Mexican navy training ship to sail on 7-month cruise to 14 countries

Mexico City, Mar 21 (EFE).- The Mexican navy's training ship, Cuauhtemoc, has received authorization from the Senate to sail on a seven-month training cruise that will take it to 14 countries in the Americas and Europe, officials said.

The "Europa 2013" mission is designed to deliver a message of peace and goodwill from Mexico, as well as to promote some of the country's states as cultural and tourism destinations, the Senate said in a statement.

Under Mexican law, only the Senate can approve the deployment of armed forces members outside the country's borders.

The training cruise will start on April 12 and end on Nov. 15.

The Cuauhtemoc will sail from the Pacific resort city of Acapulco to the Gulf port of Veracruz, where the international leg of the journey will start.

The vessel will visit Balboa, Panama; Havana, Cuba; Norfolk, Virginia; Bordeaux, France; Rouen, France; Den Helder, Netherlands; Helsinki, Finland; St. Petersburg, Russia; Lisbon, Portugal; Cadiz, Spain; Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain; and Cartagena, Colombia, among other ports.

The Cuauhtemoc will carry a crew of 204, including officers, non-commissioned officers and sailors, along with 74 cadets.

The ship was constructed by Spain's Astilleros de Celaya S.A. shipyard in the early 1980s.