Japan’s spectacular King of the Sea en route to Richmond

Richmond, BC – Japan’s King of the Sea, one of the world’s largest tall ships is now en route to Richmond for a rare North American visit as part of the City’s Canada 150 celebrations. Ships to Shore King of the Sea will be a free, multi-day festival of ship boarding and viewing, music, food, culture, and fireworks from May 5 to 7 in Richmond’s beautiful Garry Point Park along the Steveston waterfront.

The Ships to Shore King of the Sea festival, presented by RE/MAX, features a visit by Japan’s majestic, Kaiwo Maru tall ship. Its name aptly translates into English as the King of the Sea. One of the largest tall ships in the world, the Kaiwo Maru is a four-masted, 361-foot long, 182-foot high naval training vessel. Ships to Shore King of the Sea is part of Richmond Canada 150, a year-long celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary of confederation.

“The Kaiwo Maru will be making her second voyage to Richmond since 2004, providing a rare opportunity to view this majestic ship,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “The Kaiwo Maru rarely leaves Japan and Richmond will be the only North American port of call on this visit. This special visit recognizes the strong cultural ties and long standing friendship between Richmond and Japan.”

The festival will 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. Known for their energetic performances, the multi-talented Doyle and his six-piece band the Beautiful Gypsies will be playing songs from Doyle’s solo records along with Great Big Sea favourites, traditional songs and some unpredictable gems from far-flung places that are sure to thrill. Vancouver’s own Juno Award-winning Dear Rouge will be bringing home the chart-topping alternative dance-rock sound that has made the duo an audience favorite across Canada and beyond.

The Kaiwo Maru will be available for free public viewing from its arrival on May 3 until its departure on May 8. Free public boarding will be available during the Ships to Shore King of the Sea festival. Ship boarding is free but a limited number of boarding passes will be available. Passes will be available online in advance of the festival, with a small number of passes available on site. Details on securing online advance passes will be announced soon.

A highlight of the visit will be Sail Drill on Saturday, May 6, when nearly 200 crew members will climb high into the masts to unfurl nearly 30,000 square feet of sail.

Festival entertainment throughout the site including buskers, pop up demonstrations and hands-on activities, food trucks, a maritime-themed Kids Cove, community art installations, a marketplace and displays are also part of the fun Ships to Shore King of the Sea runs Friday, May 5 and Saturday, May 6 from 9 am to 9 pm, and Sunday, May 7 from 11 am to 4 pm. Admission to the festival is free. Watch for additional event details at www.shipstoshore.ca.

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.