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Some of the biggest and best ships a-sail have answered the call to return to the Docks, bringing with them tales of far-flung shores and exotic sail cargo to sample.

Alongside our flagships, there's a host of ways you can get out there with them and sample Gloucester Docks as they are meant to be experienced - from the water. Tap the buttons above or keep scroll to explore everything on the water.


The Phoenix under sail


A true Hollywood leading lady, Phoenix has appeared in everything from Ridley Scott's Napoleon to In The Heart of the Sea. An authentic 18th Century sailing experience, this 112ft 8-sailed brig is the real deal.

The Grayhound under sail


Based on a three-masted lugger that became a privateer, Grayhound is the first ship of its kind to be built in Britain for two centuries. Ever the pirate ship, she'll be demonstrating her firepower during Tall Ships (that means cannons!).


Step aboard this 94ft Mersey Pilot Schooner built using traditional methods. She weighs the same as a blue whale and crewed on her voyage to Gloucester by retired Armed Forces personnel. 

Spirit of Falmouth at anchor


The 118-year old ketch Irene is a former cargo ship, turned luxury yacht, who now earns her keep as a charter vessel. A silver screen regular, she's appeared in films like Pirates of the Caribbean and Alice Through the Looking Glass.

Irene under sail
Tall Ship Vilma


Built in Vejle, Denmark, in 1934 as an auxiliary fishing vessel and converted into a two-masted top-sail schooner, Vilma is nimble enough to go under sail at Tall Ships Festival, so don't miss her as she dances around the Main Basin!

Tall Ship Kathleen & May


Launched in 1900, this is the last wooden hulled three-mast top-sail schooner built in Britain. Walk the decks and go below on this authentic, captivating ship. Sit in the Captain’s Cabin, try out the crew bunks and more. Junior Skippers, can you find the pirate's treasure hoard in the hold?




Aboard Vilma, our nimblest ship, are a band of upstart scallywags who want to give our big ships a run for their money!


Watch as these pirates prepare their vessel, roll out the cannons and set sail, firing on anyone who gets in their way. Get ready for some noise!


This spectacular show will run twice each festival day (12.30 and 14:00) in the Main Basin.

Vilma firing her cannons

Excitingly, on Bank Holiday Monday, head on over to the Barge Arm and you can partake in paddleboarding and canoeing.


Get up close and personal with our mighty Tall Ships from the water.


There's nothing like seeing Gloucester's historic Docks as it was meant to be seen - from a water craft!

Paddlboards propped against a Warehouse at Gloucester Tall Ships Festival_edited.jpg

What's more, the cost of paddleboarding or canoeing is included in your Monday ticket. Just remember to bring your finest boatwear (or swimwear if you think you'll fall in!)

If you want to get involved in this, make sure you book your Festival tickets for Mon 27 May now!



When it comes to boats, it's not all about what they look like, but history's most epic are also easy on the eye (looking at you, HMS Victory 😘!)


In this spirit, we're inviting all the boats in the Docks (and any people who come dressed as boats) to compete to prove who is the most boatiful!

So adorn yourself with a boater, emblazon your boat with bunting, and, by gum!, make your boat totes baller because the Best Dressed Boat will be announced at the Submarine Stage at 2pm on Sun 27 May.

Adulation awaits, so get beautifying!



We are collaborating with New Dawn Traders to land sail-shipped olive oil in Gloucester Docks during the festival.


Grayhound will be sailing 650 nautical miles, all the way from northern Spain, to deliver, pollution-free, a cargo of exceptional quality organic extra virgin olive oil from the award-winning Hacienda de Queiles grove. You can pre-order to collect directly from the ship.

Alhema de Queiles Olive Oil

The order deadline is Fri 24 May and only orders of 3-litre tins can be collected from the ship. If you don’t manage to pick up your order from the ship at the festival, it can be posted to you.


If you’d like a large amount, get an extra 10% off orders over £250 with code NDT24TRADE

Get the most from Tall Ships Festival with a small ships experience. Head on over to Gloucester Boat Hire on the Barge Arm to get out on the water.

Check times for tours and hire on the day. Boat hire incurs an extra fee.

Boat Hire 1.JPG

If piloting your own vessel is too much for a laid-back weekend, why not head out on a voyage on the Dunkirk Little Ship, Queen Boadicea II? Book at and depart from the National Waterways Museum. Check boards for times. Incurs an extra fee.

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