Visitors to The North Sea Tall Ships Regatta Blyth 2016 have a chance to experience the event in a completely different way.
Ferry operator, DFDS, is offering customers the chance to embark on a four-hour day sailing on the passenger cruise ferry Princess Seaways to follow the Tall Ships during the spectacular Parade of Sail.
The Parade of Sail takes place on Monday, August 29, from 2pm when the Tall Ships fleet will sail along the coast from Blyth before heading to a waypoint off the coast to prepare for the race start to Gothenburg, Sweden.
Princess Seaways will cruise to Blyth to join the Parade of Sail as it sets off in a spectacular flotilla along the coast allowing passengers to observe the Tall Ships at close quarters.
Max Foster, passenger director for DFDS, said: “It is going to be a stunning sight with all the billowing sails and distinctive masts and rigging of the Tall Ships dominating the skyline as the Parade moves along the coast.
“This year marks the diamond anniversary of the Tall Ships Races and DFDS’ 150th anniversary and this is a fabulous way to celebrate both special milestones.
“We will be the only ferry joining the Tall Ships so this exclusive event is sure to be a memorable day out for visitors of all ages.”
Day cruisers will be able to watch the Parade of Sail from the decks of Princess Seaways on the cruise and enjoy meals and live entertainment.
A wildlife officer from charity ORCA will also be on hand to help passengers interested in finding out more about the North Sea and the wildlife that is found there.
Coun Val Tyler, cabinet member for arts, leisure and culture at Northumberland County Council, said: “This is going to be an amazing weekend for visitors and residents, and the DFDS day sailing is a unique chance to follow the Tall Ships before they leave for Gothenburg.
“It is also a great opportunity to see our beautiful coastline from a different perspective onboard a North Sea cruise ferry.”
Tickets, including packed lunch (sandwich, snack and soft drink), cost £36 for adults and £18 for children aged 11 and under (under-3s go free).
Martin Lawlor, chief executive, Port of Blyth, said: “The Parade of Sail is a real highlight of the Tall Ships Regatta and people joining the DFDS cruise will be able to see the Tall Ships in their full and magnificent glory on the open sea.”
Entertainment onboard includes music from the resident band and troubadour, and children’entertainment. Some seating is available on deck but customers will be welcome to bring a deckchair.
As well as the Parade of Sail, landmarks to spot on the cruise include St Mary’s lighthouse; Tynemouth Priory; King Edward’s Bay; Seaton Delaval Hall; Tynemouth Longsands; and Blyth wind farm.
For more information, visit www.dfds.co.uk/tallships