I was lucky to be on board of one of the ships (de Saffier) that participated in Sail Amsterdam 2015. Sail Amsterdam 2015 is the biggest parade of ships, boats and vessels in the world. It only takes place once in every 5 years in Amsterdam, mainly it is so expensive and complicated to organise.
Sail 2015 mainly consists of 3 stages: first there is ‘sail in’ where all boats gather in one place outside of Amsterdam (Ijmuiden) and from there they sail back to Amsterdam in on a big parade. This was the event I participated on August 19th 2015.
The big ships (called tall ships) are the main attraction and they are accompanied by a wide variation of all kinds of boats. The big ships lay in the Amsterdam harbour from August 20th until the 22th and during that period the ships are open for the public to watch and visit them. Finally on Sunday (August 23rd) there is a ‘sail out’: a final parade where the tall ships leave the Amsterdam harbour.
Because the first part of the trip was to sail to IJmuiden to meet up with all the other boats, we had to be present very early in the morning. There was a big temporary location in the Cacaohaven, where alle participants gathered. In most cases these were people who were invited by companies to join them aboard the boats. In my case I was invited by Dutch company Between.
We got on board around 08.00 AM and soon afterwards headed for IJmuiden.
After arriving in IJmuiden we returned to Amsterdam joining this huge amount of boats that participated in the parade. Along side the route on the sides of the canals there were many spectators watching from the bank of the canals.
If you intend to go to Amsterdam, then here is a handy PDF with all information about the location of the ships.
There is a beautiful website from the Dutch Public Television about the current and previous Sail events.
And there are webcams: Port of Amsterdam.
-Den Haag, August 19 2015-
Updated on Augustus 20th.