Every five years, Amsterdam endeavours to celebrate the city’s influential and rich maritime history. SAIL is a five-day nautical adventure bringing tall ships from all over the world, more than 500 other boats, and more than a million visitors to the Dutch capital.
Started in 1975, the event helps to remind visitors of the great importance of Dutch nautical history. Since the Middle Ages, Dutch maritime technology helped the city and region grow into an international economic superpower.
The event will start from 19 August. With a tradition of hundreds of thousands of spectators lining the banks of the river IJ, it is the largest free maritime event in the world.
It starts with a “Sail-In Parade”, a curtain-raiser the organisers promise will be the biggest opening in the event’s history. The event will bring more than 43 tall ships into the harbour. They will be joined by five Dutch Marine boats and hundreds more vessels. The ships and boats will sail down the North Sea Canal into central Amsterdam.
Amsterdam’s waterways make it a unique city and a favourite destination for those enjoying a variety of deluxe Europe river cruises.
Travelling all the way from Australia, the STS Young Endeavour is just one of the many tall ships that are scheduled to appear at the 2015 festival. It is currently in the middle of a year-long voyage around the world. There is also a replica of the legendary Nao Victoria planning to be part of the show. In the 1500s, the Nao Victoria was one of the first ships to travel around the world.
Following the parade, there will be several exhibitions. The festival’s grounds have been expanded to cover a wider portion of the city. It’s been divided into areas called “Oceans” – each with a unique theme.
The full programme for SAIL Amsterdam 2015 can be here.
At the “Orange Ocean”, visitors will have a chance to see the tall ships moored along the IJ. There will be live music at the marina and nightly fireworks displays. At the NDSM Wharf, there are exhibits that highlight maritime technology, sustainable shipbuilding, and innovation in the “Green Ocean”.
The “Red Ocean” will feature educational exhibitions and lectures at various locations around Amsterdam.
Image Credit: Pigpen_71 (flickr.com)