It is a sight that pirates and 17th century seafarers would have been used to - and feared as its cannons bristled at them.

And now hundreds of people in Great Yarmouth have been given chance to walk up the gangway to a giant galleon after it docked in Great Yarmouth.

The replica Spanish Galeon Andalucia was greeted with much fanfare as it docked at the town's South Quay on Tuesday night.

The ship will be in the town until June 9 as part of its grand tour of Europe.

The floating museum will be open throughout the next week, offering people an insight into the history of European maritime adventures.

Great Yarmouth Mercury: Great Yarmouth mayor, Paula Waters-Bunn (right) presents captain of the Galeon Andalucia, Miguel Cuesta, with the council crest.Great Yarmouth mayor, Paula Waters-Bunn (right) presents captain of the Galeon Andalucia, Miguel Cuesta, with the council crest. (Image: Denise Bradley)Visitor John Sharp said as soon as he heard the ship was making its way to the town, he had to come aboard.

"It's unbelievable," he said. "It's exactly how it was with the beautiful sails and the layout of the inside decks.

"It's great to see things like this in Great Yarmouth. It's already bringing a lot of people in, so it shows how much maritime heritage means to people here. I love the town and seeing things like this is a real bonus."

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Great Yarmouth Mercury: John and Lesley Sharp tour round the Galeon Andalucia.John and Lesley Sharp tour round the Galeon Andalucia. (Image: Denise Bradley)Mr Sharp's wife, Lesley, said: "It's much bigger than I thought it would be. It's not that often we get things like this here, so it would be good to see more classic ships along the quay just like there used to be."

Great Yarmouth Mercury: Great Yarmouth civic dignitaries on board the Galeon Andalucia.Great Yarmouth civic dignitaries on board the Galeon Andalucia. (Image: Denise Bradley)The 162 ft long and 33 ft wide ship has 10 cast iron cannons on each side, and her seven sails have a surface area of almost 1,000 square metres. Upon her arrival, around 400 people turned out to welcome the giant vessel to the town.

Great Yarmouth Mercury: The captain of the Galeon Andalucia, Miguel Cuesta.The captain of the Galeon Andalucia, Miguel Cuesta. (Image: Denise Bradley)Captain Miguel Cuesta said the crew were staggered by the support of people in the town.

"People are really interested in our ship and the crowd we had when we arrived was heart warming," he said.

THE GALEON ANDALUCIA

Great Yarmouth Mercury: The Galeon Andalucia on her way to Great Yarmouth.The Galeon Andalucia on her way to Great Yarmouth. (Image: Luke Martin Photography)Constructed by the Nao Victoria Foundation in Spain, the Galeón Andalucía was launched in 2009, the ship is a faithful historical replica of the Spanish galleons that sailed through the world during the 16th to the 18th century. She is made almost entirely of wood - with the exception of a fibreglass hull - and has six decks, made of iroko and pine wood.

Great Yarmouth Mercury: The Galeon Andalucia by Gorleston pier.The Galeon Andalucia by Gorleston pier. (Image: Luke Martin Photography)She has sailed more than 55,000 nautical miles across oceans and seas around the world, visiting ports on four continents, such as Shanghai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Manila, New York and Quebec, spreading its history.

Great Yarmouth Mercury: The Galeon Andalucia along the South Quay.The Galeon Andalucia along the South Quay. (Image: Luke Martin Photography)During her stay in Great Yarmouth, people will be able to get on board, tour her five decks and learn about her details, how she sails, what life was like on board and the history of these ships.

Before arriving in Yarmouth, the Galeon Andalucia had a stopover in Ostend, Belgium and she will be crossing back over the North Sea for a stay in Delfzijl, Netherlands.

Great Yarmouth Mercury: The Galeon Andalucia on open waters.The Galeon Andalucia on open waters. (Image: Fundación Nao Victoria)

Great Yarmouth Mercury: Chloe, 10, takes a look below deck on the Galeon Andalucia.Chloe, 10, takes a look below deck on the Galeon Andalucia. (Image: Denise Bradley)Great Yarmouth Mercury: The captain of the Galeon Andalucia, Miguel Cuesta, left, with Alvaro Lecaro, at the wheel, during the ship's visit to Great Yarmouth.The captain of the Galeon Andalucia, Miguel Cuesta, left, with Alvaro Lecaro, at the wheel, during the ship's visit to Great Yarmouth. (Image: Denise Bradley)