Tall Ships and Changing Tides on Liverpool Waterfront

Gemma Gibb, Associate Editor
Courtesy Culture Liverpool

Tall Ships and Changing Tides on Liverpool Waterfront at Royal Albert Dock, Liverpool, 25–28 May 2018, free entry - Visit now

We love that the fine city of Liverpool never does things by halves. For four days this May, the Three Festivals Tall Ships Regatta and Changing Tides programme of incredible outdoor arts and music celebrates the deep Celtic connections between Liverpool, Dublin and Bordeaux.

The land on which the three port cities now stands was once one. Although it has since divided by time and tide, the cities and their people are still connected in many ways through similar outlook, personality and culture.

Alongside simultaneous events in Dublin and Bordeaux, Liverpool’s offer is set to blow our nautical deckshoes off and landlubbing minds.

First up, the Mersey will be full of stunning sails for the Three Festivals Tall Ships Regatta.  Go aboard some of the most evocative Tall Ships in the world as they are berthed on the Liverpool Cruise Terminal, Canning Dock, Canning Half Tide Dock and Albert Dock during the festival weekend. Watch the historic Lancashire Nobbies, or Morecambe Bay ‘prawners’ take to the river on Saturday for their annual four-hour race on the Mersey. You can also go onboard these ships too on Sunday 27 May at the Albert Dock.

Circo Rum Ba Ba's The Whale
Circo Rum Ba Ba’s The Whale

At Mann Island there is maritime magic galore with an incredible outdoor arts programme across the weekend. The world premiere of Wired Aerial Theatre’s To Me, To You tells the tale of two spirits woken by the sounds of the sea and boasts a mesmeric rotating set and dynamic aerial bungee choreography.

Circo Rum Ba Ba’s magnificent life-size sperm whale meanwhile, has beached itself and is full of suprises to say the least. Negotiate your way past a fierce fish wife to go inside the 50ft creature for watery tales of hidden treasure and piratical goings on from pirate and mermaid storytellers.

Harbouring Notions is a curious beach hut full of intricate miniature mechanical theatre from kinetic artist Simon Venus. Inspired by the naval history it features 18th and 19th century characters whose silent thoughts propel a flotilla of different craft.

Step into Changing Sails, an enchanting textile installation from artist Julia Snowdin where patterns of shimmering light in the shapes of the sun, moon and stars will fall around you.  Julia will be leading origami boat-making workshops and there is storytelling from a magical mermaid and ludicrous lighthouse keeper here too.

That’s only the half of it folks. Across the city there’s the chance to see Luke Jerram’s magnificant Museum of the Moon,  a live music programme, circus antics and the Bordeaux Wine Festival. The weekend culminates in the magnificent Parade of Sail on Bank Holiday Monday when the Tall Ships and flotilla of other craft sail up and down the Mersey.

We’re off to dig out our stripey nautical tops and we’ll see you there.



Events take place across Liverpool - check times and locations to plan ahead.

Tall Ships and Changing Tides on Liverpool Waterfront at Royal Albert Dock, Liverpool

25–28 May 2018
Free entry