SAIL 2015, which is arguably the biggest free nautical event in the world, was held in Amsterdam from 19-23 Aug 2015. SAIL is held every 5 years since 1975, and this was the 9th edition of the event this year, which is held to showcase Netherland’s maritime legacy from its golden age.
The inaugural edition of SAIL took place in 1975, organised as part of celebrations marking Amsterdam’s 700th jubilee. Over the decades, SAIL has evolved from a celebration for Amsterdam into a celebration for everyone! In 2010, 1.7 million people visited the event while this year the number climbed to 2.3 million people. To put it in perspective, Amsterdam has a population of just over 800,000 people.
In the event this year over 600 ships sail from the North Sea canal arriving in Amsterdam. There are over 90 tall ships from countries all over the world which participate in the event. There are cultural events for people of all ages, along with music, food stalls, a giant wheel in the pleasant weather of summer. The event is capped off each evening with a dazzling show of fireworks.
You can go inside many of the tall ships during the day to learn about their historical significance and learn by interacting with the international crew of the ships present there. People all around the Java Island and nearby areas, where the main event happens and the ships are moored during the event, had a gala time and can be seen from their rooftops and balconies waving out to the arriving and departing ships.
To sum it up, SAIL 2015 was a grand spectacle of sailing ships and their crews, and there were a lot of festivities to make it even more entertaining to the millions of visitors.