No matter where the Tall Ships gather, there is spectacle and adventure and this will be the case when Drogheda Port welcomes 5 Tall Ships to the town during the Drogheda Fringe Festival in May this year. This will be the inaugural Tall Ships event held in the Port and the ships will arrive in town on Friday 3rd May and will be open to the public on Saturday and Sunday, 4th & 5th May, before departing for Liverpool on Monday, 6th May 2013. Drogheda Port is the first port of call for these vessels who will also visit Dublin, Belfast, Liverpool, Whitehaven and Warrenpoint during the months of May and June.
The ships will berth in the port on the Ballast and Deepwater Quays which in conjunction with Drogheda Port Company will be open over the bank holiday weekend with plenty to see and do on the dockside as well as on the river Boyne. Sandra Gough from the Fringe Festival said, ‘The Tall Ships are the jewel in the Crown of this year’s festival which has a full programme of events including music, comedy, poetry and theatre to entertain locals and visitors to the Festival People will be able to board the tall slips and explore the decks of these magnificent vessels. For the more adventurous it will also be possible to book a passage from Liverpool and sail into Drogheda on the ships, just as it was in the 1800’s!’
‘We are also hosting the Annual Dragon Boat Regatta during Fringe so the Boyne will be buzzing from the 3rd to 12th May! Here is an opportunity to celebrate our river and to realise its potential as a visitor attraction.’
Paul Fleming CEO said “Drogheda Port Company is delighted to be hosting the inaugural Tall Ships event. The port has a commercial heritage going back to 1790 and a historical one much further. The soft values of seaports are incredibly important to their local area, and the port community is fully supportive to the opening up of the town to tourism and recreation through the river and our port.
Following on from the first cruise visit last year with the arrival of the ‘Clipper Adventurer’ port officials are pro-actively engaged with tourism interests with a view to developing maritime tourism infrastructure side by side with our important commercial activities. Port towns and cities stand apart, and by their nature tend to be more cosmopolitan and welcoming with a unique selling point for tourism. This year will be a significant maritime year for Drogheda, and the Boyne will continue to surprise and demonstrate its true value to the locality”.
Local TD Gerald Nash has said that having Tall Ships docked in Drogheda Port will provide a visual reminder of the past but also a glimpse into the future.
"I've been working on this project for some time with Sandra Gough from Drogheda Fringe, Drogheda Port Company, Irish Sail Training, Drogheda Borough Council and Louth County Council. I can't wait to see these ships sail up the Boyne into Drogheda. It will provide a huge boost to Drogheda not only in terms of visitor numbers and the knock on effect to the local economy, but also in terms of the sheer pleasure it will bring to the people. I've seen Tall Ships arrive into other towns and they have a transformative effect on residents. It will lift the whole town."