Two of our team were out and about at the Tall Ships on Thursday basking in the sunshine and good vibes.

Here’s what they thought of their Tall Ships experience…

Graeme Cousins

I’m not really a fan of the Tall Ships themselves. They’re just big, old ships with massive sails and lots of rigging that look exactly the same as they did in 2009.

However, what I love about the Tall Ships event is the global community it brings together. It’s great for tourism seeing people of all nationalities enjoy the sights and sounds of Belfast while us locals get our horizons broadened with some amazing dishes from around the world. I love the fact the area around the Odyssey and Titanic is transformed into a bohemian outdoor village of people, food, drink and tat. Well, not so much the tat.

My highlights on the food front are the Cuban sandwiches you’ll find close to the big fish and the Jerk Chicken wraps that you can get in the global food village beside the Odyssey. On the drink side of things I’ve been sold hook, line and sinker by Franciscan Well, a feisty IPA that has invaded from Cork. It’s the featured beer in the marquee at Custom House Square.

Tina Calder

This year I attended the Tall Ships as a guest of Lidl NI and Smarts Communicate and I have to say there’s a very good reason for my very blatant plugs there.

What a fantastic night aboard the Sorlandet in Pollock Dock.  Not only was the hospitality second to none but we had a chance to meet the ship’s chief steward Carson as well as witness a spectacular aerial performance by New Zealand acrobat Abigail Rose.

Before we boarded I had a chance to check out some of the stalls and food vendors and one stood out above all for me.  The Camp Cooks, a 50s style diner truck with singing and dancing drag queen waitresses.

Aboard the Sorlandet we had a walk around the ship, check out some of the different decks, speak to the crew and get a general sense of what life on the Tall Ships is like.

The Tall Ships themselves may not interest everyone but the festival atmosphere is one that would be hard not to enjoy.  So much so we have a second trip planned on Sunday.  Don’t forget to check out the free shuttle services with Translink – definitely worth making your trip hassle free.

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