What volunteer roles are available?
Ship Liaison Officer (SLO): SLOs work directly with the ship captains and crew. They are the conduit between the ships and the Event during the festival. Typically, SLOs are available for a consistent shift – AM or PM throughout the Event. They often reach out to the Captains before they arrive and assist crews on arrival. A working knowledge of the local waterfront and maritime vendors is helpful. Additional information on SLOs is available through Tall Ships America.
Greeters & Counters at the Event Gates and Ship Sail-Away’s: Chief responsibility is to check wristbands (or other form of ticket) and welcome guests to the Tall Ships festival. Use a manual counter to record the number of guests going aboard the vessel to make sure it does not exceed capacity. Submit count at the end of your shift.
Line Managers: Keep an orderly line and maintain the number of people on ships at any one time. Sometimes lines can be long (30 minutes plus). Line Managers can also advise the ticket office about wait times.
Guest Services: Be knowledgeable of all Event details including: ticket information, ship locations, festival activities. Be on location at Event information booths to provide details to guests inquiring about the festival.
Runners/Sail Away Support: Duties vary. Volunteers should be able to walk the Event throughout entire shift. May fill in as needed in other Event positions. Cast off lines of vessels that are scheduled to sail away during the Event. This position should come with some knowledge of line handling or have a training session with an experienced sailor to practice catching, throwing, and techniques.
Runners – Ship Assistance: Duties vary. Good knowledge of the port city very helpful. Everything from grocery and laundry runs to transportation (airport and bus) very helpful.
Relief Volunteer: Provide breaks to other volunteers
What age do I have to be to volunteer at this Event?
Every Event is different, but 18 years old is preferred, unless you volunteer with an organized group such as Sea Cadets, Key Club, etc. Volunteers under 18 MUST be with a parent or guardian. Under age 18 volunteers with adult supervision within a group with insurance will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
I’ve never volunteered before at a Tall Ships festival - how will I know what to do?
Volunteers are required to attend mandatory information/orientation sessions. You will receive pertinent details about festival activities and learn about your role as a volunteer through your Event coordinator.
Is this a paid volunteer opportunity?
No, volunteers are not paid. We appreciate your willingness to be an ambassador for our city and meet our ships and visitors.
What are the volunteer benefits?
All volunteers will receive: A Tall Ships T-Shirt, two complimentary boarding passes, bus transportation from remote parking if necessary, free snacks during your shift, and an invitation to the Crew/Volunteer appreciation reception.
How will I know if I have been selected as a volunteer for the Event?
Make sure we have your correct contact information. Someone from the Event will call/email you.
Are there group or corporate volunteer opportunities during Tall Ships?
Absolutely! This festival is a wonderful opportunity for groups and corporate teams to do something fun. While we cannot guarantee that everyone volunteers for the same role, we CAN arrange the schedule so everyone volunteers during the same shift.
How long are the volunteer shifts?
Most volunteer shifts are at least 4 or 6 hours depending on Event hours. For instance, 9am – 3:30p and 3pm – 9pm, or 9am - 1:30pm, 1:00pm - 7pm. Ship Liaison shifts can be: 7am – 2:30pm (or) 2pm – 9pm
How many volunteers are needed for this Event?
We need a few hundred volunteers to make this a success. Bring your friends!