Belem to pay a visit to Cork next week

Belem to pay a visit to Cork next week

The historic tall ship the Belem moored at Albert Quay in Cork. Pic: Pascal Ungerer

A tall ship which was once the private yacht of the Guinness family will arrive in Cork next week and will be open to the public.

However, only 60 people will get to tread the boards of the 121-year-old Belem ship. The ship will only be open for 30 minutes and will be docked at Custom House Quay.

Alliance Francaise de Cork, the group that promotes the French language and culture on Leeside are organising the visit of the ship.

The ship was originally a cargo vessel which transported sugar from the West Indies and coffee from Brazil to France. It became the property of the Duke of Westminster in 1914 and she was converted into a pleasure yacht.

Arthur Guinness purchased the ship in 1922 and sailed the seas with his daughters Aileen, Maureen and Oonagh. The ship narrowly avoided an earthquake which destroyed the harbour and parts of Yokohama while sailing the Pacific in 1923.

After Guinness' death in 1949, the ship's ownership changed hands on several occasions before being returned to France.

The cost of registration is €6 per person and proceeds will go toward the ship's maintenance, Those interested, should send an email to info@alliancefrancaisecork.com including their name, surname, phone number and put Belem in the subject line.

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