The Tall Ships Sunderland 2018 is a four-day festival of sail on the North East coast from 11th to 14th July, and those already planning a visit can now book a cruise onboard one of the ships.
As start port for the month-long international event, Sunderland has lined up a packed schedule of circus, music, theatre and dance before 56 ships from afar afield as India and Vanuatu embark on the first leg of the races, to Esbjerg, Denmark.
Visitors can now buy tickets for a trio of Tall Ships cruises and the chance to join the crew on one of the sailing vessels from around the globe.
What will groups get to see on the cruises?
The afternoon Tall Ships cruises, each at least two hours long, will be held at various times each day and will take passengers past the historic Roker Pier and Lighthouse and out into the North Sea.
From the decks of the ship they will also have views of other vessels taking part, including the Mir and Christian Radich, which are true ‘Cathedrals of the Sea.’
Alternatively, the Fireworks Tall Ship Cruise is a two-and-a-half-hour evening trip on Wednesday 11th July.
Passengers will follow the same route and, as the sun sets over the mouth of the River Wear, they will have the best possible vantage point to see the firework display which will mark the end of the first day of The Tall Ships Races Sunderland 2018.
Finally, the most exclusive package is the VIP Parade of Sail Cruise – a four-hour daytime trip on the last day of the event, Saturday 14th July.
During this, not only will passengers experience the excitement of the crews as the ships prepare for the first leg of the races, but their vessel will join the highlight of the four-day festival; the Parade of Sail.
They will join the other 55 ships in a spectacular parade up the coast, past cheering crowds, as they take their places for the start of the race to Esbjerg.
The Tall Ships day cruises will depart on Wednesday, 11th July at 11.30am, 1.30pm, and 3.30pm; Thursday, 12th July at 11am, 1pm, 3pm and 5pm; Friday, 13th July at 11.30am, 1.30pm, 3.30pm and 5.30pm and Saturday, and 14th July at 12 noon.The firework cruise will set sail at 8.00pm on 11th July.
Tickets for each of the three packages can be booked by following the link www.tallshipssunderland.com/tickets.