Ship Open To Public Until Aug. 22 As Part Of Ponce De Leon Celebration

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A piece of history is on display along Manhattan’s West Side.

The 16th century replica El Galeón docked at Pier 84 is now open to the public.

It had a long journey to New York City, following the same path Columbus took to discover America.

TV 10-55’s Alex Denis got an exclusive look.

“It took us 24 days to cross the Atlantic,” said crew member Ulises Custodio. “We followed the same route that Columbus did in 16th century, and we made it to Dominican Republic. From there we went to Puerto Rico and then we made our way up to Miami and through Florida, and finally we got here.”

The 28-member crew have some help from modern technology, but for the most part, they stay true to their craft.

“One of the toughest maneuvers is when we have to hoist the yards and let the sails down. The main yard here is 5,500 pounds,” Custodio told Denis.

If the main steering wheel fails, the crew must go down to the gun deck and use a series of pulleys to move the rudder.

“It’s amazing for the captain of the Intrepid to do that because it’s a huge ship. But, it’s even more amazing even though it’s a small ship because the captain on this ship doesn’t have anything to tell him where he’s going except for some crows,” 9-year-old Luca DiFeliciantonio told Denis.

On board, you’ll find a noble area which is an exact replica of the original room, down to the detailing on the furniture. Only the elite were allowed to socialize there.

The sleeping quarters and main decks are also on display.

The ship is part of the 500th anniversary of explorer Ponce de Leon’s landing and will be on display until Aug. 22.

For more information, and to get tickets to see the ship, click here.

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