A fleet of tall ships hoisted their sails and set their sights on Halifax Harbour early yesterday morning.

The ships are making their way up the coast from Boston, a 685-kilometre trip that will take about 36 hours to complete.

By Thursday afternoon all of the ships will have arrived in Halifax Harbour; however, the fastest of the fleet will arrive early Wednesday morning.


People eager to see the tall ships can walk down to the waterfront Thursday for some early celebrations.

"We've got a lot of things happening, so it's a great way to come down and see the ships come in," Leanne Strathdee, event director of the Tall Ships Nova Scotia Festival 2009, said yesterday.

Right now, organizers are busy getting ready for the event and their office is buzzing with excitement, Strathdee added.

She said 1,000 volunteers will help make the festival run smoothly, adding the waterfront is being readied to welcome the ships and their crews.

"If you're walking by the waterfront, you'll see a number of tents going up," Strathdee said.

Halifax is one of many stops for some of the ships that will be in the harbour until July 20. Some have been sailing since April, as a part of the Tall Ships Atlantic Challenge. Those boats started in Vigo, Spain and crossed the Atlantic Ocean to Bermuda. The ships then sailed northward along the eastern coast of North America and are now on their way to Halifax.

After their stop here, the ships will continue their journey to their final destination in Belfast.

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