Liverpool will host the world famous Tall Ships' Race during its year as European Capital of Culture.
Tall ships like these will be heading for the Mersey
Organisers, Sail Training International, said the city would be the 'host port' for the July start of the 2008 race.
Liverpool was selected ahead of more than a dozen major European ports.
The race will head for Norway before ending in the Netherlands. It will bring almost 100 tall ships and more than 3,000 crew members to the Mersey.
One million people are expected to witness the spectacular sight of the tall ship fleet.
It will include a dazzling array of vessels, from 30 foot yachts to square-rigged ships over 300 feet long.
The Leader of Liverpool City Council, Councillor Mike Storey said: ''This is a fantastic boost for Liverpool as we look forward to becoming Capital of Culture.
"The arrival of the Tall Ships on our waterfront in 2008 and the Parade of Sail as they leave will be a truly spectacular sight. "
As part of the deal to host The Tall Ship's Race, the city council will be involved in a huge programme to promote sail training to young people.
The tall ships will be in England before 2008 however when they call at Newcastle Gateshead in late July 2005.