Every five years in late August, ancient mariners as well as younger fans of sailing and sea exploration converge in Amsterdam to celebrate Holland's rich seafaring legacy. Since its debut in 1975, commemorating the city's 700th birthday, SAIL has attracted millions of sea-loving spectators to what has grown to be Europe's largest free nautical event. Themed "From the Golden Age to a Golden Future," the 9th edition brought 2.3 million fans to the Dutch capital in 2015.
As military bands and street musicians serenaded the crowd of spectators from around the world, a massive flotilla of 600+ tall ships, small ships, naval vessels and replicas of historic boats navigated through the North Sea Channel to launch the internationally renowned celebration. After the boats parade, they moor in Amsterdam's Eastern Docklands. The event continues for five days with a program of sailing exhibitions, on-board concerts, pop and jazz shows, contests for the kids and young-at-heart, demonstrations by the Dutch Navy, and a nightly fireworks show over Het Ij.
Mark your calendars for the 10th edition of SAIL, planned for August 2020.