Boarding passes now available for Japan’s spectacular “King of the Sea”

Richmond, BC – Japan’s “King of the Sea” tall ship is sailing across the Pacific for a rare North American visit as part of Richmond’s Canada 150 celebrations. Free boarding passes are now available and are the best way to get on board the majestic four-masted, 363-foot Kaiwo Maru, one of the world’s largest tall ships.

Japanese for “King of the Sea”, the Kaiwo Maru is the focal point for Ships to Shore King of the Sea, a free, multi-day festival celebrating the historic visit of this magnificent tall ship. Music, food, culture, and fireworks are all part of the fun that will take place in Richmond’s beautiful Garry Point Park along the Steveston waterfront from May 5 to 7. Ships to Shore King of the Sea is presented by RE/MAX.

The public will be able to view the Kaiwo Maru from the landside by visiting Richmond’s Garry Point Park between May 3 to 8.

For an even closer look, free public boarding of the Kaiwo Maru will be offered during the Ships to Shore King of the Sea Festival on Friday, May 5 and Saturday, May 6. Boarding passes are limited. Up to six passes can be booked per household in advance at A small number will be also available on site, but reserving boarding passes online is the best way to guarantee access.

Visitors to the festival will also be able to take to the waters aboard the elegant, spacious M.V. Native paddle wheeler to enjoy a free, guided tour of the historic Steveston waterfront and enjoy the view of the magnificent Kaiwo Maru from this unique water-side perspective. Departing from Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site, the M.V. Native is an authentic replica of the paddle wheelers that plied the Fraser River in BC from the late 1850s until the 1920s.

Festival entertainment throughout the site will include the Sail Drill when nearly 200 crew members climb high into the masts to unfurl nearly 30,000 square feet of sail.

Festival highlights also include free headline concerts by Alan Doyle and the Beautiful Gypsies and Dear Rouge, plus a free Saturday night fireworks spectacular over the Fraser River.

Site-wide entertainment includes buskers, pop up demonstrations and hands-on activities, food trucks, a maritime-themed Kids Cove, community art installations, a marketplace and displays.

Ships to Shore King of the Sea runs Friday, May 5 and Saturday, May 6 from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and Sunday, May 7 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission to the festival is free. For a full event schedule and additional event details visit

Parking in the festival area is limited. Visit the Getting to Ships to Shore section of the website to find the sustainable ways to commute to the event. Additional public transportation and shuttle bus service will be available. Bike valet will also be available in a securely guarded area near the festival gates

Ships to Shore King of the Sea is produced by the City of Richmond and presented by RE/MAX. Fireworks Sponsor is Polygon Homes. Community Partners are Tangerine, River Rock Casino Resort, JTB International, Japan Airlines Worldwide and Britannia Heritage Shipyard Society. Media sponsors are CTV, 103.5 QM/FM. Richmond News and Georgia Straight.