Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Festival

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Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Festival
© Sail Royal Greenwich

Dozens of tall-masted sailing ships will grace the east end of the Thames with their presence for this five-day festival. It’s a chance to taste just how busy and vital the Thames used to be as the quickest trade route out and into the city, and how stunning it would have been to stand bankside and witness huge vessels swim past.

Visitors can even climb on board, as well as enjoying gigs, parades, firework displays and other entertainments.

The ships are planning a regatta from Greenwich across the Atlantic in 2017.

Hankering for a Tall Ships Cruise? Find tickets here


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Staff Writer

I live in Greenwich close to the river. As a resident this is an enjoyable event as I can see classic looking tall ships just a short walk from my door. There is a nice atmosphere from visitors walking along the Thames Path to Enderby Wharf as people usually only go as far as The Cutty Sark Tavern. Actually nice to see it busy for a chance. Good weather added to the experience. Fireworks each night are fun too, although my dogs wouldn't agree.

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I was one of the unfortunate ones who actually went on a ship. Disappointing experience as the publicity materials this company uses are quite misleading. First, ships don't lower their sails, contrary to marketing materials. The boat is powered by a motor. Secondly, they don't go under Tower Bridge. I changed my standard tickets to VIP tickets to go all the way under the Tower Bridge however the lady, Laura, who answered the phone didn't point out to me that even VIP tickets ship doesn't go under the bridge, at a hefty price of 150 pounds per ticket. In fact it's easy to miss even the sight of the bridge as there is minimal guidance when on board. The ship was crammed with people and there was minimal style in the whole experience. The organisation was also lacking and one gets an impression that the cruise is run by amateurs. I didn't have any confidence in the organisers.


It was free which is always a draw, but it was very commercial. I went on the first day but I was very disappointed. There were only a couple of ships to see and it seemed more about spending money on the junk around than seeing ships. Maybe I just went too early. But for free it was a nice day for a wander.