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Empire Sandy at the Brockville Tall Ships Festival

Enjoy the Brockville Tall Ships ™ Festival

From September 16-18, 2016 Brockville will once again be home to majestic Tall Ships. Brockville is the last port of call of the Tall Ships Challenge® Great Lakes Tour 2016.

The participating ships will arrive in the afternoon on Friday September 16th*, and will be offering deck tours for Festival Passport holders on Saturday September 17th and Sunday September 18th from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Passports are $12 in advance, and $15 during the festival.

Don’t miss your best opportunity for photos of the ships during the Parade of Sail on Friday afternoon starting at approximately 3:00 pm. Watch as the ships sail into Brockville with full sails unfurled during this afternoon ceremony and arrival. (The best place for photos will be along the east side of Blockhouse Island Parkway and Centeen Park).

The Empire Sandy will once again be offering 90 minute day sail outs ($30) on Saturday and Sunday and 3 hour evening dinner cruises ($75) on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Tickets can be purchased in advance online and in person at Brockville City Hall. These tickets are limited and are selling fast, buy early to guarantee your spot. Remaining tickets will be available for purchase from the main ticket counter at the festival entrance on Blockhouse Island. UPDATE: Dinner cruise and day sail tickets are now sold out.

On Monday, September 19th the festival will also host the Naval Frigate, HMCS Ville de Quebec. Your Tall Ships® Passport will allow you one free shuttle ride out to tour this incredible vessel. The frigate will arrive at 1800 hours on Sunday September 18th, weighing anchor on Brockville’s waterfront in a location just east of Old Man Island on the St. Lawrence River. The tours aboard the ship will commence at 9:00 a.m. to about 5:00 pm on the Monday with departure from Blockhouse Island via the 1000 Islands Seaway Cruises aboard the General Brock. The presentation of a Tall Ships Passport is the admission to the ship, or an $8.00 fee for adults and $5.00 children over 5 years of age for the return water taxi excursion. All military and military veterans are provided complimentary passage to the ship. A special Navy commemoration ceremony on Blockhouse Island is planned for at 12:00 noon for our war veterans to recognized their service and contribution. The Royal Canadian Legion in Brockville is assisting with this coordination within their district.

Other offerings include nautical demonstrations, vendors, entertainment, re-enactments, historic encampments and evening fireworks. Check out the Activities page for a listing and timeline of activities and performances.

The ships will be moored in Centeen Park, Blockhouse Island, and Hardy Park during the festival. Check out the festival map to find out where everything will be located. Admission into the festival grounds is free and you can come and go as you please to visit the festival’s vendors and activities, and even take photos of the ships. If you wish to climb on board for deck tours you will need to purchase a festival passport to access the ships. Passports are $12 in advance and grant you access onto each ship one time during boarding hours (Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm). Passports can be purchased in advance from both Brockville Scotiabank locations and Brockville Home Hardware (cash only). Passports can also be purchased online.

Avoid searching for parking at the festival by taking advantage of the free festival shuttle. The complimentary Tall Ships Bus Shuttle will run continuously every 30 minutes from the Brockville Memorial Centre (1 Magedoma Blvd.) where there will be free parking available, to the downtown pick up/drop off location at the corner of King St. and Market St. West. The shuttle will run on Saturday from 9:00 am to 11:00 pm, and on Sunday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. UPDATE: A shuttle service has been added for Friday from 1pm-7pm from the Brockville Memorial Centre.

*Please note that the ships will be arriving on Friday September 16th and will not be available for deck tours that day. You will be able to wander the grounds and see the ships as they arrive, but please don’t expect all of the ships to be here right away. Keep an eye on the St. Lawrence Seaway vessel passage to track ships arriving in Brockville.

For more information, please visit the Tall Ships™ Brockville Festival website and read through their Frequently Asked Questions page. A festival committee member can be reached during regular business hours at 613-342-8772 ext. 4423 or by emailing info@tallshipsbrockville.com