Argentina´s navy frigate and tall ship ARA Libertad dropped anchor in Southampton on Wednesday as part of 46th midshipman promotion world tour which left Buenos Aires last March. Ambassador Carlos Sersale di Cerisano received the flagship of the Argentine Navy, while the whole operation was transmitted live from the embassy in London.
Ambassador Sersale di Cerisano welcomed the crew of 27 officers, 187 non-commissioned officers and 61 training officers in an official ceremony. The tall ship, under the command of Captain Fernando Maglione includes a show of paintings from different Argentine provinces, Arte Libertad 2017, and will be open to visitors next Friday and Saturday, before she sets sail for Barcelona in Spain.
The frigate Libertad is our itinerant ambassador and symbol. Today, for the second year she is docking in the United Kingdom following an absence of fourteen years. The visit means a further step in Argentina´s reinsertion in the world, privileging mature links with all countries. In each port, the frigate attracts thousands of visitors, Argentine ex-pats plus local officials and authorities with the purpose of building artistic, cultural, commercial, sports and scientific links with our country, said Ambassador Sersale di Cerisano.
As part of this cooperation between all the navies of the world, on each trip the Argentine navy invites foreign cadets to join different legs of the world tour in this mission of professional capacity and peace keeping.
This year Benjamin Wood a cadet from the Royal Navy left Buenos Aires on 25 March with the Libertad and landed in Willhelmshaven, Germany at the end of June. He shared the experience with other cadets from Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Uruguay, Brazil, Italy, Greece, France, South Africa and China. Benjamin Wood was at the welcome party this Wednesday in Southampton.
The ship’s arrival in Southampton marks the half-way point on the 46th midshipman training voyage, a journey spanning six months, including 13 ports, and 10 foreign countries, four from the American Continent and nine from Europe. She is expected back in Buenos Aires on 7 October.
With her role as ambassador of the seas, the vessel carries a message of peace, friendship and a will to build bridges with the world. The figurehead at the front of the 103.70m-long vessel represents the Republic and its rooted sense of liberty.
It received the Gran Medalla in 1966 and also set the world speed record, which still remains, for a sailing ship crossing the North Atlantic, covering 2,058 miles from Cape Race, in Canada, to the line between Dublin and Liverpool, in just eight days and 12 hours.
The ship’s maiden voyage took place in 1963 under the command of Captain Horacio Ferrari. Since then, she has spent 17 of her 53 years at sea, covering over 800,000 nautical miles and visiting over 500 ports in 60 countries.
SCHEDULE IN SOUTHAMPTON
Queen Elizabeth II Cruise Terminal, Eastern Docks, Berth 38. SO14 3GG
• 26/7 | 6pm: Arrival of Frigate ARA Libertad (open to the general public).
• 28/7 | 11am to 4pm: Open to the general public for free visits.
• 29/7 | 11am to 4pm: Open to the general public for free visits
• 30/7 | 11am: Departure to Barcelona.