There are plenty of events planned in Åland for the 2021–2022 period. At the moment preparations for the Tall Ships Races 2021 mega-event are in full swing, as are celebrations for the 100th anniversary of Åland’s autonomy.

Tall Ships Races foto Henrik NygårdThe Tall Ships Races are a large international event for sailing vessels. In 2021 the race will be held in the Baltic Sea with Mariehamn as one of the host ports. Mariehamn will be both the finishing line in the race from Tallinn to Mariehamn, and the starting point for the race from Mariehamn to Szczecin in Poland. A hundred or so vessels will gather in Mariehamn between 22 and 25 July 2021, and the harbour area and town centre will be filled with activities and entertainment.

“There’ll be a bustle of people in Mariehamn’s western harbour where visitors can familiarise themselves with the ships and meet the thousands of crew members,” says Mari Rosenqvist, project manager for the Tall Ships Races in Mariehamn.

She also explains that masses of supporting activities are being organised and that visitors will be able to enjoy Åland delicacies and drinks, take part in activities and both try out and learn new things.

“There’ll also be performances of song and music, and plenty more entertainment for people to enjoy,” says Mari Rosenqvist.

Proud maritime history

Being a part of the Tall Ships Races matters a lot to Ålanders. Throughout the years, Ålanders have always crossed the sea in sailing boats, and from the middle of the 19th century small Ålander cargo boats started to transport timber across the Baltic Sea and the North Sea. Ålanders then expanded their fleet of vessels with larger second-hand iron and steel ships, which sailed all over the world. The Ålander sailing ship owner Gustaf Erikson’s vessels continued to sail around the world from Australia to Europe until 1949, and one of these ships, the four-masted barque Pommern, still functions as a museum in Mariehamn’s western harbour today.

Celebrating 100 years of autonomy

A year after the Tall Ships Races, on 9 June 2022, is the 100th anniversary of Åland’s autonomy. Celebrations for the anniversary will start a year before that, and during the year a series of exciting events will be held. Planning is under way and the events include an opera produced by the Katrina Cultural Association about the witch trials in Åland in the 1660s. A new visitors’ centre in Bomarsund is also due to be inaugurated as part of the anniversary celebrations, and a performance of another new opera, The Devil’s Dance in Skarpans, will be staged during the grand opening ceremony.

Plan your travels

Do you want to experience the Tall Ships Races in Mariehamn or take part in the 100th anniversary celebrations of Åland’s autonomy? Start planning your Åland trip today and be sure to book your accommodation in good time ahead of the events.


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