Make SeaFest part of your 2018 plans

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As we dive into a new year, it’s the perfect time to plan some fun activities for the year ahead. One weekend not to be missed is SeaFest, taking place in Galway from 29th June to 1st July 2018.

SeaFest has quickly become one of the most popular summer festivals in Ireland, and the 2018 event will offer a host of exciting activities and attractions for all ages, on and around the water.

The three-day festival will cover all things marine – from seafood cookery to science, exploring the ships that transport us to discovering the creatures of the deep.

SeaFest is a key part of Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth: An Integrated Marine Plan for Ireland (HOOW) and its goal of increasing participation and engagement with the sea.

The ocean covers 71 percent of the earth’s surface, and the ocean produces more than half of the oxygen we breathe. It supports diverse ecosystems and is a major influence on our weather and climate too.

Our ocean is a valuable source of food, a means of transport, and for the 1.9 million people who live within 5km of Ireland’s coast our ocean offers many tourism and leisure opportunities.

The ocean affects our lives, no matter how far you live from the shore.

Join us at SeaFest 2018 to celebrate our seas and to learn more about Ireland’s valuable marine resource.

It will be a weekend of seafaring fun for those of all ages – so make sure SeaFest is part of your 2018 plans!

SAVE THE DATE:
SeaFest 2018 – Galway – 29th June to 1st July

Emily and Hannah Ross from Athenry on board the RV Celtic Explorer at SeaFest 2017. 
Photo: Andrew Downes, xposure. 

 

‘Sea’sons greetings from SeaFest

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As we sail into the end of 2017, we would like to wish our SeaFest supporters a happy holiday season!

A huge thank you to our volunteers, partners, businesses and the Galway community, for your support and involvement in this year’s festival. We really appreciate your efforts in making SeaFest 2017 a success – we couldn’t have done it without you!

Although a relative newcomer to the festival scene, SeaFest has quickly become one of the most popular summer festivals in Ireland. It creates awareness of our maritime heritage and celebrates the many ways that our seas and oceans enrich our lives.

This year, 101,113 visitors flocked to Galway Harbour for Ireland’s largest maritime festival. Galway Harbour was a spectacular sight with performances from World Champion Flyboarders, tours of the LÉ Ciara, Granuaile, RV Celtic Explorer and the tall ship The Phoenix, free kayaking and sailing sessions were on offer too. With seafood cookery shows, a huge display from the Defence Forces, talks from marine-inspired entrepreneurs, and a range of activities for kids – there was truly something for everyone.

We’re delighted to be returning to Galway for SeaFest 2018, from 29th June to 1st July – so make sure to put those dates in your diary!

Plans are already underway to build on the entertaining and educational experiences offered at this year’s festival, to ensure SeaFest 2018 is a memorable event.

It will be a weekend of fun, family friendly events not to be missed!

SeaFest returns to Galway in 2018

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SeaFest, Ireland’s biggest and most spectacular maritime festival, will return to Galway in 2018. SeaFest 2018 will take place from 29th June to 1st July – a weekend of fun, family friendly events not to be missed.

More than 100,000 visitors flocked to Galway Harbour to enjoy a host of activities and entertainment on and around the water for SeaFest 2017. World Champion Flyboarders performed breath-taking aerial acrobatics in the heart of Galway’s ship-filled harbour. There were open tours of the tall ship The Phoenix, Irish naval vessel LÉ Ciara, and the Marine Institute’s research vessel RV Celtic Explorer. Visitors also took to the water and gave kayaking and sailing a go with the Irish Sailing Association offering disabled access to budding sailors.

BIM and Bord Bia hosted a showcase of Irish seafood with live cookery and fishmongery demonstrations, as well as interactive exhibits and displays of live fish and shellfish species. A huge display from the Defence Forces was popular with the young and the young at heart. The LookWest.ie Marquee hosted talks from marine-inspired entrepreneurs based in the West of Ireland.

The dedicated Kids Zone kept little hands busy with art and craft workshops, storytelling sessions and face-painting. The festival programme also included the interactive gallery, The Wild Atlantic – Sea Science, at Galway City Museum and an exhibition on polar explorer Roald Amundsen at NUI Galway.

SeaFest deepens our knowledge and appreciation of the ocean, celebrates our maritime heritage and also generates awareness about Ireland’s abundant marine resources. SeaFest 2018 will aim to build on the entertaining and educational experiences offered at this year’s festival.

SeaFest is coordinated by the Marine Institute, on behalf of the Marine Coordination Group. For more information, follow SeaFest on Facebook and Twitter.

