Tall Ship Simon Bolivar - Image courtesy of James M Pilgrim – Source
First among our long list of must-see highlights is the SAIL In Parade which officially marks the opening of the event. This isn't just any old parade however - the last edition featured a 12km parade with more than 50 tall ships approaching Amsterdam in company with a number of military vessels and thousands (yes thousands) of smaller vessels of all ages and classes. We've seen many parades at many tall ships events over the years and this is the only one where we can guarantee it's the water you'll be struggling to see past the ships, not the other way around - don't miss it!
Onto the main event and if this edition is anything like the last you'll likely find the festival ground is so big it's split into themed areas known as 'Oceans'. In 2015 there were 5 themed Oceans with the main one being the area surrounding IJhaven Quay. This has been the beating heart of SAIL Amsterdam ever since the first edition in 1975. It's where you'll go for live music performances and activities for the children (both on and off the water), it's where you'll go to witness spectacular fireworks each evening and - perhaps most importantly - this is where where you'll go to step aboard almost all of the tall ships in attendance or to witness them from the water aboard one of the many tours that are sure to be on offer.
Of course any trip to Amsterdam isn't complete without a full tour of the city centre and what better time to experience the culture of this fantastic city than during SAIL Amsterdam 2020. Following the formation of SAIL Amsterdam Foundation in 2012 this event has expanded to new horizons in what it can achieve both culturally and informatively. In 2015 the city centre itself became one of the thematic Oceans with collaborations between the event and several key attractions, local businesses and other organisations making for an extra special visitor experience across the city.
In addition to the above there was an Ocean focussed on sustainability, technology and innovation (a highlight of which in 2015 was the opportunity to tour the Team Brunel Volvo Ocean Race entrant), there was an Ocean focussed on relaxation entertainment and food (which became a festival in its own right, aimed at the younger generation) and there was an Ocean focussed on business which featured key debates and even the Captain's Dinner at the National Maritime Museum.
Exactly how much of the above finds its way to the 2020 edition is yet to be seen but you can be sure to expect many of the more regular events SAIL Amsterdam has come to be known for too, such as the crew parade. If you're entertaining guests there's sure to be more than enough hospitality opportunities on offer too, many of which will be available aboard a number of the tall ships attending.
Only once in every 5 years will you get the chance to experience SAIL Amsterdam - we strongly advise you make this the edition for you!
* According to our best research or the official organiser
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This Event was published by Tall Ships Network