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Turku, Finland


The Tall Ships fleet returned to Turku for the fifth time in 2017. The Finnish port had hosted the Tall Ships Races and Regattas four times previously (1996, 2003, 2009, and 2011).

The four days of celebrations brought visitors from far and wide, including the country’s president, Sauli Niinistö, and over 544,000 spectators.

Knut Western, Race Chairman for the Tall Ships Races 2017, said:

“The Tall Ships fleet’s visit to Turku for a record fifth time has been a resounding success. The River Aura has once again provided a superb intimate location for the fleet, giving visitors a close-up view of the diverse range of vessels taking part in this year’s event.”

Race Chairman, Knut Western, Sail Training International

Turku is one of the oldest cities in the Nordic region, and it was Finland’s capital until it was overtaken by Helsinki. The Archbishop of Finland moved to Turku in 1229 and it became the wealthy crux of religion for the country – this left a lasting impression.

Today, Turku is home to Finland’s second-largest university. As a result, it’s a vibrant cultural hub with an abundance of festivals and experimental art.

The port of Turku has served Finland for nearly a whole millennia (860 years), and it’s the centre of Finland’s bustling second city. It’s fed by the Aura River, which is the heart and soul of the city, its birthplace, and an essential element of life (the whole place revolves around the water running through it). The banks of the river are home to vibrant restaurants, cafes and museums.

To the south-west of Turku, there’s a route to the finest archipelago in Europe, with more than 40,000 islands and rocky islets. For a sailor, the archipelago offers unforgettable experiences, including little villages on the islands, peaceful natural surroundings, glaciated rocks carved by the ice age, and guest harbours.

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