SeaFest Kids Colouring Competition Winner for May

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Bea, age 8, from Dublin is the winner of the SeaFest Kids Colouring Competition for May 2018. The colourful picture of the RV Celtic Explorer, has earned Bea a €50 Eason Ireland Gift Card.

SeaFest social media was a splash of colour this month, with a wave of colouring competition entries flooding in from across Ireland  – Galway, Clare, Mayo, and as far as Waterford and Dublin. See all the creative entries in the Facebook photo album – SeaFest Colouring Competition May Entries.

The SeaFest Kids Colouring Competition will be open until the end of July 2018 and a winner will be announced again in June and July. Each winner will be awarded a €50 Eason Ireland Gift Card.

To enter the competition, get creative and colour in the picture of the RV Celtic Explorer docked in Galway Harbour at last year’s SeaFest, drawn by urban illustrator Róisín Curé. Take a photo of the finished creation and upload to Facebook or Twitter and add #SeaFest and post on the SeaFest Facebook page or tag SeaFest on Twitter. Add your first name, age and county/country to your post. Remember to make your Facebook post public, so SeaFest can see your entry.

Download a copy of the SeaFest Kids Colouring Competition from the Kids Zone on the SeaFest website. You can also find a copy of the colouring competition in the latest edition of the Galway Advertiser.

Bea, Age 8, Co Dublin 

Creating Waves for Sustainability & Biodiversity | Explorers Education Programme and Galway Atlantaquaria

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Deep blue knowledge at #SeaFest18


Through the Explorers Education Programme, supported by the Marine Institute, primary school students around Ireland are becoming more aware of the value and opportunities provided by our ocean. Galway Atlantaquaria are one of the Explorers Outreach Centres, and we’re delighted to have the Ireland’s largest native species aquarium as part of SeaFest 2018.

@GalwayAquarium is Ireland’s largest native species aquarium and will have a @explorersedu stand promoting sustainability and biodiversity in @portofgalway for #SeaFest18Click To Tweet

Diving straight in

Galway Atlantaquaria Director of Education Dr. Noirin Burke is looking forward to diving straight in at SeaFest 2018.

“SeaFest is one of the biggest events for us in our calendar year. Our aim is simply to increase awareness about ocean literacy among the general public.

“It’s just a brilliant way to showcase what we’re doing out in schools while sharing our principles in a family friendly way. We really want to create conversations about the ocean and its value to humankind.”

“Join us for deep blue ocean conversations at #SeaFest18. We promise to excite and educate.” Dr. Noirin Burke @GalwayAquariumClick To Tweet

Looking outwards instead of inwards

Dr. Burke understands that most Irish people are familiar with the sea, but says more work needs to be done for them to realise its true importance.

“I personally feel there’s a bit of a nature deficit among society overall, and the ocean is something we can easily take for granted. I think it’s because we tend look inwards and don’t realise how much there is to explore out there.

“So, while people may be aware of goods and services coming into this country through shipping, they don’t realise to what extent, or the quantity.

“Then there’s other things like the important role the ocean plays in oxygen production, or how our climate and weather is influenced by it. The sorts of things that aren’t necessarily taught in science books.”

It’s time for Irish people to look outwards not inwards at the @GalwayAquarium @ExplorersEdu stand at #SeaFest18Click To Tweet

Recycling the important messages

And what about conservation and sustainability?

“Well yes there’s so much that we can cover with people in a nice, easy to follow way. Things like fisheries – so, sustainable stocks, and seafood. Then you’ve got marine literacy, which is our understanding of our impact on the sea such like marine litter. People often don’t think of it coming from a land-based source, like it being carried by the wind for example.

“There’s also ocean acidification, and how increasing carbon dioxide in our atmosphere is affecting the pH of the ocean, with a knock-on effect on marine animals and plants.

“In general, people are very interested to know these things and also to find out how they might help as well.”

We’ll be recycling lots of important message about biodiversity and sustainability at the @GalwayAquarium @ExplorersEdu stand at #SeaFest18Click To Tweet

Fishing for litter

Dr. Burke goes on to say that these themes will be talked about in lots of detail, particular when it comes to the modern issue of plastic in our oceans.

