Tall Ships Races visitors are being offered the best seats of them all - on the decks of a historic vessel.
Officials have revealed plans to offer cruises to the public during The Tall Ships Races Sunderland and there’s a fantastic choice of trips available.
l Afternoon cruises, which will be at least two hours long, will be held each day during the four-day festival. That means a chance to sail past the historic Roker Pier and Lighthouse and out into the North Sea.
And it also means a chance to get a spectacular view from the sea of the tall ships including the Mir and Christian Radich.
l The Fireworks Tall Ship Cruise is a two-and-a-half-hour evening trip on Wednesday, July 11. 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 at the end of the first day.
l Finally, possibly the most exclusive package is the VIP Parade of Sail Cruise – a four-hour daytime trip on the last day of the event, Saturday, July 14.
What better way to enjoy the atmosphere than be stepping aboard one of the ships? These packages are a brilliant way of enjoying the atmosphere and excitement of the event. I’d urge people to book quickly, though, because places are limited and demand is understandably highJohn Kelly
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.
Coun John Kelly, Sunderland City Council Portfolio Holder for Communities and Culture, said: “The Tall Ships Races Sunderland 2018 is going to be the biggest free event in the UK this year and is happening in our City, once the biggest shipbuilding port in the world.
“And what better way to enjoy the atmosphere than be stepping aboard one of the ships? These packages are a brilliant way of enjoying the atmosphere and excitement of the event. I’d urge people to book quickly, though, because places are limited and demand is understandably high.”
Tall Ships Sunderland runs from July 11 to July 14.
Sunderland has lined up a packed schedule of circus, music, theatre and dance as well as having 56 ships from afar afield as India and Vanuatu in port.
The Tall Ships day cruises will depart on Wednesday, July 11, at 11.30am, 1.30pm, and 3.30pm; Thursday, July 12, at 11am, 1pm, 3pm and 5pm; Friday, July 13, at 11.30am, 1.30pm, 3.30pm and 5.30pm and Saturday, July 14 at 12pm.
Tickets cost £59.90 for adults, £54.90 for concessions and £39.90 for under 15s.
The firework cruise will set sail at 8pm on July 11, and tickets cost £69.90 for adults, £64.90 for concessions and £49 for under 15s.
The VIP Parade of Sail Cruises will depart on Saturday, July 14 at 1pm, 1.30pm and 2.30pm and tickets cost £139.90 for adults, £134.90 for concessions and £119.90 for under 15s.
Tickets for each of the three packages can be booked by following the link https://www.tallshipssunderland.com/tickets.
For further information about hospitality opportunities at The Tall Ships Races Sunderland 2018 email TallShipsHospitality@Sunderland.gov.uk or visit www.tallshipssunderland.com.