Happy Turkey Day!

Happy Turkey Day Register Early

Yaaaaaay! It is the best holiday of the year! No gifts, no carols, no forced cheer. Just food, more food, stretchy pants, and a nap in the middle of the day. At least, that’s how it is at my house. It’s kind of the best.

You know what else is the best? Saving $100 on early registration. It’s true! Grab that turkey sandwich, stagger on over to the computer and fill in the registration form for our annual conference in San Pedro.  Feeling particularly ambitious? Why  not sign up for the pre-conference workshops!

Hurry though. Early Registration ends on December 5th.

Are you a crew member? We have a grant for you!


The Seafarer Collective (TSC) brings an exciting workforce development opportunity to the 2019 Tall Ships America Conference.

TSC’s latest offering is a distance learning course that places the power of education directly into the hands of developing mariners by offering USCG approved Online AB courses to qualified applicants. This winter two sessions of the TSC Online AB (Able Seaman) are scheduled, each lasting 4 weeks, and require an in-person exam. In an effort to support Tall Ships America members in their professional development, TSC will offer a discounted course rate to members who are attending the conference for $550, which is a $100 discount off the full cost. For students taking the course AND attending the conference, exams will be proctored on Sunday, February 24th in San Pedro, CA.

For more information and to register visit their website at http://www.theseafarercollective.org

*please note – conference registration is separate and you must register for the Tall Ships conference through the http://www.tallshipsconference.com website

Focus Session: The Value of Experiential Marketing

The Value of Experiential Marketing – Panel Discussion

Victoria Syme, Manager of Marketing and Partnerships at Harmony Marketing

Are you finding it difficult to get partners onboard for large cash sponsorships? Are you not hearing back from your sponsor pitches? You might be missing out on great experiential marketing (XM) opportunities for your festival or event.

Sponsorship is constantly changing.  Gone are the days of gold, silver and bronze sponsor packages. Companies are less and less interested in large sponsorships and logo benefits and instead they want to interact directly with your audience onsite.  Your festival or event has tremendous value for companies who want to sample, hand out freebies and bring fun branded activities or games.

At this workshop session, you will learn more about what experiential marketing is and how it can help add value to your event through additional programming as well as adding to your bottom line. Examples will be shown of various types of XM activations to help spark some ideas for your own events and help enhance the experience for your visitor.

Speaker Bios

Victoria Syme lr
Victoria Syme

Victoria Syme is a marketing, sponsorship and media communications specialist with experience in event management, social media, production and public relations.  Victoria graduated with an HBA in Communications from McMaster University and has a post-graduate diploma in Public Relations and Corporate Communications from Centennial College.

Victoria started her career in PR at a large agency in Toronto and worked on large clients such as CBC, EXPRESS clothing and Subway Canada. In 2013, Victoria joined Harmony Marketing, a boutique marketing & sponsorship agency in Toronto where she is the marketing and partnerships lead on the annual  Redpath Waterfront Festival, Sugar Shack TO and a number of other events. In her spare time, Victoria loves to travel and has visited all 7 continents and over 40 countries.




New Education Summit to take place on Forum Day, Monday February 25th.

Tall Ships America: Summit on ‘Ocean Literacy Under Sail: Lifelong learning for all…’
Monday, February 25, 2019

fan voyage 4

Join us as we connect the sail training experience on tall ships with ocean science and education. Throughout the day, we’ll be building on the international movement for Ocean Literacy leading up to the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030). This summit is for sail trainers, educators, employers and youth to learn and apply the Ocean Literacy Principles to life at sea and beyond. The summit continues throughout the conference, when we’ll be interacting with diverse programs in science, education, work and lifeforce opportunities related to ocean stewardship and sustainability.

In the morning, participants will delve into the Ocean Literacy 7 Principles, their history, and latest international, multi-lingual resources; and explore how this knowledge benefits sail trainers and students, and can be integrated into shipboard program and activities, especially related to ‘STEAMing’ under sail. We’ll then discuss how we- sail trainers, youth, educators and communities– can make informed and responsible decisions toward a sustainable future.