“At the Explorer’s stand at SeaFest, we want to look at a few different themes. I mean, one will be increasing awareness of the biodiversity in our oceans. Another will be looking at ocean acidification. And then we also want to look at how long it takes for materials to break down.

‘By getting visitors to the stand to sieve through sand with bits of litter in it, we will look at types of litter and what they look like as they break down into smaller pieces’. We call it fishing for litter.”

Take the opportunity to go fishing for litter and clean up our beaches at the @GalwayAquarium Stand at #SeaFest18Click To Tweet

Making one small change

Dr. Burke is asking all of us to consider One Small Change.

“We want people to look at changing simple things, like your Keep-cup, your normal china cup, your biodegradable cup, and your standard disposable cup that’s going to end up in the bin, then ask if you would consider changing away from one that becomes rubbish.

“This translates through to a lot of items like plastic bottles, take away food containers, straws and even poo bags for your dog.

“It’s getting people to think about what one small change they can make?? And then address it. And it’s about re-educating everyone on what’s rubbish, what’s reusable, what’s biodegradable and what’s recyclable. So that both kids and  adults are engaged in the conversation.”

We want everyone to make #OneSmallChange with regards to plastic at the @GalwayAquarium @ExplorersEdu stand at #SeaFest18Click To Tweet

Come visit us at SeaFest

So, will the Atlantaquaria be where it’s at over the weekend?

“Definitely, both in Salthill and at the harbour. Our usual tours, feedings and talks will be happening between 10-6 each day at the aquarium in Salthill, and we’ll be bringing some of the aquarium with us, to the harbour. You’ll be able to see some native small sharks and starfish, and other seashore animals at the Explorers Stand in the Kids Zone at Seafest all weekend.


Galway Atlantaquaria are one of many Explorers Education Programme centres based around Ireland

Explorers Education Programme centres in Ireland

Galway Atlantaquaria _ Schools in Co. Galway and programme co-ordination-

Loophead Summer Hedge School – Schools in Co. Clare-

Leave no Trace Ireland – Schools in Co. Mayo, Sligo and Donegal –

Sea Synergy – Schools in Kerry-

Old Cork Waterworks Experience – Schools in Cork –

Oceanics Surf and Education Centre – School in Waterford –

Marine Dimensions – Schools in Wicklow and Dublin –

For more information see

SeaFest Raises All Boats say Galway City Council

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Galway City Council Support Seafest

Galway City Council applaud collaborative effort for City

Galway City Council are a key partner, helping us make SeaFest 2018 one of the true wonders of the Wild Atlantic Way calendar of events.

They are equally proud of our city by the sea. Our local authority provides essential logistics and coordination over the three days as we welcome 100,000+ people to Galway Harbour.

#SeaFest18 simply wouldn’t be possible without the help of @GalwayCityCo Let’s raise all boats around #Galway for #SeaFest18Click To Tweet

Delira and excira

We’re delighted and excited that SeaFest is returning to the city in 2018,” says Caitriona Morgan, Galway City Council.

“For Galway City Council, it’s one of the most important events of the summer. We’re hoping to build on last year and attract even more visitors over the course of the weekend.”

We’re delighted and excited that #SeaFest18 is returning to @portofgalway June 29 – July1” Caitriona Morgan @GalwayCityCo' quote='“We’re delighted and excited that #SeaFest18 is returning to @portofgalway June 29 – July1” Caitriona Morgan @GalwayCityCoClick To Tweet

Lucky Galway

Caitriona knows how lucky Galway City is to have a festival like this in her own backyard.

“We’re very fortunate that Galway City is strategically located with a fantastic harbour just kilometres off the coastline. SeaFest is an excellent opportunity to allow us to showcase the benefits of the marine economy to our locals, to the region and to the country as a whole.”

“#SeaFest18 gives us the opportunity to showcase our city, fantastic @portofgalway harbour and coastline to our locals, the region, and the country as whole.” Caitriona Morgan @GalwayCityCoClick To Tweet

A welcome event for any city’s calendar

Caitriona also recognises the economic benefits of national marine-based festival.

