Introducing The Sail of Freedom of Rouen – l’Armada de la Liberté

Posted by on Jul 15, 2013 in Countries, France | 0 comments

Summary: What an event for boat lovers! The Sail of Freedom of Rouen (l’Armada de la Liberté) has taken place every five years since 1989 and gathers the most beautiful tall ships, warships and other sailing crafts of the world. The festival is one of the most important events in the nautical world. Here is an overview in photos of the festival, along with some information and advice to attract you for the next edition.


A boat on its way to the Armada

We were lucky this year to attend the Armada de la Liberté 2013 of Rouen. We decided to go there on a Thursday. We woke up early to enjoy the day as much as possible. Though the weather was cold and rainy, we saw almost all the ships and spent a very nice time.


A ship


  • This year more than 45 ships were invited to participate in the event.
  • The ships are docked in Rouen along the quaysides for 10 days.
  • You can visit all the ships for free every day from 10am to 6pm. You have to queue.
  • You will find restaurants, booths, and shops all along the quays.
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    Boats along the quay

  • The information shared on the microphone is provided in several languages.
  • Most of the ships are more than 131 feet in length.
  • Many boats are replicas of 16th to 19th century ships.
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    An old ship’s bell

Related Events

    During the armada you will be able to attend many other events and attractions:

  • Fireworks are displayed every evening.
  • You can attend the mass celebrated by the crews.
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    A mat

  • The sailors’ parade.
  • The sailors’ footing.
  • You can attend concerts every evening.
  • IMG_9830

    Another ship

7 ways to simplify your day:

  • Ask about the dates of the armada in advance to be able to plan your stay and your visit.
  • Take good walking shoes, as the docks are long.
  • The climate is always changing in Normandy, so check out the weather before you go and bring appropriate clothes—and don’t forget an umbrella!
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    Inside the ships

  • You can see ships on their way to Rouen from the banks of the Seine River the day before the opening.
  • You can also see them leaving Rouen on the last day of the armada, making their way back to the sea, which is a good opportunity to see them sailing and take good shots.
  • IMG_9876

    Another ship

  • It is better to come early in the morning to find parking and to visit as many ships as possible.
  • It is more crowded during the weekends. You will queue less if you come during the week.

We hope this post will inspire you to attend the next Sail of Freedom in Rouen, or any other armada you might find around the world.
Have you ever thought of traveling around the world in sailboat?

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