Hopes of tall ships coming to Portsmouth sink for the first time in 30 years
PORTSMOUTH — Dozens of tall ships from around the world plan on making one stop within the United States as part of the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta, and for the first time in about 30 years, it is not Portsmouth.
These ships, which will travel to six countries, have a stop planned for Boston on Saturday.
Chad Chadwick, chairman of the Piscataqua Maritime Commission (PMC), told the Union Leader that Sail Boston is paying $40,000 to $50,000 per ship in exchange for a non-compete clause for a certain number of miles from the city. This led to the cancellation of the annual event in Portsmouth as the commission can only afford between $26,000 and $35,000 per ship.
The regatta began in the United Kingdom in April, traveling to Sines, Portugal and Bermuda before heading to Boston.
Boston will host an opening ceremony at the Boston Harbor Hotel Rotunda the day before the ships are expected to arrive. Over the next six days, Boston has planned multiple events including public boarding of the ships and a crew and cadet street parade. The ships will depart the morning of June 22 where they will head to the next leg of the regatta, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
NH1 News has reached out to PMC for additional information on the cancellation along with the Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce to learn about the impact this will have on tourism in the city.