“With the massive crowds, we’re estimating the event contributing €7 million to the local economy over the weekend and that’s massive.”

“Obviously, Galway is very fortunate in that we have a number of festivals and events over the summer but for one that’s right in the centre, that showcases so many facets of our local economy. I think it’s a welcome event for any city’s calendar”

#SeaFest18 as an event that’s right in city centre showcases so many facets of our local economy. It’s a welcome event for any city’s calendar.” Caitriona Morgan @GalwayCityCoClick To Tweet

Bringing the Council’s expertise to SeaFest

“We have vast experience in supporting events and so the Council are happy to put in the hours to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all the visitors over the course of the festival.

“I think visitors will be safe in the knowledge there’s a huge amount of expertise in terms of the logistics, event planning and event licensing and the scale of the festival is something that we welcome and are capable of facilitating.”

Galway City Council will bring a huge amount of expertise in terms of logistics event planning and event licensing to #SeaFest18 and it something that we welcome.” Catriona Morgan @GalwayCityCoClick To Tweet

Galway City Council also encourages festivals and events to adhere to best environmental practice. This year as part of the Galway City Council’s European Green Leaf Programme, businesses across Galway are supporting SeaFest by adopting actions to reduce single-use plastics for the weekend and beyond.

These initiatives help ensure Galway’s environment and beaches can be enjoyed for many years to come. Galway City Council’s beaches are valuable recreational facilities, and two – Salthill Beach and Silverstrand Beach – have been Blue Flag Beaches since 2006. The Blue Flag is awarded to beaches and marinas with excellent environmental management.

As well as Blue Flags, Galway City Council also has a Purple Flag. The Purple Flag is an international accreditation awarded to cities and towns that meet a standard of excellence in managing the evening economy.

Galway City Council’s message to you

“We’d like people who’ve been before to come with a fresh perspective and experience a lot of the new areas included in this year’s programme.

“There’s an educational element to it, there’s a business element to it. So, I would be saying to all of our visitors to come down to the docks. There will be something for everyone.”

Come and see all the new areas included at this year’s #SeaFest18 programme. There will be something for everyone.” Caitriona Morgan @GalwayCityCoClick To Tweet

SeaFest nominated for two National Event Industry Awards

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SeaFest 2017 has been nominated for two awards in The Event Industry Awards 2018. Ireland’s national maritime festival, SeaFest, has been shortlisted for ‘Best Live Event’ and ‘Best Cultural Event.’

The Event Industry Awards is the premier awards ceremony for the event sector in Ireland, and showcases the very highest standards in Ireland’s event industry. SeaFest 2017 is nominated alongside some of Ireland’s most outstanding events and festivals.

Sinéad Coyne, Communications Manager for SeaFest said, “We are really delighted and honoured to be shortlisted for two categories in this year’s Event industry Awards alongside so many well-established companies. Congratulations to everyone involved and we look forward to the awards ceremony on July 20th at Citywest Hotel, Dublin.”

SeaFest, Ireland’s national maritime festival, creates awareness of Ireland’s maritime heritage and celebrates the many ways our seas and oceans enrich our lives. A relative newcomer to the festival scene in Ireland, SeaFest has quickly become one of the most popular events in the country. Now in its fourth year, the festival has grown in attendance and scope – attracting 10,000 visitors in 2015, 60,000 visitors in 2016 and more than 100,000 visitors in 2017.

All entertainment, events and activities at SeaFest 2017 were free and 101,113 visitors flocked to Galway Harbour to enjoy a host of activities and entertainment on and around the water. In addition, the festival generated €6.3 million in direct income for Galway’s tourism industry.

Global event specialists, Arcana, were appointed event managers for SeaFest 2017 and worked with the Marine Institute and over 20 local, regional and national organisations and agencies to stage the three-day festival.

