WHO WE ARE

The townhall of Pasaia and the Sea Factory of the Basques, Albaola, we are working for many years recovering the heritage value of the port of Pasaia and on its international projection as well. We are giving back to this place, that by nature and own merits used to have, its harmony with the environment, and we are promoting the material and immaterial maritime cultural heritage. This is the aim of this festival. The values of sustainability and solidarity are going to be transversely projected at this festival, that takes place every two years.

It is no coincidence, therefore, that this Festival is celebrated in Pasaia, as it is not that the Albaola Factory is based here, where the 16th century whaleship San Juan is being built, as they did then. The Albaola Factory also shelters an international boatbuilding school, Aprendiztegi, where ancient techniques and others are recovered, through the historical and anthropological investigation of the uses and traditions of our ancestors. They learn as a long time ago, through transmission and experience, while the greatest desire is to give life to corsair ships and dreams that seem to be impossible. After all, Pasaia Itsas Festibala is the logical consequence of the collective celebration of all that, and that is why the port of Pasaia once again smells of wood, tar and tradition.

Due to the resounding success of the first edition held in May 2018, with the participation of 10 maritime cultures represented in 115 vessels and more than 300 crew members, we want to strengthen our commitment to authenticity in 2020 and continue giving prominence to ships with a heritage value. The quality of the shops and the maritime cultural diversity is the basis of the character of Pasaia Itsas Festibala; This was witnessed by the 125,000 visitors in its first edition.

The relationship that people have had and still have with the sea is a source of knowledge, continuous enrichment and reason for celebration. Because of that, we would like to invite you to this meeting, which this year 2020 will be celebrated from May 28 to 1st June. This celebration will result in activities on land and at sea in line with the values of respect, promotion and participation of this ancestral culture. For five days ships from different countries will visit us, and all the maritime cultures will be mixed, expressing through its gastronomy, its music and the jobs related to the sea. It is a Festival where the public of all ages will find different attractions, and you will surely repeat.

The promoters of the Pasaia Maritime Festival

Izaskun Gómez Cermeño

– MAYORESS OF PASAIA TOWN COUNCIL –

I welcome you to this website on behalf of the municipality of Pasaia.

From May 28 to June 1, 2020, the second edition of the International Maritime Festival, a gathering of traditional boats, will be held in Pasaia. After the resounding success of the first edition held in May 2018, with ten countries represented by 110 vessels and 300 crewmembers, in 2020 we want to consolidate our commitment to authenticity, giving prominence to our maritime heritage and to ships of heritage value. The quality of the boats and their maritime cultural diversity is the basis of the character of the Pasaia Maritime Festival, as the 125,000 visitors of the first edition can attest.

Pasaia really threw itself into the Festival; both individuals and members of different associations generously volunteered in the organization of the event; I sincerely thank them for their time and dedication, as only this joint effort made the Festival a reality.

In 2020 Pasaia will once again become the centre of Maritime Heritage. For five days it will be the stage on which will converge representatives of cultural and maritime heritage from all over the world,  so important for the social development of Pasaia. The Festival will allow us to have a look into our past, relive our history and have a glimpse into the daily life of our sailors of old. The waters of the bay will be full of traditional boats from different parts of the world that will inspire us.

Pasaia is a town which grew up in a natural harbor and has been involved in maritime activities for thousands of years. It has been one of the main centres of the evolution of shipbuilding, with many shipyards and renowned seamen. All this legacy, tangible and untangible, has reached us, making Pasaia an important centre of Basque maritime heritage. Fishing, trading and shipbuilding are still part of our economy, but the cultural and historical features related to these activities are more visible nowadays thanks to the initiative of associations working to recover this heritage.

By taking part in the organization of this Festival, we want to shine a spotlight on the seafaring identity of Pasaia, turning our town into an international model of maritime heritage, as well as creating wealth around new activities and services based on the recovery, appreciation and development of this rich legacy.

We invite you to share this celebration of maritime culture with Pasaia!

Xabier Agote

– DIRECTOR OF PASAIA ITSAS FESTIBALA –

Twenty years ago the Local Development Agency Oarsoaldea and the association Albaola joined together for a common project; the aim was to highlight the history and maritime heritage of Pasaia by the building and sailing of traditional boats. It was a hopeful start in a challenging context, mainly due to the lack of nearby references. At that time the very concept of maritime heritage was alien to people, and the level of common knowledge about Basque maritime history was appallingly low. So it was an enormous challenge.

However, the effort made by Pasaia has been relentless. The beginnings were discreet, with the opening of a small but quaint boatbuilding workshop; it was open to the public, so visitors could see boats from different times being built, thus having a chance to discover the secrets of Basque maritime technology. It also was a way of recovering an extint heritage. But the activity wasn’t limited to the workshop; unlikely sailing outings started to happen, with the participation of many crewmembers that, in many cases, have never sailed before. As these people learned how to row and sail a boat they were also discovering the extraordinary history in which boats of that type had been involved.

