Tall Ships Races 2022 + Bollekesfeest in Antwerp from 22 to 25 July 

View on the Scheldt.

The Tall Ships Races return to Antwerp this year, mooring at the Scheldt Quays from 22 to 25 July 2022. 

On the 20th of July 2019, we headlined the same information, ‘Tall Ships’ Races 2022 in Antwerp from 22 to 25 July‘. Whit an apostrophe which I’m not using this time. That was 2019. Two years of COVID-19 pandemic and the race seems to be still on. Quite literally. 

The Tall Ships are not visiting the Metropole for the first time. In 1993 the large sailing ships came under the name Eurosail. Everything was ‘euro’ in the 1990s. There still are companies flaunting a genuine or not European connection. Euroclean or Eurovis for instance. 

That successful edition led to sequels. Antwerp hosted the ships again in 2001, 2004, 2006, 2010 and 2016. In 2022, the races starts in 2022: Esbjerg (Denmark) and goes to Harlingen (Netherlands), Antwerp (Belgium) and Aalborg (Denmark).

500,000

It’s no surprise the City of Antwerp is keen to host the Tall Ships. The 2016 edition counted 500,000 visitors. According to Alderman for Tourism Koen Kennis (N-VA), a third were Antwerp citizens, 39% came from the Province of Antwerp, 17% from Belgium and 11% from abroad. 

“All those visitors were also satisfied, because they recorded a satisfaction score of 98%. Finally, 55% of those surveyed reported having attended the Tall Ships Races before. So that is a very strong brand”, Kennis told Gazet van Antwerpen

“The historic heart of our city will beat for this maritime masterpiece. we are strengthening our bond with the water through the reconstruction of the Scheldt Quays and urban renewal on the Eilandje and the docks”, comments Mayor Bart De Wever (N-VA).

“The Tall Ships Race is the high mass for lovers of maritime heritage,” says alderman for the Harbour Annick De Ridder (N-VA). “The event puts Antwerp on the map as a port city par excellence. Moreover, it brings both Antwerp residents and visitors to the city closer to the Scheldt, the lifeline of Antwerp.”

Bollekes Beer Festival

The Tall Ships weekend brings more than just the ships. The Zaha Hadidplein in front of the Port House will double as an event zone. 

This is also where the walking trail starts, which leads via the Noordoostkaai of the Kattendijkdok and the Mexicobruggen to the Verbindingsdok on the Londenbrug and further on to the oldest docks in the city, the Willemdok and Bonapartedok.

Antwerp links the Bollekesfeest, the city’s annual beer festival by the De Koninck brewery, to the sailing event. 

So expect huge crowds, tipsy crowds, drunken crowds. To join, or to avoid. It’s up to you.

Practical

The Tall Ships Race visits Antwerp from Friday 22 to Monday 25 July. The event is free.

Location: Kattendijkdok, Verbindingsdok, Willemdok, Bonapartedok and the Scheldt Quays between Margueriedokje en the former cruise terminal. 

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