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Sail in the wake of great explorers and beyond in 2020

Posted on: 13.02.20

This news story was originally published before the announcement of the postponement of the Tall Ships Races 2020 to 2021 where it will return as The Tall Ships Races Megallan-Elcano 500 Series 2021. You can read the full announcement here and here.

As the new year gets into full flow, there’s no better time to start planning your adventure at sea with The Tall Ships Races 2020 and the SCF White Sails of Peace Tall Ships Regatta 2020. We’ll be celebrating explorers of old and exploring the far reaches of the Pacific with two epic race series…

This year provides you with the perfect opportunity to enjoy spectacular, international festivals in a range of ports and cities around the globe, and the exhilarating sailing between them. Every year our Races and Regattas take the Tall Ships to some fantastic cities and ports and 2020 is no exception!

The Tall Ships Races 2020

  • Lisbon Parade of Sail
    We enjoyed a stunning Parade of Sail in Lisbon in 2012.

For The Tall Ships Races 2020, we’re excited to return to the Iberian Peninsula as we visit Portugal, Spain and France. Every visit to the region is steeped in history, and 2020 will be no different as we commemorate the first circumnavigation of the world by Ferdinand Magellan and Sebastián Elcano 500 years ago.

The event will be the perfect mixture of old friends and new horizons with Lisbon, Cádiz and A Coruña boasting a total of 22 Tall Ships Races and Regattas between them and Dunkirk hosting for the very first time. As you might expect, they’re all eager to welcome the international fleet to their shores.

Whichever part of The Tall Ships Races 2020 you take part in, you’re guaranteed to enjoy the adventure of a lifetime. Stepping on board these titans of the sea, you’ll be immersed in a world like no other.


Spirited Lisbon welcomes the fleet of the Tall Ships Races for the eighth time in 2020 and will provide the perfect backdrop to open the festivities. The Portuguese capital overlooks the Tagus River (Rio Tejo) and captivates its many visitors with its Gothic cathedrals, majestic monasteries and quaint museums. Lisbon’s lamp-lit old quarters will transport you back in time, while the newer parts of the city reveal an undeniably youthful spirit, with vibrant bars, clubs and street parties.

Race One of the series will follow what are sure to be a truly unique and spectacular four days of maritime celebrations in Lisbon, and take you on an epic sailing adventure to Cádiz. You will traverse the Iberian Peninsula, putting into practice all of your newly learned sailing skills. From setting the sails to prepping the mess for lunch, you will have an integral role on board as you race through this historical area of southern Europe.


As the oldest continuously inhabited city in southern Spain (and one of the oldest in south-west Europe), charming Cádiz boasts history, energy and enthusiasm. The southern Spanish city has developed an impressive culture and huge personality over the course of its 3000 year history. Visitors are enthralled by the city’s electric energy, charismatic charm, and delicious seafood.

The second race of The Tall Ships Races 2020 will offer a comprehensive mix of competition and exploration. The race leg of the voyage from Cadiz to A Coruña will finish off the coast of southern Portugal and be followed by a Cruise-in-Company. This explorative leg of the voyage will provide the fleet the opportunity to stop in a number of ports and be the perfect chance to experience all that the Portuguese and Spanish coasts have to offer.


Located in northern Spain, A Coruña is a busy, bustling port. It’s located on a promontory in the entrance of an estuary in a large gulf on the Atlantic Ocean. It’s the richest region and economic engine of Galicia – an autonomous community in north-west Spain. Over the last 2,000 years, people from different nationalities have turned A Coruña into a diverse melting pot of cultures. Today, the city has a wonderfully distinctive atmosphere, with a bustling food scene and thriving nightlife.

The final Race of the series will take you across the famous Bay of Biscay to the final Host Port of Dunkirk. Following in the footsteps of sailors of old, you will have the perfect opportunity to experience the awe inspiring nature of life at sea. Strategy here will be key as you navigate one of the most famous seas in the world on the eastern coast of the Atlantic Ocean.


The Tall Ships Races 2020 will mark the first time that Dunkirk has hosted a Tall Ships event, and we can’t wait to visit this coastal Commune which brings together history, natural beauty and contemporary art. Dunkirk underwent a rapid expansion following World War II, and today has developed into a busy town enjoying unspoilt beaches, marinas and protected conservation areas.

The Tall Ships Races 2020

SCF White Sails of Peace Tall Ships Regatta 2020

  • bima suci during scf far east tall ship regatta 2018
    Vladivostok acted as a stunning backdrop for the Tall Ships in 2018.

Following three hugely successful events in 2014, 2016 and 2018, we are thrilled to once again work with Sovcomflot to present the SCF White Sails of Peace Tall Ships Regatta 2020.

The event, held in August and September, will bring the world famous Tall Ships Fleet back to the Pacific Rim and the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) in Vladivostok, Russia. The SCF White Sails of Peace Tall Ships Regatta 2020 will see ships from around the world visiting Yeosu, South Korea, Nanao, Japan, and  Vladivostok, Russia. The event is sure to provide a unique spectacle to the region in a way that only the Tall Ships Fleet can.

About Yeosu

The port city of Yeosu is located in the south of South Korea, on its East China Sea coast. The Tall Ships fleet will visit the bustling maritime city for the second time during the SCF White Sails of Peace Tall Ships Regatta 2020.

About Nanao

Nanao is the largest city located on the southeastern coast of Japan’s Noto Peninsula. The SCF White Sails of Peace Tall Ships Regatta 2020 will mark the first time the international Tall Ships fleet has visited this rural beauty.

About Vladivostok

Known and prized as a vital commercial and naval sea area, Vladivostok is the unofficial capital of the Russian Far East and the largest Russian port in the Far East. The city is surrounded by the Amursky Gulf, the Ussuriysky Gulf and the Golden Horn Bay, which provide a gorgeous natural setting for the Regatta.

The Eastern Economic Forum

The Eastern Economic Forum serves as a platform for the discussion of key issues in the world economy, regional integration, and the development of new industrial and technological sectors, as well as of the global challenges facing Russia and other nations. Each year, the event attracts more than 3,000 officials, experts and journalists from up to 50 countries.

SCF White Sails of Peace Tall Ships Regatta 2020

Need Help?

If you are struggling with the costs of a voyage, don’t panic! We have a number of bursaries available to help fund you on the adventure of a lifetime. At Sail On Board, we’re pleased to support several bursary schemes and scholarships for young people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to participate in our events – just head over to our bursaries page to learn more!