From July 11 to July 14, the city of Sunderland will welcome up to 1.5million visitors all keen to see the 55 ships taking part in The Tall Ships Races 2018.
There will also be a jam-packed schedule of music, theatre, circus and dance for visitors to enjoy, making this four-day event fun for all the family.
Here’s everything you need to know about The Tall Ships Races 2018
What exactly is The Tall Ships Races?
The Tall Ships Races is an exciting sailing event which incorporates four cities and two challenging races across the North Sea, making it an essential event in the sail training calendar.
This voyage will go across the North Sea, from Sunderland all the way over to to Esbjerg in Denmark.
The international fleet will then undertake a spectacular cruise-in-company between Denmark and Norway, where they will call at the coastal city of Stavanger, before racing down to the beautiful city of Harlingen in the Netherlands.
In total they will cover more than one thousand nautical miles over three weeks, giving thousands of young people a thrilling sail training experience, alongside developing new skills and making lifelong memories and friendships.
When will the event take place?
Although The Tall Ships Races will take place over a few weeks, visiting four different cities in total, the fleet of ships will visit the North East of England from July 11 to July 14.
A variety of different events will take place over this four-day cultural celebration.
Where will this event take place?
The City of Sunderland has the honour of being the start port for The Tall Ships Races in 2018, hosting the event for the first time.
Sunderland commercial port and multi award-winning coastline and riverside makes it a perfect place to welcome the majestic fleet of Tall Ships, before they set sail in spectacular style to compete in the first leg of The Tall Ships Races 2018.
Here, visitors will be able to see the 55 ships taking part in The Tall Ships Races 2018 before the embark on their journey.
This event will be a superb, colourful four-day festival of culture and entertainment across the city, with the ships congregating in the River Wear and Port of Sunderland, before embarking a three hundred nautical mile for the first leg of the journey.
What will take place at the four-day event?
There will be a wide range of activities and things to do over this four-day celebration, including watching the ships arrive into and later depart from Sunderland.
Wednesday July 11 will see crews from the ships take part in inter-ship sporting activities and the ships will also be open at specific times for visitors to explore onboard and discover more about these magnificent vessels.
There will also be a Welcome Parade from 6-7.30pm where community groups and schools from the east area of the city and beyond have been preparing their own displays and costumes, reflecting the diversity and rich heritage of the city.
The Creative Seed CIC will also be providing a carnival roadshow to add to the carnival atmosphere of this parade.
On Thursday July 12 crews will enjoy a morning of sport and culture before the upbeat Crew Parade weaves through the city. This parade will depart from Burdon Road, along Fawcett Street, crossing Wearmouth Bridge and make its way down towards Event Zone C, to University of Sunderland St Peter's Campus. This parade will bring a true international carnival atmosphere to the streets of Sunderland.
The festivities will continue on Friday July 13 with a spectacular performance from Cirque Bijou at 9pm. Cirque Bijou’s performance, “Portolan”, will see three of the world’s most highly skilled wire-walkers attempt to cross the River Wear in Sunderland, ascending a 30m high, 220m long inclined high wire without a safety net.
Although ships will be closed to the public on Saturday July 14, as they make any final preparations for the Races, there’ll still be plenty to see.
There will also be a spectacular Parade of Sail which will see the whole fleet leave Sunderland and head to the open sea just five minutes away. The coastal resorts of Roker and Seaburn will provide stunning viewing points as the city bids farewell to the ships, but the entertainment won’t stop when the ships leave.
The celebrations will continue on into the evening with a full programme of events, as the city revels in and embraces the end of a fabulous four-day festival.
For more information about this event visit: tallshipssunderland.com/