Summer 2016 offers a chance for visitors to Brittany to see the world’s most beautiful ships and learn about the world’s many seafaring cultures, all in a festive and musical atmosphere. Surrounded by miles of stunning coastline peppered with numerous fishing ports, seaside resorts, and marinas, western Brittany is a hotspot for all things nautical.
In summer 2016 there are two international maritime festivals in a row:
Brest 2016 International Maritime Festival – 13 to 19 July 2016
From the legendary historic sailing ships to the French Navy’s most up-to-date armaments, Brest harbour will be a spectacle of wonder with scenes from the past as 1,500 boats converge in the bay, attracting up to a million faithful fans to this boating ‘high mass’. The thirty or so countries invited to take part each year help to make Brest the largest harbour in the world. It only takes place for one week every four years – so don’t miss out!
For its 7th edition, the fabulous Hermione frigate, the historical replica of the flagship La Fayette will be starring. Also for the first time, the Monge, an impressive tracking ship, will be presented to the public by the French Navy. Music, inspired by the sea and by sailors, will echo around the harbour, on the café terraces and on the stands of the event’s themed ‘villages’. You’ll be able to check out the skills of the seafaring world, as well as the latest scientific advances. Watching races or ships manoeuvring, going on board and even booking a trip out to sea… everything’s laid on to help visitors get their sea legs.
Temps Fêtes festival – Douarnenez : 19 to 24 July 2016
On 19th July 2016, the Grande Parade – an invincible armada of more than 1,000 boats will be seen, piloted by around 20,000 sailors will parading to the sound of dozens of musical performances. The flotilla will sail from Brest to the pretty mid-19th century fishing harbour of Douarnenez, where the festivities continue for a further six days.
The Temps Fêtes festival is a smaller, more intimate, community event with up to 200,000 visitors, where you can climb aboard the boats for a sailing trip, and meet the sailors. Douarnenez’ waterfront will be a hive of activity with Breton artists, musicians from all around the world, films projected onto sails, marine knot demonstrations, traditional Breton games and introduction to traditional sailing being just a small selection of the entertainment.
More information, timings and details from www.brittanytourism.com