In three months’ time, a fleet of international Tall Ships will arrive in London for the start of the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta – a visual maritime feast over the Easter weekend that will see dozens of Tall Ships set sail for Quebec in Canada from the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

There are less than 100 days to go until hundreds of sail trainees get on board ships in Greenwich and Woolwich to embark upon the first leg of the transatlantic race from Greenwich, organised by Sail Training International. Two charities, Seafarers UK and Sea Cadets have been chosen as official Charity Partners for the Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Festival in recognition of their work with young people and the maritime community.

Councillor Denise Hyland, Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich said: “We are excited to count down to the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta this Easter. I was on board the magnificent Tall Ships when we last hosted an international fleet in 2014 and I heard some truly inspirational stories from the young people taking part.

“This year’s Festival promises to be a fantastic family event which shows off our borough’s maritime history and we are proud to be the starting port so we can wave off the Tall Ships as they set sail for Quebec to celebrate Canada 150.

“We are grateful to our Charity Partners and all our sponsors for helping to deliver this spectacular event, and making 2017 a year to remember for Royal Greenwich residents and businesses.”

Celebrating 2017 as the Centenary Year of Seafarers UK provides an ideal opportunity to build on Greenwich’s maritime connections.

“As part of its Centenary Year, Seafarers UK is very proud of its Tall Ships Festival partnership with the Royal Borough of Greenwich”, said Nigel Shattock, Director of Fundraising & Communications at Seafarers UK.

“The charity’s history of welfare support for the maritime community is closely connected to the borough’s own rich maritime heritage and so it feels appropriate to be invited to be part of such a fantastic maritime event.”

The Sea Cadets’ own Tall Ship will be joining the Festival and welcoming visitors on board to look around. Captain Philip Russell, Captain of the Sea Cadets said: “Sea Cadets is thrilled to be a charity partner with Seafarers UK for the Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Festival. This amazing Regatta is a magnet for the world’s Tall Ships, including our own TS Royalist especially built for young people. It’s an exclusive opportunity to get on board and explore this amazing vessel and see why so many youngsters walk away beaming with confidence after a trip of a lifetime.”

The opportunity to take part in the first two-week leg of the Regatta from Royal Greenwich to Portugal is still open. Regardless of sailing experience or age, anyone can sign up to get on board a fantastic Tall Ship and join the crew for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Find out more at www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/tallships

Following the success of the Tall Ships Regatta 2014, which attracted 1.1 million visitors, the Royal Borough of Greenwich is hosting two free Tall Ships festival villages at the Maritime Greenwich UNESCO World Heritage Site in Greenwich town centre and at Royal Arsenal Woolwich. Visitors can take in the view from the river by getting on board Tall Ship Thames cruises (12-16 April) with sailroyalgreenwich.co.uk.