Teesside will host more than 100 tall ships during the summer of 2010.
Tall ships on Tyneside in 2005 attracted 1.5m visitors
Hartlepool has been chosen as the finishing point for the prestigious Tall Ships Race.
Special events are planned in celebration for the vessels which will berth at Jackson Dock and Hartlepool Marina for three days in early August.
It is a major boost for the region, with the Tyneside leg of the race in 2005 bringing an estimated £50m into the local economy.
In 2010, the ships will sail from Belgium to Denmark, then to Kristiansand for the start of the second leg.
They are expected to arrive in Hartlepool over the weekend of 6 and 7 August, and will remain until 10 August.
Hartlepool Mayor Stuart Drummond said: "These are excellent dates because they fall in the middle of the school summer holidays.
"The Tall Ships Race attracts world-wide publicity and being a host port presents a great opportunity to showcase the town.
"The council and other key organisations have already met on a few occasions to start to plan for the event and now we know the dates, things will be stepped up in the months ahead."