Calling all sailing fanatics! Kiel Week (Kieler Woche), one of the largest sailing events in the world, is set to return to Kiel this summer. Taking place annually during the last week of June, Kiel Week has evolved over the years from a sailing championship regatta into a full-blown ship festival.
With over 3 million visitors from 70 nations set to attend the event, Kiel Week 2019 aims to represent the whole international spectrum of sailing.
© Sascha Klahn, Kiel Week
Kiel Week to welcome more than 3 million visitors
This year, Kiel Week is expected to welcome 5.000 sailors and 2.000 ships, who will compete in a series of different races at the Olympic marina Schilksee. The racing championships will be accompanied by a series of events held at different locations around the city, such as the Kiellinie which offers visitors a gorgeous uninterrupted view of incoming ships.
Expect to see a wide range of free music performances, food markets and street performances as well as a spectacular firework display. Visible across the entire Bay of Kiel, this magnificent display on June 30 marks the end of the festival.
© Lh Kiel - Thomas Eisenkrätzer
Kiel Week 2019 highlights
Ship-lovers can expect to see thousands of boats gathering in the Bay of Kiel for the ship festival. Different types of sailing boats, such as sloops, ketches and full-rigged ships, as well as historic tall ships, modern yachts and cargo ships will all come together. In addition to hosting championship races for a number of classes, Kiel Week is also one of the biggest tall-ship conventions in Germany.
© Lh Kiel - Bodo Quante
Explore traditional ships during the Tall Ships Parade
Over 100 traditional sailing boats and hundreds of yachts will participate in the annual Tall Ships Parade (Große Windjammer Parade) on the second Saturday of Kiel Week, June 29. Kicking off at 11 am, the ships sail out in parade formation from Kiel’s inner fjord into the outer fjord, sailing towards Laboe.
Drawing more than 100.000 spectators, the best spots to watch the parade float by are from the shores of the inner fjord, the west bank at the Kiellinie and by the lighthouse Holtenau at the entrance to the Kiel canal.
A number of these historical vessels will also be offering day trips from Kiel throughout the week, offering visitors the chance to get up close and personal with them.
©Lh Kiel - Thomas Eisenkrätzer
Fly high over Kiel Bay at night
For those looking to the heavens rather than the seas, then fear not as this year’s event sees the return of the 13th International Willer Balloon Sail. The traditional Night Glows hot air balloons will once again light up the night skies, "dancing" to music before ending with a colourful firework display. This spectacular display takes place every night of Kiel Week.
Plan your visit to Kiel Week
With more than 3 million visitors expected to attend this year’s Kiel Week, we advise you to plan your trip well in time! Visit the Kiel Week website for the complete schedule or to register for one of the regattas.
Thumb: © Sascha Klahn, Kiel Week