The Belfast Maritime Festival will run from 13th August to 16th August 2009 and celebrates Belfast’s links to seafaring life. The highlight of this 4 day event will be the arrival of the 20 Tall Ships Race as they complete the 7,000 nautical miles across the Atlantic from Halifax in Canada.
The first Belfast Maritime Festival took place in July 2006. It has since laid the foundations and prepared Belfast for the exciting and much anticipated Tall Ships race. The Tall Ships Race will visit Belfast from 13th August to 16th August 2009, inclusive.
During these four days, Belfast’s Port will come to life and play host to both National and International Tall Ships as well as their crew from all over the world.
In 1991 the Tall Ships came to Belfast when they berthed at Pollock Dock and attracted crowds of around 400,000 people. In 2009 Belfast promises that it will be even bigger and better when it will finish the last stage of the Atlantic Challenge at Belfast Port in August 2009.
The Tall Ships aim is to encourage young people to participate in sailing and to teach them the art of sailing. Another objective is to encourage International friendship.
The Tall Ship race takes place annually in European waters, taking in various parts of the world, and attracting millions of tourists and spectators each year.
The first Tall Ships race took place in 1956 with a total of 20 large ships. It was to be the last farewell of ‘The Tall Ships Era’ but after so much exposure and public interest, it became an annual event and continued to grow each year.
Today the Tall Ship race attracts over one hundred ships, and with different locations each year, the number of spectators also continues to grow.
The 2009 Tall Ships route is as follows:
Virgo (Spain) – Thursday 30th April to Sunday 3rd May 2009.
Tenerife (Canary Islands) – Thursday 14th May to Sunday 17th May 2009.
Bermuda – Friday 12th June to Monday 15th June 2009.
Halifax (Canada) – Thursday 16th July to Sunday 19th July.
Belfast (Northern Ireland) – Thursday 13th Aug to Sunday 16th August 2009.
Belfast’s quayside will certainly come to life when the tall ships descend on its bustling ports completing the final stage of the Atlantic Challenge.
There will be plenty of music, song and dance and great street entertainment. Why not browse the many mouth-watering food markets and treat yourself to the scrumptious treats on offer? Absorb the electric atmosphere; take the kids to the funfair, or why not check out Belfast’s many nightlife venues?
During the festivities some of the Tall Ships will lower the drawbridge and welcome visitors to come on board and take a tour of the vessel. You can check out the ships architecture and operations and meet the crew.
Belfast is located on Northern Ireland’s eastern coast and has much to offer. It’s a wonderful city steeped in history and is a very popular holiday destination with an abundance of tourist attractions on offer. It’s also an excellent spot for some retail therapy and has plenty restaurants and cafés as well as a vibrant nightlife only waiting to be discovered.
The Belfast Maritime Festival will run from 13th August to 16th August 2009, for further details on The Belfast Maritime Festival.
Come and discover Belfast City and it surroundings in August 2009, capture the amazing backdrop of Tall Ships and fireworks that will light up the Belfast skies, and make The Maritime & Tall Ships Festival in Belfast a must-attend summer festival in 2009.
Need somewhere to stay? Check out our hotels in Belfast page.