Videos of Replica Carracks—Magellan, Columbus, and More

Updated, 6/11/22.

Several replicas of 15th- and 16th-century carracks have been constructed and sailed, opening up a window into life aboard these cramped but cutting-edge vessels. Little is known about the configurations of Ferdinand Magellan’s five carracks, for instance, but projects to study and even build replicas give us an idea.

As you watch, picture 46 strangers (in Magellan's Victoria) from more than ten countries suddenly crammed full-time into these tight spaces, sleeping on mats and doing all the things humans do, all while competing for space with provisions, cargo, belongings, livestock, live fowl, and at one point penguins packed in wherever they would fit (good eating).

Of the five ships in Magellan’s fleet, the Victoria is most known and studied. In September 1522 the Victoria became the first ship to sail completely around the globe. It quickly appeared in illustrations on contemporary maps and in recent years has been brought back from the dead, so to speak, in projects that range from tourist attractions to study of medieval shipbuilding techniques, to … hobbies.

Above is a minute-long EuroNews video of a replica Victoria that in 2004 followed the same journey as the original, but circled the globe in only two years, instead of three. (There were fewer mutinies, penguins, and other distractions.)

Ferdinand Magellan Voyages of Discovery - Circumnavigation Part 1/4

This BBC documentary, sensationalized in places, shows excellent footage aboard a modern-day replica of Nao Victoria, the one ship from Ferdinand Magellan's five-ship fleet that completed the first circumnavigation.

The footage offers a fair idea of how uncomfortable a voyage Magellan's crew had. The handful that completed the journey had spent three years living aboard this and the other ships of the armada. 

Four episodes retrace the Magellan-Elcano expedition.

Part 1, Ferdinand Magellan Voyages of Discovery

Part 2, Ferdinand Magellan Voyages of Discovery

Part 3, Ferdinand Magellan Voyages of Discovery

Part 4, Ferdinand Magellan Voyages of Discovery


#23 Replica of Magellan's Ship, The Nao Victoria - Living Atlas Chile


In Spanish with English subtitles. Here's a video tour of a replica of the Victoria that sits grounded at Puenta Arenas, in the southernmost region of Chile. From Wikipedia: "This museum exhibits a full-size replica of the first ship ever to circumnavigate the world: Ferdinand Magellan's Nao Victoria. Since October 2011, the museum has added a full-size replica of the James Caird, used by Ernest Shackleton during his Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition with the Endurance. The museum is located 7.5 km north on Route Y-565 to Rio Seco."


A Minecraft Carrack (Santa Maria)

Minecraft is the one video game that parents sometimes approve of their children becoming obsessed with, and it’s replicas of things like the Taj Mahal and the Berlin Wall that makes Mom and Dad say, “You did that in only ten hours? Good job.” (You won’t get that with League of Legends, and some of those guys earn a lot of money.)

Above is a video of a Minecraft carrack.



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