Published Tuesday, August 1, 2017 5:43PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, August 1, 2017 5:57PM EDT
It was a remarkable sight in the Halifax harbour on Tuesday: more than 25 tall ships gliding across the city’s coastline, their sails snapping in the cool Atlantic breeze.
The Parade of Sail brought tens of thousands of spectators down to the shore to get a glimpse of the boats.
“I love it, it’s so cool. It’s just like Pirates of the Caribbean,” one spectator told CTV Atlantic.
The ships docked in Halifax last week. They’re participating in the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta, an international race that covers 10,000 nautical miles and brings sailors from around the world to Portugal, Bermuda, France, the U.S. and Canada.
The Halifax leg of the journey was celebrated with nightly fireworks, buskers, culinary events and other celebrations. The spectacle was held as part of ongoing Canada 150 celebrations.
Hotels have been booked solid in the city, but the event’s economic impact to the local economy won’t be known until figures are released this fall.
Jennifer Angel, acting president and CEO of Halifax Waterfront Development, said the event has been a success.
“It’s sad to see them go. This is what the waterfront is all about and we couldn’t be happier with the last few days,” Angel said.
The majestic vessels come from far and wide, including Germany, Finland, Latvia and the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu.
Nova Scotia’s Blue Nose II — a replica of the famous schooner featured on the Canadian dime — made an appearance as well.
Spectator Mike McPhee said the event was a rare up-close glimpse of the Maritime province’s nautical past.
“Well I guess it’s going back to our history and the way things used to be,” McPhee said.
The tall ships have already made stops in Ontario, New Brunswick, P.E.I. and Quebec.
After sailing out of Halifax, some of the ships will make their way to Syndey, N.S. over the coming days. Others will begin gearing up for a trans-Atlantic race to France.
With files from CTV Atlantic