A pirate crew will visit Southend Pier in hopes of coming aboard a "floating museum" when it drops anchor as advanced online ticket sales have been launched.

Spanish tall ship El Galeon, which is a floating museum, will be moored at the end of Southend Pier at the end of May.

The 200ft ship is visiting the pier between May 24 and 29, and will be open to visitors between 11am to 7pm.

Museum staff in period costume will be on hand to tell visitors more about life on the ship.

The Blackwater Pirate Crew will also be visiting on the Saturday (May 27) between 12pm and 4pm to help visitors get into the spirit. They will be posing for photos at the pierhead and raising money for Little Havens Children’s Hospice.

Due to the level of interest in the ship’s visit, advance online tickets have been released to help the crew manage the number of shipmates aboard.

However, visitors can still purchase tickets on the day and in person, for each time slot.

Carole Mulroney, councillor responsible for environment, culture and tourism, said: “The online advance tickets were in direct response to the level of interest the ship’s visit created on social media.

"With the Blackwater Pirates visiting too, we think it is the perfect family day out for all wannabe pirates or history fans.

“This really is an exceptional educational experience to learn more about life on a Spanish Galleon and experience aspects of it first-hand, whilst listening to information from the experts. And it’s all taking place on our award-winning pier.”

The museum is a full-size replica of a 17th century Spanish galleon, which was designed and built to hold cargo from the East and is often described as the ship that brought the two halves of the world together. 

Tickets are £25 for a family ticket (for up to two adults and three children), £10 per adult, £5 per child (aged five to 12 years) and children under five go free.

Book in advance online at southendpier.co.uk/event-details/el-galeon-visiting-southend-pier. Advance tickets are sold in euros and there is a one euro 50 cent booking fee.