Thousands ‘sea’ SeaFest in Galway

Try Sailing  at Seafest 2017, the National Maritime Festival which ran at the weekend in Galway. Photo:Andrew Downes, xposure .Thousands flocked to Galway Harbour for the third and final day of SeaFest 2017, Ireland's national maritime festival. SeaFest is on track to be the biggest and most spectacular sea festival ever staged in Ireland. Although a relative newcomer to the festival scene, SeaFest is shaping up to be one of the biggest family festivals in the country, and is expected to have attracted between 80,000 and 100,000 visitors over the three days.

A flotilla of the famous Galway Hookers, setting sail from Galway, was a spectacular sight for festival-goers on the final day of the festival. The action on the water continued with world-champion flyboarders, Kristen Smoyer and Beau Weston, swirling up to 15 metres in the air on pump-powered jet packs in the heart of the harbour.

Visitors also took to the water and gave kayaking and sailing a go, with the Irish Sailing Association also offering disabled access for budding sailors. The tall ship The Phoenix, Irish naval vessel LÉ Ciara, the Commissioners of Irish Lights vessel the Granuaile, and the Marine Institute's research vessel the RV Celtic Explorer were all open for tours.

BIM and Bord Bia hosted a showcase of Irish seafood as well as live cookery and fishmongery demonstrations with some of Ireland's top chefs. The dedicated Kids Zone kept little hands busy with art and craft workshops, art installations, storytelling sessions, and face painting. Defence Force displays, traditional boat-building, and talks with marine inspired entrepreneurs entertained all.

Dr Peter Heffernan, CEO of the Marine Institute was delighted with the number of people who gathered in Galway Harbour to enjoy the festivities.

"SeaFest is all about celebrating the sea, and this weekend proved that the ocean is not only a valuable marine resource, but a source of fun and entertainment and it was great to see so many visitors enjoying the attractions and activities on the water," Dr Heffernan said.

"This festival would not have been possible without the huge support from a wide range of local, regional and national agencies who came together to plan this event. Our festival volunteers also played an important role in making SeaFest 2017 one to remember."


For more information please contact

Sinead Coyne, Marine Institute - 087 9477090

Lisa Fitzpatrick, Marine Institute - 087 2250871