Situated in the river in Buenos Aires’s ritziest barrio, parked near its better-known sister museum ship the ARA Presidente Sarmiento, you can find the ARA Uruguay. How much better-known is the Sarmiento? When you get a ticket at the Uruguay, it says “Sarmiento” on it.
But the Uruguay has its own very interesting history! It’s the oldest ship still floating in the Argentine Navy, having come into service in 1874. It was a training ship, it did military naval stuff like go to Patagonia to help throw cold water on Chile’s territorial ambitions, and then it got outfitted for scientific exploration in 1887.
The real high point in the Uruguay’s service life came in 1903, when it was refitted as an Antarctic rescue vessel. It got its chance for glory in that line of work that same year, when the Uruguay was sent to save the Swedish Antarctic Expedition, which had been stranded for an ENTIRE EXTRA WINTER after its own retrieval ship sank on account of being crushed by ice. They had to eat penguins. It was not a good time.
The ship, which honestly seems a little small and drafty for crazy cold Antarctic shenanigans, has a museum below decks.
Here you’ll find artifacts from its naval career:
It includes some items that are original to the ship.
There are some actual artifacts related to the Swedish Expedition, too.
Look at all this space below decks! The 27 guys who went to rescue the Swedes were probably super comfy. After the Swedes came aboard, everybody probably had to spoon constantly.
Ships’ wheels are kind of neat, actually.
Well that’s enough of that! Let’s see some views on the deck.
There you have it, a piece of Argentine naval history parked right there in Puerto Madero, a stone’s throw away from a more famous piece of Argentine naval history, but deserving of attention, too. Tickets are 20 pesos (about 50 US cents at the moment), and it’s open seven days a week from 10am to 7pm. Look for it in the river here.
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