The captain of a German ship set to take part in tomorrow's Tall Ships Race say he and his crew have been given a warm welcome since arriving into Sunderland.
The Alexander von Humboldt II, whose home port is Bremerhaven, docked earlier this week.
The ship's captain Mike Vosgerau, who also captained the original Alexander von Humboldt vessel, told the Echo: "We've been in Sunderland since the 10th and it's been very good so far.
"We had the captains' dinner on Wednesday evening which was very nice and the crew have taken part in a lot of activities such as the sports competitions with the other crews and the parade through the city yesterday."
Mr Vosgerau added that preparations will now be stepped up ahead of the ship leaving Sunderland at the start of the race tomorrow.
"People have been very nice. We've got a skeleton crew on board at the minute but with the crew change we'll have plenty more.
"We'll have a lot of people on board who are maybe only sailing for the first or second time.
"The race is very short compared to others but we'll have to see where we finish in the rankings.
"The weather in the North Sea coming here was not too bad, which was a nice change and hopefully it will be the same tomorrow.