Don’t worry if you missed SeaFest 2017 though. This year’s festival, taking place in Galway Harbour from 29th June to 1st July, is shaping up to be another spectacular three-day event. For more information on SeaFest 2018, follow SeaFest on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

From Sea to Plate with the European Region of Gastronomy

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Galway Region of Gastronomy 2018

A celebration of world class seafood at SeaFest with the European Region of Gastronomy

Serving up delicious fishy fare

Galway European Region of Gastronomy Galway Van

Galway European Region of Gastronomy Galway Van

So, who likes food then? Okay then, who doesn’t like food? One of the best things about festivals is getting to try out some delicious new dishes, especially when it comes to seafood.As Galway is also a European Region of Gastronomy (ERG) 2018 they thought it would be only fitting to celebrate our local seafood and fishing industry, from its cultures and traditions to its innovative new recipes and ideas.

What better way to celebrate Galway as a European Region of Gastronomy than at #SeaFest18 with some delicious seafood fare with our partners @gastronomy2018Click To Tweet

Celebrating our fishing industry

Elaine Donoghue, Programme Lead with ERG wants to ensure everyone is included:

“First of all, we want to celebrate people within that industry through our theme from the sea to plate. So, you have fishermen, and producers adding value and a huge amount of craft.

“Then you have our restaurants in which we’re promoting Ireland as a seafood island. It’s about putting the food aspect on the table, so it doesn’t get lost amongst all the other entertainment around the city.”

“We want to raise awareness about the value and opportunities provided by Ireland’s marine resource. And focus on the food element of that.”

From fishermen & producers to top-quality restaurants, we want people to experience the whole story from #SeaToPlate at #SeaFest18” Elaine Donohue from @gastronomy2018'Click To Tweet

Give fish a chance

“We want to talk to the visitors that are coming to Galway. We want to engage and educate people of all ages who have an interest in fish, and where it comes from.

“So instead of people going for a burger at SeaFest, we’d like them to try the fish and chips instead.”

Galway burgers are great, but their fresh fish is even better. Give some a try at #SeaFest18” Elaine Donohue from @Gastronomy2018Click To Tweet

A long tradition of fishing in Galway

So, is there a tradition of fishy fare around this area?

“Galway has 689 kilometres of coastline and a superb fresh fish offering, we have a great tradition of curing, smoking and salting – particularly along the coast and on the islands.

“There is an abundance of towns and villages spread throughout the region, which for years have had fishing or eating fish as part of their identity. 

Galway in particular is perhaps best-known for oysters. Prior to the introduction of fast food outlets, oysters and mussels were the street food of Galway, and still to this day we are blessed wit ha rich tapestry of oyster farmers.”

Come and join @gastronomy2018 as they celebrate the long tradition of seafood in the area at #SeaFest18' Click To Tweet

SeaFest is just a part of the story

SeaFest is just part of their work says Elaine.

“Promoting the sea to plate story is something the programme has been doing elsewhere too.

“We’ve already supported the Wild Atlantic Wayfood Festival, in Letterfrack, where there were oyster and mussel farm tours. And we helped them expand it from an exhibition to actually getting people out onto farms along the coast to see how these producers work.  

“There’s a new festival coming up, a mackerel festival in Carorroe. We had some suppliers feature on TV show Nationwide and we’ve brought a group of producers and fishermen to Anjou in France, as the French are big into seafood.”

#SeaFest18 is another big focal point for some of the great work around the area in promoting Galway as a European Region of Gastronomy,’ Elaine Donohue from @gastronomy2018' Click To Tweet

Where can we catch you?

And so, what’s the plan for experiencing fresh Galway seafood at SeaFest?

“We’ll be putting our Galway Gastronomy van on site at the harbour, where we will have seafood cookery from BIM.

“They’ll be cooking squid and all sorts of speciality shellfish.”

Chefs from Galway Bay Seafoods, are going to come out and cook, there’ll be some cookery exhibitions as Gaelige, something for the kids and then we’ll offer any extra slots to chefs around the city with an interest in seafood.

Come and visit the Galway Gastronomy stand in Galway Harbour at #SeaFest18 for cookery exhibitions, our #SeaToPlate story and more @gastronomy2018Click To Tweet

Sea it all at the Atlantic Theatre

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Doug Allan films a Leopard Seal underwater.


