Tall Ships Regatta, Greenwich and Woolwich 2017: What’s happening, how to get there, where to buy tickets and Parade of Sail route

Nina Edy
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Blyth Tall Ships Regatta
The Tall Ships Regatta is on its way to London (Source: Getty)

Easter weekend is approaching and if you want something to do other than decorating chocolate eggs, why not check out the Tall Ships Regatta

The Royal Borough of Greenwich will host the annual nautical rendez-vous from today 13 - Sunday 16 April, to mark the 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation.

The fleet of around 30 massive Class A and B Tall Ships will set sail from Greenwich to Quebec via Portugal, Bermuda and Boston.

If you want your chance to board the vessels before they begin their voyage, here’s what you need to know

Where can I board the ships?

Three participating ships will be anchored in Greenwich town centre and others can be boarded at the Royal Arsenal Riverside in Woolwich. Those boarding ships at Greenwich will have to be transported via a ferry shuttle as the ships will be anchored offshore.

You’ll find out about life on board, the history of the ships and how they work. On the vessels at Greenwich there is a walking route on each ship and two guides who will tell you what you need to know about the ship, as well giving you a grounding on the regatta and Greenwich maritime history.

Where can I buy tickets?

Tall ships at the Woolwich Arsenal can be accessed for free - visitors will just need to get a ticket at the pier. At Greenwich vessels can be accessed by purchasing a shuttle ticket from Greenwich pier. Adult: £10, Under 15s: £8.00 Family – two adults, two children: £30.00

Those who want a longer experience can take a cruise on selected Tall Ships, which means you can take in all the sights along the river Thames. Tickets can be found here.

What is the Parade of Sail?

On the last day of the festival you’ll be able to catch the spectacular Parade of Sail, which sets off from Deptford Creek at 5pm as the ships are joined by a number of smaller vessels to sail out of London.

During the Parade, the entire Tall Ships fleet will sail together down the Thames to the sea, before beginning its journey across the Atlantic - it’s due to arrive in Canada on 18 July. You’ll be able to watch the ships depart from various river banks in the area.

Tall Ships Arrive Into London
(Source: Getty)



The ferry shuttle leaves Greenwich Pier roughly every 20 minutes from Greenwich Pier. You’ll visit one of the three largest participating Tall Ships, spending approximately 45 minutes on the ship.

Operating hours:

  • 13 April - 15 April: first departure ferry to the ships: 9.30am, last departure 4.45pm

  • 16 April: first departure of the ferry to the ships: 9.30am, last departure 12 noon


Four to six Tall Ships will be moored at Royal Arsenal Woolwich Pier, with the fleet taking it in turns - so no day will be the same as the last. Visits should last about an hour, giving you enough time to explore. Visitors are advised to queue for entry at the top of the pier.

Operating hours:

  • 13 April - 15 April: first entry 9.30am, last entry 4.30pm, end 5pm

  • 16 April: first entry 9.30am, last entry 12:00pm, end 12.30pm


The easiest way to travel between Greenwich and Woolwich is by boat or by bus, and you can travel by DLR. The nearest DLR stations for Greenwich are Cutty Sark and Greenwich, and the nearest DLR station for Woolwich is Woolwich Arsenal.

Thames Clippers run between Greenwich and Woolwich every 20 minutes and the journey only takes 8 minutes.

Buses 177 and 180 run directly between Greenwich and Woolwich and run every five minutes.

It's recommended that cars are left at home as there are limited parking and some roads will be closed.

Feeling peckish?

There will be food stalls serving street foods and artisan treats, plus two bars at each of the Festival sites.

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