successful.

After the Voyage

After the historic circumnavigation, Victoria was repaired and sold to a merchant shipper. It sailed for fifty more years after that. During this period, Victoria made two voyages to America. It was lost at sea during the second one in 1570.

Modern Replica

In 1992, Fundación Nao Victoria, a foundation for Victoria based in Seville created a replica of the original ship. Between 20014 and 2006, this replica completed a circumnavigation of the world to commemorate the Spanish and Portuguese explorers that had taken part in the historic expedition.

If you’re a fan of history as well as a scale modeling enthusiast, then creating or buying a model of this legendary ship for your home would be a great idea. For this, you should take services of a reputed company that has antique and wooden model ships for sale.

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Melissa Thompson

Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.