Ostend at anchor 2022

with ensor in the sea

Ostend at anchor 2022 with ensor in the sea !

Ostend, its port, its beaches, its jetty and of course its maritime past! With great pleasure we present Ostend at anchor, the largest maritime festival on the North Sea, which will take place from 27 to 30 May 2021. For the 21st edition James Ensor is in the spotlight! His shells, masks and marines will be the theme of the festival! It was in our seaside resort that the brilliant James Ensor was born in 1860. His work is closely linked to his city and tells us about it with force, through the sensitive prism of the painter’s vision. Conversely, Ostend bathes us in the atmosphere of his childhood and his family home, now transformed into a museum of the same name. During the Ostend festival at anchor you will discover his marines, masks and shells. This gives you the chance to understand the painter’s universe.  


Theme 2022

Ostend Raid 10 May 1918

Ostend at Anchor takes place, just like in 2019, in the two Mercator docks, the Montgomery dock, where you can book a trip at sea or a harbour tour on board of a steam tugboat! Large ships are moored at the cruise quay behind the station, but are easily accessible! This year for the first time we expect the three-masted ship “le Français” and the Polish three-masted ship “Dar Mlodiezy” ! But at the festival, with its seawater scent, you will discover much more!  More than 140 old rigged ships will be present, 100 exhibition stands with authentic maritime boatjumble, maritime artists, exhibitions and information about the maritime heritage and more than 100 concerts of folk music, maritime music and sea songs etc…………………………….

For me, Ostend is my muse, my source of inspiration. The swarm of inhabitants of Ostend, tourists, the sound of the waves, the activity’s in the port, the light of the city, the sunset are an irreplaceable atmosphere! And the incomparable smell of my city, the smell of Ostend! The festival takes you through the streets of Ostend to discover its history and to taste the almost tangible mystery that still hangs over its streets!

On the fishery quay you will discover the fishmarket where you will learn how to peel the unique grey shrimp from the North Sea!

Come to this unique festival in Belgium! The people of Ostend will be happy to welcome you!


Fair winds

Hubert Rubbens

Curator of the festival

“Vindictive” Abandoned and Sunk

Communication between the conning tower and the after control was down. The ship’s captain Commander Godsal (formerly commanding the blocking ship HMS “Brilliant”) went outside the conning tower to give orders for the blocking position. He was killed when a shell exploded close to the conning tower. (His body was never found.) Lt Crutchley took command of the situation. The ship grounded at the eastern pier at a 25 degree angle. The order was given to abandon ship and blow it up there. Naval motor launches ML254 and ML276 ran into the harbour through enemy fire to pick up the surviving crew including several badly wounded.

Crew & Wounded Rescued

As HMS “Warwick” and her consorts began to withdraw to the west along the coast motor launch ML254 was taking on water. They signalled an SOS out to sea in the hope of being rescued as they had badly wounded men in the boat. Their call for help was seen, the British ships turned back and they were picked up.
By the time this rescue was completed the the tide had dropped lower and the British ships had to leave the area by a route further into the Channel that was mined by the Germans. At 04.00 hrs the “Warwick” hit a mine destroying the aft part of the ship. The wounded were taken off by HMS “Velux” and HMS “Whirlwind” towed “Warwick” back to Dover.

British Casualties

The British casualties were: 2 officers and 6 men killed; 5 officers and 25 men wounded; 2 officers and 9 men missing.

Enjoy this unique maritime festival to the full!

Ostend at Anchor, presenting “Ensor on Sea” !!! from Thursday, May 19th to Sunday, May 22th 2022. It’s all there !!! Ostend at Anchor is accessible to everyone, with free access and offered by the Ostenders. Oostende voor Anker is a volunteer organization commissioned by Toerisme Oostende