Years came and went and the project grew; partners, sponsors, the media and public institutions contributed to develop many projects that helped making Pasaia into a Port of Maritime Heritage. Pasaia aspires to be worth its maritime history; throughout centuries its people endeavoured exceptional, epic maritime feats. Their ships linked oceans and cultures and, as it happens today, the waters of Pasaia hosted visiting ships from all over the world.

Because of all of this, Pasaia wants to celebrate its past and its present. As in the first edition in 2018, Pasaia will greet traditional boats of heritage value and their crews; boats that will reveal to everybody the cultural diversity of the sea, its history and its legends. We want their sails to fill under the gentle breeze of the port, captivating the public and suggesting how important the sea has been for all of us. It’s time to celebrate that shared heritage, and how better than by taking part on the Maritime Festival of Pasaia!

Izaskun Gómez Cermeño

– MAYORESS OF PASAIA TOWN COUNCIL –

I welcome you to this website on behalf of the municipality of Pasaia.

From May 28 to June 1, 2020, the second edition of the International Maritime Festival, a gathering of traditional boats, will be held in Pasaia. After the resounding success of the first edition held in May 2018, with ten countries represented by 110 vessels and 300 crewmembers, in 2020 we want to consolidate our commitment to authenticity, giving prominence to our maritime heritage and to ships of heritage value. The quality of the boats and their maritime cultural diversity is the basis of the character of the Pasaia Maritime Festival, as the 125,000 visitors of the first edition can attest.

Pasaia really threw itself into the Festival; both individuals and members of different associations generously volunteered in the organization of the event; I sincerely thank them for their time and dedication, as only this joint effort made the Festival a reality.

In 2020 Pasaia will once again become the centre of Maritime Heritage. For five days it will be the stage on which will converge representatives of cultural and maritime heritage from all over the world,  so important for the social development of Pasaia. The Festival will allow us to have a look into our past, relive our history and have a glimpse into the daily life of our sailors of old. The waters of the bay will be full of traditional boats from different parts of the world that will inspire us.

Pasaia is a town which grew up in a natural harbor and has been involved in maritime activities for thousands of years. It has been one of the main centres of the evolution of shipbuilding, with many shipyards and renowned seamen. All this legacy, tangible and untangible, has reached us, making Pasaia an important centre of Basque maritime heritage. Fishing, trading and shipbuilding are still part of our economy, but the cultural and historical features related to these activities are more visible nowadays thanks to the initiative of associations working to recover this heritage.

By taking part in the organization of this Festival, we want to shine a spotlight on the seafaring identity of Pasaia, turning our town into an international model of maritime heritage, as well as creating wealth around new activities and services based on the recovery, appreciation and development of this rich legacy.

We invite you to share this celebration of maritime culture with Pasaia!

Xabier Agote

– DIRECTOR OF PASAIA ITSAS FESTIBALA –

Twenty years ago the Local Development Agency Oarsoaldea and the association Albaola joined together for a common project; the aim was to highlight the history and maritime heritage of Pasaia by the building and sailing of traditional boats. It was a hopeful start in a challenging context, mainly due to the lack of nearby references. At that time the very concept of maritime heritage was alien to people, and the level of common knowledge about Basque maritime history was appallingly low. So it was an enormous challenge.

However, the effort made by Pasaia has been relentless. The beginnings were discreet, with the opening of a small but quaint boatbuilding workshop; it was open to the public, so visitors could see boats from different times being built, thus having a chance to discover the secrets of Basque maritime technology. It also was a way of recovering an extint heritage. But the activity wasn’t limited to the workshop; unlikely sailing outings started to happen, with the participation of many crewmembers that, in many cases, have never sailed before. As these people learned how to row and sail a boat they were also discovering the extraordinary history in which boats of that type had been involved.

Years came and went and the project grew; partners, sponsors, the media and public institutions contributed to develop many projects that helped making Pasaia into a Port of Maritime Heritage. Pasaia aspires to be worth its maritime history; throughout centuries its people endeavoured exceptional, epic maritime feats. Their ships linked oceans and cultures and, as it happens today, the waters of Pasaia hosted visiting ships from all over the world.

Because of all of this, Pasaia wants to celebrate its past and its present. As in the first edition in 2018, Pasaia will greet traditional boats of heritage value and their crews; boats that will reveal to everybody the cultural diversity of the sea, its history and its legends. We want their sails to fill under the gentle breeze of the port, captivating the public and suggesting how important the sea has been for all of us. It’s time to celebrate that shared heritage, and how better than by taking part on the Maritime Festival of Pasaia!