Every corner in the ARC Gloria holds stories of sailors, of voyages under the sun and the stars, memories of never-before visited ports, and anecdotes that will stay forever in the hearts of the sailors. But the ship also brings an aroma of Colombian coffee, the beauty of Colombian plains, mountains, and coasts, the riches of its seas and folklore, its joy and optimism, and the entrepreneurial spirit of 47 million Colombians.
Its story goes back to January of 1966, when the Colombian government authorized the Colombian Navy to buy a three-mast sailboat and turn it into a training ship to teach and train Colombian sailors. Though the purchase was postponed many times, it was months later that the Minister of Defense General Gabriel Rebeiz wrote the words “valid for a sailboat” on a napkin, thus approving the purchase of the ship.
The contract authorizing the building of the ARC Gloria was signed in October of that year. Building begun in April of 1967 and ended December 2, 1967, the date on which the ship first took to the water in Ria de Bilbao, Spain. Finally, on October 9, 1968, the Gloria set sail from the port in Ferrol in La Coruña, Spain, headed towards the port in Cartagena, Colombia. It arrived a month later.
In 46 years the ARC Gloria has sailed about 808,759 nautical miles, equal to going around the world 117 times, and has acted as the Colombian Embassy in 183 ports in 72 countries, including England, Spain, Germany, Denmark, Morocco, New Zealand, Argentina, and the United States.
The ARC Gloria not only represents the Colombian Navy’s principles, but also the identity that unites 47 million Colombians around a flag, an anthem, and a coat of arms. Get to know more about this ship, a symbol of liberty and Colombia’s emblem in ports around the world:
The ARC Gloria leaves a trail of yellow, blue, and red across the world’s oceans, and its crew’s courage and commitment represent “a people that pushes forward with dignity to find the path of its own destiny.” For this and other reasons, the Gloria is also a part of the answer.
If you would like to learn about the other symbols that make 47 million hearts vibrate as one, we invite you to visit: