23rd edition of Ostend for Anchor concluded with record number of visitors

The maritime festival "Ostend at Anchor" is over after a four-day celebration of maritime tradition and innovation. This year's theme was "Discoveries at Sea," with a look at the past, but also at the future of seafaring. A record number of 200,000 visitors came to Ostend at Anchor.

From May 23 to 26, Ostend for Anchor landed in Ostend. With an impressive fleet of 150 ships, entertaining performances, authentic culinary dishes and artisans from all over Europe, it was once again a colorful mix around the quays of the City by the Sea. The biggest crowd pullers were the Spanish galleon El Galéon,the replica Nao Victoria of the explorer Magellan and the three-master Artemis. Four days of sunshine ensured that this edition attracted many spectators.

"The success of Ostend for Anchor 2024 reaffirms Ostend's appeal as a maritime city. The festival remains a unique opportunity to celebrate its rich maritime history, while providing a platform for innovation and sustainability in shipping. We thank all visitors, participants and volunteers for their contribution to this unforgettable edition. "
- Mayor of Ostend Bart Tommelein

Impressive fleet of historic ships

The port of Ostend was awash with more than 150 classic ships, including impressive three-masters, authentic fishing boats and traditional sailing yachts. Visitors had the unique opportunity to board and experience what life at sea used to be like and still is today. With the Artemis, the Morgenster and Jantje, thousands of visitors were able to enjoy a unique experience when the ships went under sail off the Coast.

Innovation in the maritime world

This year's event also focused on the future of shipping. Visitors could learn about the latest sustainable maritime technologies, presented by innovative companies and start-ups. Ostend has been the port city of the offshore industry and wind farms for more than 25 years, and that was also highlighted during this edition.

Toerisme Oostende vzw

The festival started in the year 2000 on behalf of Toerisme Oostende vzw and curator Hubert Rubbens was involved from the beginning. In the following years Hubert built the festival into the largest maritime event in Belgium, with this 23rd edition Hubert is now stepping down as curator.

"As a curator, it is a work of years to fully shape this four-day event, which I have always done with heart and soul. Now I couldn't wish for a nicer farewell as curator with this sunny edition where once again I see a lot of young children looking amazed at all the ships. I hope that I can pass on the microbe to the youth and that glint in their eyes suggests the best. I am now waving goodbye to Ostend at Anchor, together with a large group of volunteers who have been involved from the beginning. Next year the festival will still be able to count on my help as well, but that will be in a different role where I can have more time with my family. "
- organisatorHubert Rubbens

"We are very proud and proud of Hubert for his years of dedication to Ostend at Anchor. The festival has grown into the largest maritime festival on the Coast and that from the passion of an Ostendian at heart. "
- Mayor Bart Tommelein

From 2025, Toerisme Oostende vzw will take over the complete organization of the event, and they are convinced that the future of this crowd puller is secured. General director Peter Craeymeersch emphasizes their commitment, and thanks to a gradual transition period, Hubert has been able to share his knowledge with them. He will also remain available for advice in the future.

"In recent years, we have already taken care of all logistics, communication and coordination with city departments. This was done in close consultation with Hubert, whose nautical expertise is invaluable. We are therefore extremely proud of the large number of visitors this year and the many positive reactions. Hubert has a big heart and wants to see his project continue to grow. We are aware that a number of volunteers, who have been working from the very beginning, would also possibly quit, but we still hope to keep as many 'red pants' on board as possible. With his continued advice and our accumulated knowledge, we can guarantee that the future of Ostend for Anchor looks fantastic. "
- Director Peter Craeymeersch

Next year's edition

Oostende voor Anker is an organization of Toerisme Oostende vzw in cooperation with curator Hubert Rubbens and the many volunteers of Oostende voor Anker vzw. If you are already looking forward to the 24th edition, mark May 22 to 25, 2025 in your calendar.

For more information and a review of the festival, visit our website: www.oostendevooranker.be.