Sail Amsterdam 2015

SAIL Amsterdam 2015In August every 5 years, in 2015 August 19th - 23rd.

The Dutch have a rich historical tradition of sailing and sea exploration. Operation Sail in Amsterdam, called recently just Sail Amsterdam, is a big nautical event attracting literarily thousands of sailing ships. The most attractive of them –naval tall ships are usually surrounded by many replicas and smaller heritage ships. They all come together in the direct proximity of the city center - on the Ij Lake behind the Amsterdam Central Station. Thousands of smaller yacht and boats filled with spectators are there to greet them.

Sail Amsterdam event – the tradition

The first Sail Amsterdam event took place in 1975, on the occasion of the 700 anniversary of the city. As the event had been an enormous success, it has been organized every five years since.

More than the ships

Sail Amsterdam has truly unique character among the nautical events because of the participation of the biggest world’s sailing ships. Seeing them sail near the old city of Amsterdam, gives a lasting impression to a visitor. Visiting one of these ships may be also very interesting, not only for kids. Ships arrive to the waters of Amsterdam Ij Lake in a festive Sail-In parade. In the days after they remain in Amsterdam harbor, while many other events – classic music concerts on the classic ships, pop and jazz shows, special contests for the young, demonstrations by the Dutch Navy and fireworks shows make Sail Amsterdam a fantastic and unique festivity.

Was it always your dream to sail on a sailing vessel but
you never made it?

You can fulfill it by enjoying a sailing trip during the
Sail Amsterdam or sail on the ship back to Kiel.

Check the Traditional Sailing Charter BV company website.

Organizing your visit

A full program of Sail Amsterdam festival is usually known in June, you may then decide in which of the many events you wish to participate. While ships Sail-In parade, crew parade through the city or guided tours to visit the heritage ships repeat during each Sail Amsterdam, there are many more new attractions during each festival. You will not be able to follow all - you will have to choose. You may also decide to observe the ships parade from a tourist ship, sailing among the ships of the event.

Please remember that the temperature on the water and near the water is always much lower, than in the city and on the colder day, you should have some warm clothing with you.


in August, every five years. The next Sail Amsterdam will take place in 2020.

Check admission hours to visit the chosen tall ships, as well as concerts hours and the evening fireworks shows in the event program.

Sail Amsterdam 2015

In 2015 Sail Amsterdam had an enormous success drawing 2,3 million visitors from all over the world. More than 100 historical sail-ships participated with several big tall ships. Please view our gallery of pictures from the Sail Amsterdam 2015 event.

SAIL Amsterdam 2015Venue

Het Ij – the Ij Lake in Amsterdam North and the Amsterdam harbor waters nearby.


Sail Amsterdam is a free event. You may watch the ships parade from different spots in the city. All concerts are also free and so is admission to the ships to visit them.

But if you decide to board one of the tourist ships taking part in the event, you will have to pay for the fare. There are by and large various possibilities of just sailing in the event or having a meal on the boat during the event.

How to get there

Just walk from the Central Station - a 5 kilometers long (ca. 3,1 miles) pedestrian route beginning at De Ruyterkade, behind the station. It will be clearly marked by the organizers with indicated directions to the events of the celebration. In numerous Amsterdam free publications you will find the map of Sail Amsterdam.

Sail Amsterdam area is not accessible by car. The whole vicinity of the event is closed to motor vehicles from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m.

The ferry from behind the Central Station to North Amsterdam as well as tram lines 25 and 26 continue their usual service during the event.

Handicapped visitors

Handicapped visitors are advised to start their visit from the Central Station. The main podium of the event is built to be accessible for the handicapped, but the pedestrian route is the only way to get there. Another solution is to observe the event from a tourist boat.

Sail Amsterdam 2015 on the map