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SAIL Amsterdam 2015 was the grandest yet – not only in terms of the attending Tall Ships, but also in that the event grounds were spread more widely throughout Amsterdam. The SAIL area consisted of five so-called ‘Oceans’, each with its own colour and theme.
The heart of the grounds was the Orange Ocean, where the majority of the Tall Ships were moored at the IJhaven quay, temporarily renamed as Oranjehaven. The city centre accommodated the cultural Red Ocean, with the business-oriented Blue Ocean positioned in between. On the north banks of the River IJ were the innovative and sustainable Green Ocean and the hip White Ocean.
This is the beating heart of SAIL Amsterdam and where the Tall Ships are moored in Oranjehaven (IJhaven). This site has been the centre and the soul of SAIL ever since 1975. The ships can be entered from the quayside, and, of course, they may be admired from the water as well. As per tradition, each evening concluded with a breath-taking fireworks display. A new element in 2015 was the extensive live music programme at the SAIL Music Marina. On the northern bank of the River IJ, a stage was built on the water especially for SAIL, hosting a theme programme appropriate to SAIL Amsterdam every evening.
The cultural centre of SAIL was fittingly spread across Amsterdam’s city centre with its many wonderful canals. SAIL Amsterdam 2015 has collaborated with various museums, organisations and businesses in the city centre. For example, the Public Library (OBA) will organise an exhibition and public lectures relating to SAIL. Cultural event office Artifex was offering several nautically-themed tours with guides such as: the ‘Good Morning SAIL’ Tall Ship tour, the Sailors’ tour, the SAIL tour of the National Maritime Museum, the Nautical Rijksmuseum tour, the SAIL tour of the Scheepvaarthuis and the Naval Heroes Amsterdam tour.
The ocean of sustainability, technology and innovation was located on the northern banks of the River IJ at the NDSM Wharf. Here, visitors could admire the Volvo Ocean Race’s Team Brunel ship, with crew members happy to recount their experiences during this gruelling ocean race and to describe life on board. Visitors were also introduced to innovative shipbuilding in the setting of historical ramps and shipbuilding yards.
The Green Ocean offered a glimpse of the future with DAMEN Shipyard opening their doors for a tour. The ‘Cape of Green Hope’ was the setting for trade and entertainment at this vibrant wharf: a bazaar for seamen and landlubbers, for dreamers, idealists and bonvivants. Noordjes Kinderkunst offered a programme for children and teenagers to introduce them to Noord as an architecturally remarkable part of Amsterdam. The Maritime by Holland group organized al kind of activities in the field of innovation and technology.
The White Ocean occupied the area around the Tolhuistuin and EYE Filmmuseum in Amsterdam Noord. This was the place to be for hipsters where it was all about relaxation and taking a breather from all the action, with food, live music and great views across the River IJ.
The Blue Ocean caters specifically to the business sector. During SAIL, this is where corporate Netherlands convened, with a grand National Debate at the National Maritime Museum on Saturday 22 August on the theme of SAIL Amsterdam 2015 – From the Golden Age to a Golden Future. In addition, various corporate events took place at the museum, including the traditional ‘Captains’ Dinner’ with all captains of all Tall Ships.