Now that the boat's have left Barcelona and completed the first leg it's time to take a look at the cities that will be the starting and finishing point for the second leg.
Between Friday 27 - Monday 30 September 2013 the boats will make port in Toulon, France. Situated on the Mediterranean coast with many tourist attractions, Toulon is a vibrant city with a large military harbour. The port is expecting over 500,000 visitors when the ships visit. The Tall Ships last visited in 2007 and this year the port is especially pleased to welcome two Russian ships in the fleet since it is the 120th anniversary of the visit of the russian fleet at Toulon in1893. They have planned several events to commemorate this including a opera concert. There will also be an opening ceremony on Friday 27 September and a multitude of events in and around the village. On Saturday 28 crews will compete in sports tournaments, before participating in an afternoon crew parade on the Avenue of the Republic. The highlight of the festival will take place on Monday 30 with a Parade of Sail, before the vessels depart for La Spezia, Italy.
On Friday 4th to Monday 7th October 2013 the tall ships will make their first ever visit to La Spezia for the climax of the mediterranean regatta.
Provincial capital of Liguria, the bustling city of La Spezia is located at the head of the Gulf of La Spezia, often referred to as the Gulf of Poets after having inspired DH Lawrence, Shelley and Byron to name a few. Declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage site, its beautiful beaches and coves overlook one of the cleanest areas of the Mediterranean Sea and have been awarded the European prize ‘Bandierra Blu’. It is situated 100km southeast of Genoa, and steeped in nautical history with it being home to Italy’s largest naval base built in the mid-19th century. The nautical museum is one of the best in the world with a fantastic and unique collection of ships’ figureheads, making it a must see attraction. La Spezia was chosen as a host port due to it demonstrating it's sail training friendly port for a number of years, in addition to having a wide and inviting seafront making it a perfect port for Tall Ships. The city is looking forward to welcoming the fleet of majestic Tall Ships, international crews and trainees.
We will be tracking the fleet on their journey from Toulon to La Spezia, so that friends, family and the organisers can track these prestigious vessels all the way to the finish line.
For more information on Sail Training International and the mediterranean regatta please visit the website.