Portsmouth will host the International Festival of the Sea from 24-27 August. The theme of this year's event is 'A voyage from the past into the future'.
British Aerospace has signed as primary sponsor and Rolls Royce has come on board as a secondary sponsor. A pounds 500,000 advertising campaign to promote the festival will be rolled out on Meridian TV, and in newspapers and specialist magazines.
More than 1,000 ships from 19 countries will attend the event along with 2,000 musicians. The organisers expect to attract about 300,000 visitors.