The tall ships are back with a boom boom ex­trav­a­ganza on Bos­ton Har­bor with Sail Bos­ton.


What­ever you know about sailing will likely be tossed over­board once you’ve met Es­mer­alda, the Chilean with a heart of steel, or Alexan­der Hum­boldt III, a col­or­ful Ger­man full of one-lin­ers. We’re talk­ing sloops here, folks, and they will be dock­ing in the Bos­ton Har­bor with dozens of other tall ships for a five-day full-on nau­ti­cal spec­ta­cle. “The Ren­dezVous Tall Ships Re­gatta is an event that has only hap­pened three times in Bos­ton,” says Sail Bos­ton pro­ject di­rec­tor Dusty Rhodes. “It takes six years alone just to co­or­di­nate with all of the for­eign navies.” There will be schooners from the Nether­lands, a bar­que from Ecuador, a fully-rigged ves­sel from Rus­sia, and many oth­ers. The 7,000-nau­ti­cal-mile Re­gatta be­gins in Royal Green­wich and ends in Que­bec City, trac­ing the routes of the great ex­plor­ers through six coun­tries, in­clud­ing Por­tu­gal, the Ca­nary Is­lands, and Ber­muda. Half way through the race, when they an­chor in Bos­ton from June 17–22, four mil­lion vis­i­tors are ex­pected to join in the fun.

Mar­itime ed­u­ca­tional pro­grams for kids, meet and greets with sailors, ship tours, and soirées are among a fleet of cool ac­tiv­i­ties. As Rhodes puts it, “You re­ally can’t imag­ine some­thing of this mag­ni­tude un­til you see it.” For in­stance, the length of the all of the ships is 6,238 feet—that’s eight Pru­den­tial Tower build­ings! The old­est ves­sel, the Europa, was built in 1911, and 2,000 crew mem­bers will fill the streets of Bos­ton.

To help you nav­i­gate the wa­ters, we’ve bro­ken down the can’t-miss events for you.


Grande Pa­rade of Sail: Nest out a spot early on Cas­tle Is­land, the Sea­port, North End, or Charlestown for the best view­ing of this glo­ri­ous en­trance. More than 40 ves­sels in un­furled majesty sail through the Har­bor’s main chan­nel be­fore ty­ing up at their berths. Bring your selfie stick. Satur­day, June 17, 9 am–3 pm


Pub­lic Board­ing of Ships: Brig or Bar­quen­tine, Yawl or Ketch? Find out the dif­fer­ence by tour­ing the ves­sels. Vis­i­tors will learn about what life is like for the crewmem­bers (tight quar­ters!) and treated to a close-up view of knots, rig­ging, and nav­i­ga­tion. Satur­day, June 17–Wed­nes­day, June 22


Crew Street Pa­rade and BBQ: Join the fine sailors in full uni­form as they march from Sea­port Boule­vard to Down­town Cross­ing, where guests will en­joy a tra­di­tional Amer­i­can bar­be­cue, prizes, and hob­nob­bing. Mon­day, June 19

The ma­jes­tic Tall Ships, un­der sail, will gather in Broad Sound prior to their grand en­trance into Bos­ton’s in­ner har­bor for the Pa­rade of Sail.

Over four mil­lion vis­i­tors are ex­pected for Sail Bos­ton 2017. The pub­lic is in­vited to board the many of the ships for a be­hind-thescenes tour.

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