The Greatest Tug Parade Of The World

25th February 2006, 14:28
Here something interesting news:
Tug Parade – 26 April 2006
Every port in the world that handles cargo vessels (including oil tankers) or cruise ships has to have a fleet of tugboats to help berth and unberth them. Small ports may have just one tug, larger ports handling the occasional big vessel may have a fleet of just three. Even the biggest and busiest of ports rarely has more than a dozen. It is therefore very rare for more than this number to congregate in the one place. There are, of course big salvage and ocean towing tugs but it would be a huge project indeed for more than six to be engaged at any one time.

However, the ABR Company Limited, which organises and promotes the ITS (International Tug & Salvage) Convention and Exhibition plans to create a record during its 19th Convention, ITS 2006, being held from 24-28 April 2006 in Rotterdam at the Beurs World Trade Centre. As part of the event, a Tug Parade is being held on the afternoon of 26 April 2006 between 15.15 p.m. and 17.30 p.m. which, it is believed, will be the largest gathering of tugs ever held. It will not only include the most modern state-of-the-art examples, demonstrating immense power and unbelievable manoeuvrability, but also a flotilla of historic tugs. This will exemplify the progress made in tugboat development over the past 110 years. The aim is to have in excess of 30 tugs taking part.

Whilst a Tug Parade is usually held at each ITS Convention, this particular spectacle is set to be on a much grander scale than usual due to the venue – The Port of Rotterdam. This is one of the largest ports in the world (and indeed it has in the past been a record-holder with Guinness World Records). The parade will be viewed by over 500 Convention delegates (representing 45-50 countries) from the vantage point of the Cruise Terminal, but members of the general public will also be able to enjoy the spectacle from the harbour’s many quays and bridges. The timing has been deliberately selected to be after the schools have closed for the day to ensure the maximum number of spectators.

A complete list of both the vintage and modern tugs will be provided closer to the event. However, many of the vintage tugs already committed to taking part may be viewed on ( The list includes such tugs as Roek, Hercules, Hugo, Noordsee, Dockyard 5, Rosielea and Fury. As part of the parade, the modern tugs will perform a “tug ballet”.

It is felt that this event is worthy of a world record both because of the number of tugs due to be assembled in one place at the same time and also for the fact that it is unlikely to ever be beaten. Trade by sea is a vital component of the world economy. Without the ship assist harbour tugs, this trade could not take place. Salvage tugs are the first line of defence against environmental pollution whenever a maritime emergency takes place. It is hoped that holding a world record will serve to highlight the importance of this vital industry and further raise its profile.

In addition to the ITS Conventions which have been taking place over the last 38 years, The ABR Company Limited also publishes the industry’s leading magazine, International Tug & Salvage, and a yearbook, the TugWorld Review.

In May there will be once again Dordt in Stoom:

25th February 2006, 17:59

Thank you for posting information about this event. I am sure it will be a great spectacle and I hope you get in a good position to take pictures! I wish I could attend something like this myself but work gets in the way of pleasure!


John Cassels
25th February 2006, 20:23
In october last year, we were tied up just outside benedensas locks (steenbergse
vliet) when about 20 elderly tugs sailed past us, went through the locks and tiedup in Steenbergen for the night. It seemed that this was an regular get together for
owners of old tug boats. It was a beatiful sight, some of them must have dated
back to the 1950's.


12th October 2007, 15:20
Having just found this thread, are there any event's of this kind involving tugs in the UK?


12th October 2007, 21:06

You are joking? The preserved vessels we have are immobile in many cases - those that do steam do so at the above parade (there is one of the Vics that goes over and a tug or two ) but as for anything like this in the UK, nope.



12th October 2007, 23:18
I was fortunate to take part in the tug parade last year with the preserved tug Kent and what a spectacular sight it was. The UK was represented by two tugs who made the effort, the Kent from Rochester and Adsteam Warden from sheerness. What a poor turnout from the UK.
The closest you will ever get to a tug parade in the UK is at the Thames Barge Driving Race. A large number of tugs gather at Greenwhich for the start of the race and run down from the pool when it is finished, and the number tugs attending are decreasing every year. I think the chances of a parade in the UK are nil.


14th October 2007, 16:46
The UK's nearest thing to a tug parade.


16th October 2007, 19:35
Yes I thought it would be a stupid question. John we know about tugs been laid up, one inparticular, I know of only two, Im sure a thread could be started on tugs in need of a lot of love.


27th May 2009, 11:26
At Liverpool`s Maritime Museum there is an ex-Alexandra Towing tug called the "Brocklebank" which is regularly taken out to `perform` at various that comes to mind was the gathering of the "Tall Ships".

The people who look after her do so with a zeal bordering on obsession and I,for one, am grateful for their continued care.