ANTWERP - The Spanish navy and school ship ‘Juan Sebastian de Elcano’ arrived in the port of Antwerp last Wednesday. “One hour earlier than expected”, said captain Victoriano Gilbert Agote, the commanding officer of the Juan Sebastian De Elcano, on Astad TV .
“The river has streams and in this case the streams were forward. So we planned to arrive in Antwerp at 8 PM but the result was that we arrived one hour earlier”, he explained.
The captain added that he and the crew were very happy with this speedy arrival.
“We are very happy to arrive in Antwerp because we know that this city offers a lot of possibilities of leisure. It’s a very nice city. And the hour we arrived ahead of time was very welcome”, said captain Agote.
The ship and its crew were welcomed in Antwerp by Guy Phlippo, the commander of the Belgian Navy in Antwerp. The Mayor of Antwerp Bart De Wever, the Alderman of the Port of Antwerp Marc Van Peel and the Antwerp Provincial Military Commander colonel Paul Hacuria joined the captain of the ship and the Spanish Ambassador on Thursday for lunch.
“We have very close historic relations between Belgium and Spain. And the presence of the Juan Sebastian de Elcano in Antwerp is what I consider to be a perfect embassy of what our country is like and represents. We are very happy that the boat is here”, said the Spanish Ambassador in Belgium Cecilia Yuste Rojas on Astad TV.
Ministers of Defence
In the evening the Belgian and the Spanish Ministers of Defence were present during a reception on ship.
Open for the public
As of Friday the general public could visit the 90 years old Juan Sebastian de Elcano. The ship is scheduled to leave Antwerp on Monday at 11 AM.