SAVE THE DATE:
SeaFest 2018 – Galway – 29th June to 1st July

World Champion flyboarders created swirls of excitement with acrobatic and daredevil displays powering through the air on jets of seawater during Seafest 2017.
Photo: Andrew Downes, xposure

RTE Nationwide to showcase SeaFest 2017

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Wednesday 5th July, 7.00pm on RTÉ One

On Nationwide this evening, the programme is in the harbour in Galway City for the 2017 SeaFest, Ireland’s biggest maritime festival.  Mary Kennedy talks to festival co-ordinator Johnny Donnelly who speaks about the festival fun and the educational message that SeaFest has to share.  The programme meets Dr. Peter Heffernan of the Marine Institute whose work in the seas around Ireland is vitally important.   RTE Nationwide also explores the Celtic Explorer to see how technology investigates our marine resource, and visits the new interactive sea science gallery at Galway City Museum.

Viewers will also find out more about the fun activities that can be enjoyed in the waters around our coast. A preview for tonight’s programme can be viewed below.

 

Brian Boru sets sail from Galway on Safe Haven Ireland voyage

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The wooden sailing ketch Brian Boru has set sail from Galway on 3 July 2017, the last ship to depart from the successful three day celebration of SeaFest 2017.

The Brian Boru, is specifically modified for for carrying passengers on voyages of discovery learning about the heritage and wildlife of Ireland. The voyage will head for Limerick with eight teenagers from six countries including Ireland on board, as part of a Safe Haven Ireland voyage.

Using sailing as an experience to develop understanding and knowledge about different countries, Safe Haven Ireland voyages builds community relationships in Ireland and empowers young people through various youth development initiatives.

Teenagers on the Safe Haven Ireland voyage enjoying the SeaFest 2017 festivities with Shauna Gillan CEO and Founder of Safe Haven Ireland, Dr John Killeen Chairman of the Marine Institute and Dr Peter Heffernan CEO of the Marine Institute.

CEO and founder of Safe Haven Ireland, Shauna Gillan said, “Bringing people together through sailing is a very positive learning opportunity. We have seen shy young people blossom on board over the course of a week as they form new friendships. Some of these young people are coming from war zones, and they learn to trust themselves and each other as well as overcome personal and physical challenge on board.

The teenagers from Afghanistan, Albania, Bolivia, South Africa, Botswana and the Aran Islands will learn how to sail a ship and how to navigate in challenging Irish coastal waters, making their own decisions about what course to plot over the week. In the process they learn the vital importance of working as a team 24-hours a day, as they take the helm, raise and lower sails, stand watch, cook for each other and keep the vessel ship-shape.

“We have a simple mission – sailing for all. Sailing is truly a transformative adventure and it something really special when you see young people take on the challenge of a long sea voyage. With the support from SeaFest, including the Marine Institute, this trip will provide the new crew an opportunity to learn about how the ocean has a significant influence on our lives,” Ms Gillan said.

SeaFest 2017 nets 101,000 visitors

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Ireland’s national maritime festival SeaFest attracted 101,113 visitors to Galway Harbour during the three day event, generating €6.3 million for the city.

The figures, just released show a phenomenal 68% growth in attendance in just one year. Last year SeaFest saw 60,000 visitors attend the festival in Galway, and in 2015, its inaugural year, it netted 10,000 visitors.

Dr John Killeen, Chairman of the Marine Institute said, “Our Ocean Wealth Summit and SeaFest 2017 have both exceeded our expectations in terms of attendance and also for creating public awareness of the immense marine resources which are abundant around the island of Ireland. We are now, as a country, beginning to become more aware of the potential wealth that can be generated by our seas. SeaFest offers a platform to engage the public in the importance of our seas and the contribution to our local and national economy.”

Figures released by SEMRU at Our Ocean Wealth Summit, held as part of SeaFest on Friday 30 June, show that Ireland’s ‘blue economy’ is performing better than the general economy. The figures indicate that the direct economic value of Ireland’s ocean economy was €1.8 billion or approximately 0.9% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016, which represents a 20% increase on 2014 levels.

On a local level SeaFest 2017 generated €6.3 million in direct income for the city’s tourism industry. Accommodation, restaurants and other businesses across Galway benefited from the huge influx of people that descended on Galway Harbour over the weekend.

Repro free: Friday 30th June 2017. A swell start to SeaFest as thousands of visitors turned up in Galway today for the first day of festivities. The national maritime festival is in Galway this weekend (Friday June 30th to Sunday July 2nd) with a packed programme of free, family friendly activities and entertainment on offer for all ages. Pictured was New Zealand's champion flyboarder Beau Weston. Picture Jason Clarke

Galway City Council’s Mayor Pearce Flannery said, “SeaFest was a spectacular success and once again shows Galway’s unrivalled capacity to hold national and international maritime events. Galway has enormous potential to become a leader in the marine world, given it is home to The Marine Institute and The Ryan Institute at NUI Galway, and its natural harbour which is a magnificent resource for the city.”