A mesmerising cinematic experience will showcase some of the best ocean-inspired films and talks at SeaFest 2018. The Atlantic Theatre will host free talks from renowned cameraman Doug Allan, as well as screenings of the documentary Ireland’s Deep Atlantic and children’s animation, Song of the Sea.

The Atlantic Theatre is an exciting addition to Ireland’s spectacular maritime festival, taking place in Galway Harbour from 29th June to 1st July. A purpose-built marquee, to accommodate 500 people, will be erected at Galway Docks to create the Atlantic Theatre.

Ms Caroline Bocquel, Director of Corporate Services Marine Institute said, “Our ocean has always captured the imagination – from exploring the high seas to the mystery that lies beneath – the ocean has been inspiring writers, artists and musicians for centuries.

“As so much of our ocean still remains unexplored, filmmakers have played an important part in capturing marine life on camera, helping us to discover more about animal behaviour and the affect humans can have on our planet. The films and talks on offer at this year’s SeaFest aim to deepen our understanding and connection with the ocean.”

Taking centre stage for a series of engaging and inspiring talks is award-winning wildlife cameraman Doug Allan. With eight Emmy Awards and five BAFTAs, Doug Allan has become one of the world’s best known and respected cameramen. His work alongside Sir David Attenborough on documentaries such as BBC’s Blue Planet and Frozen Planet has seen him venture to some of the wildest and most remote places on the planet. Doug Allan will share his memorable moments from behind the lens at three different talks – Natural Born Thrillers, In the Company of Giants and Freeze Frame.

“We are delighted to be able to host seven talks from the renowned Doug Allan, all completely free to SeaFest visitors. His shows have been known to sell-out quickly, and we believe this will be one of the popular attractions at this year’s festival,” Ms Bocquel said.

Underwater cameraman Ken O’Sullivan will take us on a deep sea journey in search of whales, sharks and cold water coral reefs in the documentary Ireland’s Deep Atlantic. The series captured the attention of the entire country last month when the two-part series aired on RTÉ with ground-breaking footage of sea creatures in Irish waters. Irish audiences were wowed by the stunning imagery featured in Ireland’s Deep Atlantic describing it as “hypnotically beautiful”, “magical television” and “truly magnificent footage”. The documentary also explores the health of our ocean with the important message of conservation.

The Academy Award-nominated Song of the Sea is a film the whole family will enjoy. This animated feature, produced by Ireland’s Cartoon Saloon, is a fantastic tale that captivates audiences of all ages with its poetic animation and joyful storytelling. The film takes inspiration for the mythological Selkies of Irish folklore, who live as seals in the sea but become humans on land. Song of the Sea will be screened four times over the weekend, with one of these showings as Gaeilge.

The audio visual attractions continue with the 3D Under the Sea Dome. This engaging interactive experience will take viewers below the ocean surface to view creatures of all sizes – from tiny microscopic organisms to the enormous Humpback Whale. The film Dynamic Earth narrated by Liam Neeson explores the interlocking systems that shape our climate.

In addition to the Atlantic Theatre, SeaFest 2018 will also offer a host of activities on the water, such as performances from World-Champion Flyboarders, vessel tours, as well as sailing and kayaking sessions. Live seafood cookery demonstrations, a Defence Forces Display and kids’ activities are all part of the packed programme of free events.

For more information follow SeaFest on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Summer in Galway for SeaFest

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Summer in Galway at Seafest

An amazing maritime experience


It’ll be so great to ‘sea’ you all at Ireland’s national maritime festival. Here, in the city at the heart of the Wild Atlantic Way.

Galway truly comes alive in the summer months so there’ll be no better time and place to celebrate the sea and all its wonderful gifts than at our 4th annual festival.

Galway will truly come alive celebrating the seven seas at our 4th annual #SeaFest18

Treasuring our oceans


It’s also never been more important to treasure our oceans, both for its precious riches and for the long maritime tradition that has attracted sailors as legendary as Christopher Columbus to these hospitable shores.