After lunch, we’ll spend the afternoon at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium. We’ll start by exploring Southern California habitats such as salt marsh and sandy beach habitats through a “walk Cabrillo tour” that begins at the Doubletree Hotel and ends at the aquarium. Then, we’ll discuss topics such as plastic pollution, plankton, invasive species, and other themes that connect shore based schools with ‘Adventure and Education Under Sail’ and, finally, share with other informal educators in order to identify commonalities, beyond content, that connect shore based and sea based educators, all as ‘ocean ambassadors’.

Participants will leave the Summit with a deeper understanding of the definition of an ocean-literate person – one who understands the ocean’s influence on us all and our influence on the ocean – and inspired to bring it alive with their own team and beyond.

Big thanks to Nancy Richardson for spearheading this amazing new forum!

We still want to hear from you!

We love to give out awards! It is just so nice to be able to acknowledge and reward people who are doing good things. Our small but mighty community of sail trainers, educators, and crew are amazing people doing incredible work every day. Most of that work, only a few people have the privilege to see or, better yet, experience themselves.

Help Tall Ships America find those people that inspire others to continue sailing, to learn more, to be better people. Who inspired you this year?

Submit your nomination today. You can even nominate your own program or ship! Do it. Deadline for nominations is December 14th

Have you registered for the conference? Hurry, early registration ends on December 5th!

Are you a crew member? We have a grant for you!

Head to the warmth

Remember this?


We enthusiastically embraced all that Erie had to offer in February, snow storms and all. Our conference attendees were not deterred! We frolicked tough in the snow. We ended up with a record high attendance and every agreed it was one of our best conferences.

Now, imagine this scene outside your window –



Nice right? If we can have a great conference in the middle of a white out in Erie, think of the possibilities in San Pedro, CA!

Have you registered yet? Early bird registration ends on December 5th, then prices increase by $100.

This year the conference will take place at the Doubletree Hilton Hotel, Via Cabrillo Marina, San Pedro, California.  The three-day conference will include the Safety Under Sail Forum, Administrators Forum, Port Forum and new this year a summit on ocean literacy and marine programming in collaboration with the National Marine Educators Association. We also have two days of workshops before the conference even begins. Whew!

Raising our Sails, Raising a Workforce is the theme for this year.

Holding our conference within the Port of Los Angeles emphasizes this year’s theme –how individual organizations and the sail training community at large can support the greater maritime industry’s workforce development needs, while continuing to offer meaningful and life changing experiences under sail.

Are you a crew member? We have a grant for you!

Has someone inspired you this year? Nominate them for a sail training award!

Send in your award nominations! Deadline is fast approaching.


Every year, we dress up in our finest Carharts, wipe the pine tar off our hands, and raise our glasses to our community of sail training professionals.

Help us recognize those out there making a difference. You see them, you admire them, now help them be honored.

Nominations for our annual sail training awards are now open. Awards are presented in the following categories

Lifetime Achievement
Sail Trainer of the Year
Sail Training Program of the Year
Sea Education Program of the Year
Volunteer of the Year

We have two new awards that were presented for the first time last year:

Young Sail Trainer of the Year Awarded to a sail trainer under the age of thirty to encourage and recognize high-performing individuals who deliver the sail training program for young people at sea.

Leadership Award Awarded to a member of Tall Ships America who has made a significant contribution to sail training through the demonstration of leadership at executive or senior levels, and whose impact has been felt by the sail training community at large, beyond that of their own organization.

Criteria and guidelines are on our website. Did a program knock your socks off? Were you blown away by someone in the tall ship community? Nominate them! Don’t be shy, be bold and make a sailor’s day. The deadline for nominations is Friday, December 14th.

Remember, it doesn’t count as a nomination if you comment on the blog post. Respect the process.

Have you registered for the conference? Do it!