The westbound passage of Ibn Jubayr from Acre to Cartagena in 1184-1185

Yaacov Kahanov, Iskandar Jabour

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The well-known Arab traveller Ibn Jubayr sailed from Acre (modern Akko) to Cartagena during the autumn of 580/1184 and the spring of 581/1185. In Messina he was shipwrecked. The vessel he sailed with from Acre to Messina was a very large Genoese round ship, with three or four decks, three masts and three lateen sails. From Messina he sailed in a small coaster along the north coast of Sicily, and later with a Genoese ship to Cartagena. The overall average speed of the passage, against the prevailing winds, including all stopovers, was 0.4 knots. The net average speed of actual sailing against the prevailing wind was 1.1 knots. His description, together with modern knowledge of meteorological conditions, allows us to suggest his route and a reconstruction of the ships' log books, and demonstrate the reliability of his account.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-101
Number of pages23
JournalAl-Masaq: Islam and the Medieval Mediterranean
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2010


  • Acre/'Akko, Israel
  • Ibn Jubayr, traveller
  • Mediterranean Sea - navigation
  • Navigation
  • Ships

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Religious studies


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