Speaking about the success of SeaFest, Dr. Peter Herffernan 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 and stage this largescale event. Our festival volunteers also played an important role in making SeaFest 2017 one to remember.”

Galway Harbour was transformed into a giant interactive ‘sea world’ for the three day festival and the waterfront was awash with non-stop activities and entertainment for those of all ages. All the events taking place during SeaFest were all free for festival-goers. Crowds got to enjoy thrilling performances and breath-taking aerial acrobatics in the heart of the harbour from World’s Ladies Flyboard champion Kristen Smoyer and New Zealand’s Beau Weston. Free sailing and kayaking was on offer and the Irish Sailing Association also offered disabled access for budding sailors over the weekend. There were open tours available on a number of vessels in the ship filled harbour including the tall ship The Phoenix, the Irish naval vessel LÉ Ciara, the Commissioners of Irish Lights Granuaile and the Marine Institute’s research vessel the RV Celtic Explorer.

The huge display from the Defence Forces was popular with the young and young at heart. BIM and Bord Bia’s Seafood Experience featured live cookery and fishmongery demonstrations, as well as interactive exhibits and displays of live fish and shellfish species. Marine-inspired entrepreneurs based in the West of Ireland shared their stories in the LookWest.ie Marquee. Children got creative with the art and craft workshops in the dedicated Kids Zone, and enjoyed storytelling sessions, face painting and marine-art installations. Roving seafaring entertainment from sword-fighting pirates and giant sea themed puppets also added to the exciting carnival atmosphere. SeaFest 2017 also extended to the Latin Quarter, Salthill and Rusheen Bay, and The Wild Atlantic – Sea Science gallery at Galway City Museum, and an exhibition on polar explorer Roald Amundsen at NUI Galway, was also part of the festival line-up.

SeaFest returns to Galway June 29th to July 1st 2018

Thank You from SeaFest

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After many months of planning and a fun filled weekend of events in Galway, we bid a fond farewell to SeaFest 2017. It came and went like the surf on the tide!

We’d like to thank everyone who came along and participated in SeaFest – we hope you enjoyed celebrating our seas with us. It was wonderful to see so many happy and inquisitive faces learning all about our marine world, sampling seafood treats, getting out on the water, watching flyboarders doing acrobatics and generally having a great time at our locations around Galway! Our industry events – which increased in number this year – were also highly successful.

Thanks also to all of our stakeholders, partners and sponsors who put in so much effort to help make SeaFest 2017 a success, Thanks also to our festival organiser Arcana, our suppliers and to the media who have shown great support for SeaFest, year on year.

We really appreciate all the volunteers who brought enthusiasm and positivity to visitors at SeaFest. Also a big thanks to the people and businesses of Galway – we couldn’t have done it without you.

SeaFest has quickly become one of the most popular summer festivals in Ireland. It creates awareness of our maritime heritage and celebrates the amazing ways that our seas and oceans enrich our lives.

We’re delighted to be returning to Galway for SeaFest 2018 – we’ll be back 29 June to 1 July next year so make sure to put those dates in your diary. Thanks again for making this year’s festival such a huge success!

#seafest #celebratingourseas

A fintastic finish for final day of SeaFest

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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.”

‪Taoiseach attends SeaFest 2017

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Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD was today welcomed to Galway for Ireland’s biggest and most spectacular maritime festival, SeaFest 2017.

‪The Taoiseach greeted festival-goers and enjoyed the huge range of activities and entertainment taking place in Galway Harbour and Docks, on the second day of the event.

Dr. Peter Heffernan CEO Marine Institute with an Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD and Hildegarde Naughton TD at Seafest 2017, Photo: Andrew Downes, xposure .

‪The Taoiseach toured scientific vessels and was entertained by the aerial acrobatics from PowerFly’s world champion flyboarders swirling in the air on pump-powered jet packs in the heart of the harbour.

He was also greeted by the Port of Galway Sea Scouts, viewed Saor Bad/Boatbuilders demonstrations and spoke with marine-inspired entrepreneurs in the LookWest.ie Marquee.

Photo: Andrew Downes, xposure

‪Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD said, “I am delighted to be in Galway for SeaFest, a great festival that celebrates Ireland’s maritime heritage and raises awareness about the opportunities provided by our ocean. I really enjoyed seeing the ships, seafood displays, water sports and marine science exhibitions. The West of Ireland will benefit greatly from our growing marine economy.”

‪Thousands flocked to Galway Harbour to take part in the packed programme of free, family friendly activities and entertainment. SeaFest is expected to attract between 100,000 over the three days of the festival.

