There will be events of the theme year in each season, including much of interest for tourists: both for children and adults, for those seeking more intimate cultural experiences and those preferring to enjoy cheerful and crowded festivities.

2016 – Year of Maritime Culture in Estonia

For 15 years already, theme years have been organised by the Estonian Ministry of Culture to focus public attention on a specific cultural sphere. In Estonia, 2016 is the Year of Maritime Culture, dedicated to maritime-related traditions and customs, the art of living by and with the sea.

In order to help sea enthusiasts in finding their way around the theme year’s programme, a visual has been created with somewhat offbeat graphic elements which mark the focus topics and principal messages of the Year of Maritime Culture. The authors of the illustrative language and logo from the year‘s concept and design agency Identity see the sea as something immense and mysterious. Their microchipped sprats and coifed eelpouts are mythological, surreal and, at the same time, somehow familiar. The logo, too, has got a friendly face: the Year of Maritime Culture invites everyone to turn their faces to the sea.

Rich programme throughout the year

‘The Coastal Trip’, one of the year’s main programmes, is directed towards modern coastal residents and those interested in their traditions, skills and everyday life. The educational programme ‘Facing the Sea!’ is designed for young people and shall provide an introduction into maritime-related education and career opportunities. Sea Camp for youth will be held in seven spots of Estonia on the initiative of the Estonian Yachting Union, offering the opportunity to learn about maritime sports.

In addition to the specific events, the year will be filled with various competitions: The Idea competition for Year of Maritime Culture was just launched, ‘The Sea is Our Heritage and History’ – the first of the theme year’s four photo competitions – is also already under way and awaiting photos related to Estonia’s maritime history and heritage. Besides the valuable prizes from Nikon, the best photograph will be published in the April edition of National Geographic Eesti. The search for the most popular Estonian sea song will begin in May and end with the most spectacular maritime song concert of all times in the Seaplane Harbour during Tallinn Maritime Days.

The time for more serious discussions will begin at the end of the summer. Year of Maritime Culture will also be present at the annual Festival of Opinion Culture in the town of Paide. Maritime challenges will be discussed there.

WHAT WILL THE YEAR OF MARITIME CULTURE OFFER TO THE TOURIST?

There will be events of the theme year in each season, including much of interest for tourists: both for children and adults, for those seeking more intimate cultural experiences and those preferring to enjoy cheerful and crowded festivities.

The programme and the event calendar, updated continuously, are available in the event calendar of the Year of Maritime Culture and you will find it on the very first page of this homepage. All of the official events of the year will be free of charge for everyone.

To be there, one has to just book the tickets to Estonia and reserve accommodation in a seaside hotel or spa, tourist farm or camping site. The visitors can also opt for tenting, which is usually permitted (rather than prohibited) in our countryside.

The best option, however, to familiarise oneself with the maritime culture is to come with one’s own boat or yacht. In Estonia, a boat owner can choose between 110 small ports, of which nearly one fourth have been modernised in recent years and have started to provide various service enhancements in addition to the mooring opportunity.