Following the success of last year's Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Festival, the spectacular Tall Ships fleet will return to the Thames in 2017.

It will be one of the world's largest transatlantic Tall Ship events, thanks to an agreement between the Royal Borough of Greenwich and Sail Training International (STI). 

The event, involving some of the largest Tall Ships in the world, will take place during the Easter weekend of 2017.

The Royal Borough of Greenwich will be the start host port for STI's Rendez-vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta to Quebec in Canada.

The Transatlantic Tall Ship Regatta marks the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the Canadian Confederation through its founders and founding provinces. 

The race will see a fleet of Tall Ships leaving Greenwich to sail across the North Atlantic, with visits to selected host ports in five countries.

Over 1.1million people flocked to the borough in September to be part of the Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Festival 2014. Local businesses enjoyed record sales, with over £17million of additional expenditure into the local economy.

In addition to increasing visitor numbers and spend, a key objective for hosting the event was the development opportunities for young people. Sail training has for decades been recognised as a fantastic way of helping young people gain valuable experiences, skills and confidence applicable to their personal and professional lives.

Thanks to sponsorship from businesses, 50 local young people took part in this life-changing experience, racing from Falmouth to Greenwich.

Visitors to the festival enjoyed a programme of entertainment, including maritime activities and re-enactors, music, theatre, fireworks and ship visits – finishing with the marvellous sight of the vessels taking to the Thames at the same time for the Parade of Sail.

The 2017 event is expected to echo the success of the 2014 festival and attract even more of the larger, Class A ships and international visitors to the borough.

Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, Councillor Denise Hyland said: "To be the host port for this international event is a huge privilege and we know we offer the ideal location - our stunning waterfront and historic maritime buildings will make a wonderful backdrop for these vessels."