TALL SHIPS RDV 2017

Cruising World - - Underway -

With 40 ships, five months, six coun­tries and 7,000 nau­ti­cal miles, you have the in­gre­di­ents for one heck of a re­gatta!

The Tall Ships re­cently vis­ited the his­toric city of Hal­i­fax, Nova Sco­tia, Canada, on the last leg of their transat­lantic sum­mer tour. The event, Ren­dez-vous 2017, started in April, ap­pro­pri­ately in the port of Royal Green­wich, Eng­land, ground zero if you’re talk­ing lon­gi­tude. From there, the fleet sailed to Por­tu­gal be­fore mak­ing the hop across the At­lantic Ocean to Ber­muda, also host to the 35th Amer­ica’s Cup. Then it was on to Bos­ton and up the coast to Canada, where the Tall Ships ven­tured into the Gulf of St. Lawrence, up the river as far as Que­bec City, be­fore turn­ing back east.

While in Canada, the fleet, made up of his­toric repli­cas, sail-train­ing ships and work­ing orig­i­nal ves­sels, vis­ited more than 35 ports in New Brunswick, Prince Ed­ward Is­land, New­found­land, Que­bec and Nova Sco­tia as part of their Guest Ports Pro­gram. Their ar­rival co­in­cided with sum­mer cel­e­bra­tions mark­ing the 150th an­niver­sary of the con­fed­er­a­tion of Canada, mak­ing both events ex­tra spe­cial. The Guest Ports Pro­gram al­lows the pub­lic to board and ex­plore the ves­sels, meet the crew and, in part­ner­ship with Sail Train­ing In­ter­na­tional, even sail on board one of the Tall Ships as a trainee.

While in Nova Sco­tia, the Tall Ships were greeted by the newly re­stored Bluenose II, a replica of the orig­i­nal 1921 Grand Banks schooner that was built in Lunen­burg, Nova Sco­tia. The orig­i­nal Bluenose went on to rac­ing fame, hold­ing the Fish­er­man’s Tro­phy for 17 con­sec­u­tive years, earn­ing a place on the Cana­dian dime and in the hearts of Nova Sco­tians. Af­ter a long restora­tion, Bluenose II was launched in time to lead the fleet in the an­nual Pa­rade of Sail around Hal­i­fax Har­bor.

The Tall Ships Re­gatta will race back across the At­lantic to La Havre, France, ar­riv­ing at the be­gin­ning of Septem­ber. For more in­for­ma­tion about the re­gatta, the route, and par­tic­i­pat­ing Tall Ships, check out the event’s web­site (rdv2017 .com). — Heather Fran­cis

The schooner Bluenose II at­tracts a crowd on the dock in Hal­i­fax.

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