A four day extravaganza

Find out what to expect at this stunning event.

An exciting programme of entertainment and cultural activities will take place across the vast event site for four days, with something for everyone to enjoy, food and refreshments will hold an international theme.  The ships will open to allow free public access during set periods, welcoming visitors aboard on the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of the event.

Each day will offer something different, keeping the crowds entertained and ensuring that The Tall Ships Races 2018 in Sunderland remains a cherished memory in the minds of visitors for many years to come.

A spectacle from start to finish

Wednesday 11 July

Ships will arrive by lunchtime - making spectacular viewing from the seafront and around the quaysides of the River Wear.

Thursday 12 July

The ships' crews will enjoy a morning of sport and culture before the upbeat Crew Parade through the city from the Port, bringing a true international carnival atmosphere to the streets. The Parade is intended to thank the host port for their hospitality and everyone is welcome to come along and join the festivities. The parade will conclude with an Prize-giving Ceremony in the city centre with prizes being awarded to ships and individuals for a range of disciplines and achievements.

Friday 13 July

Race business starts to get serious as the Captains receive their brief from Sail Training International officials. The sail trainees that will undertake the first leg of the Races to Esbjerg arrive to join their ships.

Saturday 14 July

The ships will be closed for public access as they make final preparations for the Races. They will undock over the course of the afternoon and move out into the North Sea in a stunning Parade of Sail.

Demonstrating our city's ambition

Councillor John Kelly, Sunderland City Council's Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture said: "To be selected as the start port for The Tall Ships Races is both an honour and a welcome challenge.

"Initially, in applying and being chosen as a host port, we were demonstrating our city's ambition and showing what can be achieved when the general public and businesses work together with the local authority.

"Securing starting port status for The Tall Ships Races 2018 means we've got the icing on the cake.

"The Tall Ships Races attract hundreds of thousands of visitors. There are opportunities for residents, visitors, businesses and all the region to again benefit and enjoy the spectacle that the races provide."

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Did you know?

Blockbuster West End shows are staged at the Sunderland Empire, the biggest theatre between Edinbugh and Manchester.


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