Thousands of visitors will flock to Galway for what is expected to be the "biggest and most spectacular" sea festival ever staged in Ireland. The national maritime festival, SeaFest 2017, will be held in Galway from 30 June to 2 July 2017.
Last year, SeaFest attracted more than 60,000 visitors to the city adding to Galway's reputation as the 'festival capital of Ireland.' The festival will this year expand to include new activities around Galway Harbour, as well as in Salthill and the nearby Latin Quarter.
Galway Harbour will be transformed into an 'open air sea world' for the three-day festival with a host of family-friendly entertainment and attractions on the water. PowerFly's world-champion flyboarders will perform stunning aerial acrobatics up to 15 metres in the air, showcasing their awe-inspiring skills using pump-powered jet packs.
Another top attraction will be the return of the famous tall ship, The Phoenix. This historic sailing ship has featured in numerous television productions and big screen movies, most recently In the Heart of the Sea, and the Golden Globe nominated series Outlander. As The Phoneix sails around the Irish coast from its homeport in Charlestown Harbour Cornwall, the tall ship will also stop overnight in Kilronan on the Aran Islands.
Dr John Killeen Chair of the Marine Institute said SeaFest 2017 will build on the enormously successful seafaring events that have previously been held in Galway.
"This is going to be a truly spectacular festival rivalling anything in Europe, and attract up to 100,000 visitors," Dr Killeen said.
"There is an ever increasing interest in the sea and in seafaring activities all around our coast and SeaFest offers a unique blend of fun, family entertainment, ocean science and marine research which will attract a huge number of visitors.
"Galway is one of Ireland's leading maritime centres and SeaFest will match the city's reputation as a great place to stage festival events. We hope this national festival will become, over the next few years, a 'must-see' activity in the Irish events calendar," Dr Killeen said.
As well as tours of ocean going vessels, there will be aquatic displays, exhibits on marine life and fun educational activities to introduce children to the science and mysteries of the ocean. The programme of events will also include a seafood fair, interactive exhibitions and seafaring family entertainment.
SeaFest is co-ordinated by the Marine Institute, on behalf of the Marine Coordination Group.