Netherlands Travel Blog› entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
The event was organised for the first time in 1975 to celebrate the 700 year anniversary of Amsterdam, under the name 'Sail Amsterdam 700'. At that time interrest in tall ships, which had sunk to a low since the 1930's, when the last commercial tall ships had been built, was starting to rise. The success of Sail Amsterdam 700 led to the establishment of the Stichting Sail Amsterdam (SSA, Foundation Sail Amsterdam).
It's the one of the largest maritime manifestations in the world (and the largest event of any kind in the Netherlands), with tons of tallships and hundreds of other historical ships. In terms of the total number of boats present (not just the participating ships) it may very well be the largest aquatic manifestation in the world, with 8000 boats in the 2000 edition. This is largely because sailing is immensely popular in the Netherlands, with hundreds of thousands of boats. If one counts every aquatic vehicle, including windsurfers (but excluding houseboats), that number may even be a million - approximately one for every 15 inhabitants.