Moreover, it had up until now never moored on Porto’s North margin. The three times it had come previously it was hosted at Vila Nova de Gaia, captain Mário Domingues told journalists at Notícias ao Minuto. “We’re in Porto with great pride, it’s such an important city to us,” he said.
For four days, from Thursday to Sunday, the school boat can be visited for free by the public, part of the Marines Day celebrations, happening this year in Porto. The school boat is open for visits between 10am and midday, then between 2 and 6pm, with the entrance being on the docks between Cais da Ribeira and Alfândega.
“Marines Day isn’t Marines Day without ‘Sagres’, therefore, with Porto being a port city with an extraordinary river mouth, we couldn’t come here and bring ‘Sagres’, Army Chief Henrique Gouveia e Melo, affirmed.
The initiative’s goal is bringing Marine society closer and showing people how this branch of the Armed Forces is an instrument to the Portuguese State in its action at sea, he explained.
The president of Porto council, Rui Moreira, assumed that receiving the “Sagres” in Porto, as well as the Marines Day commemorations, is “special” for the city because it’s a port city, with traditions and respect for all nautical activity.
Built in 1937, in Hamburg, the Sagres school boat is “the most decorated and unique in its collection of foreign awards in their respective national standard,” having its debut in 1964 in international regattas, one of them ending up being the first transatlantic large sailboat regatta.
The Marines Day celebrations have over 30 initiatives, from visiting the ships, oceanic baptisms, expositions, concerts and a military parade.
The high point of the celebrations is on Sunday, with a military ceremony that will gather 500 soldiers in the Alfândega area. The parade starts at midday and goes in the Alfândega-Ribeira direction, being on show for the whole population.
The last part of the parade, which will last about an hour and a half, is planned to be a military demonstration next to the Douro River.