The “Navio Hospital Gil Eannes” (Gil Eannes Hospital Ship) is a ship anchored at the old sea dock in Viana do Castelo (Portugal) that was turned into a museum and into a youth hostel.
The “Navio hospital Gil Eannes” (Gil Eannes hospital ship) was built in 1955 at the “Estaleiros Navais de Viana do Castelo” (Viana do Castelo’s Shipyard).
The ship gave support to the cod fishing fleet in the seas off Newfoundland and Greenland till 1973. It’s main purpose was to give hospital assistance to the fishermen, but it also served as flagship, ice breaker, post ship and as tug, guaranteeing food supplies, fuel, fishing gear and bait for the cod fishing fleet.
In 1975 Gil Eannes ship restarted its activity as a commercial refrigerated cargo ship, regularly carrying cargo of dried cod from Norway to Lisbon. In that same year, the ship was required by the Portuguese Government to participate in Angola’s independence, as a hospital ship. After that, the ship was again equipped for commercial voyages.
It’s activity ceased in 1984 and the ship spent several years languishing in the Port of Lisbon. In 1997, already in a much deteriorated state, the Gil Eannes ship was sold as scrap. Fortunately, in 1998, the community of Viana do Castelo rescued the ship from being scrapped.
The ship underwent an extensive refit and went on display to the public in Viana do Castelo’s commercial dock as a living memory of the maritime past of the city and of the country.
April to September: 09h00 – 19h00
October to March: 09h00 – 17h30
Entrance fee: 2.00€ (full ticket)
Museum website (Portuguese)