Well, shiver me timbers! Historic tall ships converge on Amsterdam for giant sailing festival
About 50 historic vessels sailed from Ijmuiden, in the western Netherlands, to the capital on Wednesday Accompanied by hundreds of smaller, private boats for SAIL Amsterdam, which takes place every five years
Highlights among the vessels included an 18th century frigate replica and a 19th century French merchant ship But there was also controversy, thanks to a Chilean vessel used as a torture ship during Pinochet's rule
At first glance, it could be a scene from a bygone era - the sails of the tall ships fluttering against the sky.
But a closer look at the smaller boats which surround them reveal this is, in fact, a far more modern scene.
The 50 stunning tall ships had come from across the world to take part in SAIL Amsterdam, which takes place every five years and sees hundreds of boats accompanying these historic vessels on a trip from Ijmuiden, in the western Netherlands, to the capital.
Looking back at history: About 50 historic vessels sailed from Ijmuiden, in the western Netherlands, to Amsterdam on Wednesday
Popular: They were accompanied by hundreds of smaller, private boats for SAIL Amsterdam, which takes place every five years
This year, the fleet included an 18th century frigate replica, a 19th century French merchant ship and a controversial Chilean vessel which, in the not so distance past, was used for torture.
They will now remain in the harbour until Sunday, with organisers expecting around two million visitors to pop down for a closer look.
Highlights include the Etoile du Roy, a reproduction of a 1745 frigate used in the British television series 'Horatio Hornblower,' and the Belem, a French 19th century steel-hulled three-master.
But it was the presence of Chilean school ship Esmeralda, used for the torture of political opponents under the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, which ran from 1973 until 1990, has brought controversy to the family event.
Anger: But there was also controversy, thanks to a boat which was once used to torture people in Chile during the Pinochet regime
Dark past: The four master vessel (not pictured) was used to torture at least 100 people during the dictatorship
Huge draw: It is thought about two million people will see the boats before they set off once more from Amsterdam harbour on Sunday
Another chance: For those upset to have missed out, a fleet of tall ships is due to arrive in Greenwich, London, next weekend
An association of Chilean exiles has said it would hold a vigil next to the four-master on Wednesday.
'At least 100 people were tortured or raped on board,' the association said in a statement, expressing disappointment that 'the boat's dark past is still taboo.
Amnesty International criticised the lack of information about the boat's history on the SAIL event's website.
Stunning: The sun goes down behind tall and small ships at the IJ river in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, after the days sailing
Source Mapuche Foundation | FOLIL
The Netherlands/ Países bajos