Reaching out for the oceans: Europe's biggest nautical spectacle

04 August 2010 | News story

Once every five years, tall ships from all over the world converge on the Dutch capital for a five-day international nautical spectacle—SAIL Amsterdam. Attracting more than 600 ships and an expected 1.8 million visitors, this is Europe’s largest ‘admission free’ nautical event.

The highlight of SAIL Amsterdam 2010 which takes place this month is the SAIL-IN parade on the first day (19 August), an impressive fleet of tall ships and a large accompanying fleet crossing the North Sea Canal to Amsterdam.

This year the Fleur de Passion, the flagship of IUCN member Antinea Foundation will be among them. Moored at the heart of the SAIL event, the Fleur de Passion will act as the focus of an outreach programme involving several IUCN Member organizations and the municipality of Amsterdam, supported by the Dutch Coalition for Biodiversity. During three days the vessel and nearby theatre Panama will be a hub for the public to immerse themselves in the wonders and mysteries of the oceans.

Highlights will be the multimedia show ‘Ocean Experience’, a drawing contest for children, an evening event as part of the National Postcode Lottery Project Oceans, and a meeting organized by IUCN Netherlands ‘Leaders for Nature’ initiative which discusses the interdependence of businesses and oceans, among business leaders, politicians and NGOs.

Ocean Experience, with its dramatic footage from around the world, underlines the beauty and treasures of the underwater world and the human impacts that pose a threat to our marine world. The show is part of the 10-year 'Changing Oceans' expedition that the Fleur de Passion is undertaking around the world to map human impact on marine ecosystems.

The Fleur de Passion is currently sailing across the Wadden Sea, the latest marine site to be added to the UNESCO World Heritage list. This unique ecosystem is the world’s largest unbroken system of intertidal sand and mud flats. Together with Dutch and German scientists Antinea will further explore and document this region. In collaboration with IUCN and UNESCO, a best practice programme will be developed to highlight innovative management solutions that have been put in place in different Marine Protected Areas.

For more information contact:

Ronald Menzel, Director, Antinea Foundation; ronald.menzel@antinea-foundation.org
Saskia Gaster, Senior Communication Officer, IUCN National Committee of the Netherlands, saskia.gaster@iucn.nl
Janette Worm; Board member Antinea Foundation in The Netherlands janette@waterplanetearth.org