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Sail Amsterdam, Amsterdam Tall Ships Parade

SAIL Amsterdam 2005 2010  2015 2020

It only happens once every five years and we are excited to note that SAIL 2020 is almost here!

First held in 1975, SAIL Amsterdam is now the largest public event held in the Netherlands and the largest free nautical event in the world!

Every five years, over 600 ships and boats navigate along the North Sea Canal before mooring in and around the IJ-haven in Amsterdam. 2015 will be the ninth SAIL Amsterdam event and we kick off from 19th to 23rd August.

For naval enthusiasts, water-sports fans and anyone who loves fantastic festivals, SAIL Amsterdam is one of the biggest and most important nautical events in the world. Following the tremendous success of an event initially organized in 1975 to mark the 700th anniversary of the founding of Amsterdam, SAIL became a regular international maritime event held once every five years.

SAIL Amsterdam is certainly an impressive event to see at least once. A one to add to any bucket list for sure.

The official opening is the so-called Parade of vessels during which dozens of tall ships, hundreds of smaller heritage vessels and thousands of modern boats arrive into the IJ Harbour in a festive procession. All the ships stay moored in the IJ over the course of the event that spans four days.

Besides these ships, spectators can also see some impressive replicas of famous ships. The whole event of watching the beautiful heritage vessels enter the harbor of the historic city can almost leave you with the sensation of being transported back to another era of sea conquests and pirates.

All of the SAIL events are free – from music shows and concerts to ship tours. The scope and variety of the events and festivities are so huge that you will not be able to attend everything and might have to choose what to see.

The program only becomes available sometime in early June, the year when the festival takes place. If you want a really memorable experience, you can pay to board a tourist boat that will follow the parade as it entering the harbor.

The IJ harbor is situated on the outskirts of the historic canal ring of Amsterdam, within easy reach of Central Station. That is why the route that takes pedestrians to the festival venues usually begins behind Central Station and is clearly marked. During the event, the festival area is closed for vehicles.

Nearly two million people attend this spectacular event which occurs only twice each decade.

Accommodation in Amsterdam is fully booked during festivals so make plans well in advance to ensure a pleasant experience.

We offer a wide choice of holiday apartments, hotels, B&Bs and hostels situated in different parts of the historic canal ring, nearby Central Station and the IJ Harbour. We have places catering to groups of all sizes. We even offer houseboats, for those who want their entire trip to be a truly nautical experience.

These excellent locations allow easy access to festival venues, local attractions and amenities and our large choice of holiday apartments and serviced accommodation allows you to find something that will match your budget and needs perfectly. We invite you to visit our main booking site, AmsterdamStay.

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