‪The festival showcases Galway as a leading maritime centre, and the west of Ireland is expected to benefit greatly from Ireland’s blue economy, which is estimated to be worth more than €6 billion by 2020.

‪As well as tours of famous ships, and world-champion flyboarders, festival-goers also took to the water, taking advantage of the free sailing and kayaking sessions on offer. The Irish Sailing Association is also offering disabled access for budding sailors over the weekend.

Photo: Andrew Downes, xposure .

‪The three-day festival includes a seafood showcase from BIM and Bord Bia, as well as live cookery and fishmonger demonstrations from some of Ireland’s top chefs. Defence Force Displays, RNLI and Coast Guard air and sea shows were also part of the festival line-up.

‪Children were kept busy creating sea creatures at art and craft workshops, storytelling sessions and touch tank displays. Roving entertainment from bungling buccaneers, comic fisherman and giant angel fish and pirate puppets.

‪The maritime festival also features The Wild Atlantic – Sea Science, a new marine science gallery at Galway City Museum, and a unique exhibition on polar explorer Roald Amundsen at NUI Galway. Festivities also extend across Galway, with activities in the Latin Quarter, Salthill and Rusheen Bay.

‪Sunday July 2nd is the final day of SeaFest 2017, with activities taking place from 10am to 6pm. For more information and the full festival programme visit www.seafest.ie

Highlights of the ‪Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD visit to SeaFest, thanks to Mixed Bag Media – https://vimeo.com/223945085

 

A swell start to SeaFest

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Repro free: Friday 30th June 2017. A swell start to SeaFest as thousands of visitors turned up in Galway today for the first day of festivities. The national maritime festival is in Galway this weekend (Friday June 30th to Sunday July 2nd) with a packed programme of free, family friendly activities and entertainment on offer for all ages. Pictured was New Zealand's champion flyboarder Beau Weston. Picture Jason Clarke

Thousands flock west for first day of SeaFest 

Thousands of visitors turned up in Galway today for the first day of SeaFest. If today’s figures are anything to go by and forecasts are right, this year’s SeaFest is set to be ‘the biggest and most spectacular’ sea festival ever staged in Ireland. The national maritime festival is in Galway this weekend (Friday June 30th to Sunday July 2nd) with a packed programme of free, family friendly activities and entertainment on offer for all ages.

A relative new comer to the festival scene, SeaFest is only in its third year, but it has already inspired the hearts and minds of many. Having grown from a relatively small event, attracting 10,000 visitors in 2015, it is now one of the biggest family friendly festivals of its kind in the country, and is expected to attract between 80,000 and 100,000 to Galway over the weekend.

Famous ships, flyboarding, sensational seafood and Defence Force displays drew the crowds to the opening day of SeaFest. Galway Harbour has been transformed into a giant, interactive “sea world” with the entire waterfront awash with non-stop water based activity for the festival. Every inch of the port is crammed with boats, over 100, of all shapes and sizes, including sailing, scientific and navy ships. Visitors can climb aboard and explore the tall ship The Phoenix, the Irish naval vessel LÉ Ciara, the Commissioners of Irish Lights Granuaile and the Marine Institute’s research vessel the Celtic Explorer. Free sailing and kayaking sessions are also on offer to get people out on the water and amongst Galway’s ship-filled harbour. The Irish Sailing Association’s ‘Try Sailing’ sessions are also offering disabled access for budding sailors over the weekend.

World’s Ladies Flyboard champion Kristen Smoyer and New Zealand’s Beau Weston, champion flyboarder and extreme sports expert, are stunning crowds with their breath-taking aerial acrobatics as they swirl in the air on pump-powered jet packs in the heart of the harbour.

BIM and Bord Bia are showcasing the finest of Irish seafood and hosting  live cookery and fishmongery demonstrations with top chefs Rory O’Connell, Oliver Dunne and Michael O’Meara. LookWest.ie are presenting a line-up of talks and displays from marine-inspired entrepreneurs. There is traditional boat building, RNLI and Coast Guard air and sea rescue demonstrations and kids were busy creating their own sea creatures and exploring the deep sea in the Kids Zone.​ Roving seafaring entertainment including sword-fighting buccaneers, the colourful and comic ‘Claddagh Clan’, and giant sea-themed puppets exploding onto the street add to the exciting carnival atmosphere.

The festival also features the Wild Atlantic- Sea Science, a new marine science gallery at Galway City Museum, and a unique exhibition on polar explorer Roald Amundsen at NUI Galway. Festivities will also extend across Galway, with activities taking place in the Latin Quarter, Salthill and Rusheen Bay.
SeaFest will continue over the weekend, with activities taking place from 10am to 6pm each day.

For more information visit www.seafest.ie