It promises to be a fun and special weekend for people of all ages whether you fancy yourself as a budding marine biologist, or just love an early morning dip.

Join seafarers as legendary as Christopher Columbus by visiting Galway’s hospitable shores for #SeaFest2018


Make the weekend your own

So join the 100,000 visitors already planning to make this weekend their own, you’re guaranteed to have lots of fun and learn a lot about our surrounding waters too

Make the weekend your own with so many things to do at Galway’s #SeaFest18


Who should I bring?


SeaFest 2018 has so many treats in store that it will be sure to keep everyone captivated from curious kids to adrenaline junkies, and from wannabe seafarers to culinary connoisseurs.

It’s ideal for bringing the kids along, but there’s a full programme of events designed to keep adults of all interests engaged and entertained too.

#Seafest18 is an ideal weekend for little kids, big kids and even bigger kids. And there’s so much in store for adults too. So why not come and ‘Sea’ for yourself?


Where should I go?

Most of the action will be taking place down by Galway harbour where you can get some sailing lessons, go kayaking or enjoy a tour of Galway Bay on free guided pleasure boats. Here you’ll also find on the water events, our festival village, our main exhibition space and BIM / Bord Bia‘s Big Top on the Dock.

Bord Bia BIM Big Top Seafest

Bord Bia BIM Big Top Seafest Pic. John Sheehan Photography

Take a walk around our Festival Village which surrounds Galway Harbour. Immerse yourself in some audio visual experiences in the Atlantic Theatre or take in the breathtaking shores of Salthill.

Come down to Galway Docks to experience all the many amazing events that #Seafest18 has in store for you and all the family.

Will I need to splash out?


Only in the fun sense. All of the events and exhibitions are completely free, though you may have to pay for food and drink within the village. You won’t need a big chunk of change to enjoy #Seafest18.

Summer in Galway at Seafest

Summer in Galway at Seafest


What should I expect?


Outdoor fun

You’ll find Galway awash with culture, creativity and all round craziness over the three days, with a selection of outdoors events that varies from stepping aboard an Irish Navy vessel, taking kayak or sailing lessons, to a breath-taking display of acrobatics from some world champion flyboarders.

Galway will be awash with marine culture, creativity and all round craziness over three fun-filled days at #Seafest2018


Indoor engagement

If you’d don’t fancy the weather, or you’d prefer to be indoors there are lot of events and exhibitions happening around the city too.

In the Atlantic Theatre you can watch the charming Irish animation, Song of the Sea, or meet underwater wildlife cameraman, Doug Allan, who’s worked on the award winning Blue Planet and Frozen Planet. We’ll be showing some of his amazing work on the big screen.

Our mobile 3D Under Sea Dome will be sure to mesmerise the whole family, while Galway City Museum’s exhibition Sea Science – The Wild Atlantic which will showcase the marine science of our beloved ocean in an interactive and child-friendly way.

You’ll be enthralled by the big screen in the Atlantic Theatre, immersed in the Under Sea 3D Dome and captivated by the interactive exhibitions in the Galway City Museum at #Seafest18.


Somewhere to leave the kids?

Yes, we’ll be only too happy to educate your little ones all about the pleasures and treasures of the deep blue sea. As well as all the family fare mentioned in the locations above, our Kids Zone is the prime place to keep them joyfully occupied – from making pirates out of Lego to getting know the inhabitants of our rock-pool petting zoo.

Our Kids Zone is sure to keep all your little crew entertained – from making pirates out of Lego to getting know the inhabitants of our rock-pool petting zoo. #SeaFest18

Lover of Seafood?

Well you’re in for a literal treat. Firstly because Bord Bia and Bord Iascaigh Mhara have teamed up to showcase the culinary treasures of the ocean at their Seafood Experience exhibition.

Here you’ll learn all about how our seafood is sustainably caught and prepared while some of Ireland’s top chefs will be on hand to cook up some of this fresh catch just for you.

You’ll also find lots more fishy and non-fishy delights at the festival village where Galway producers will serve up their finest fare and keep you from getting too hungry as you wander around the streets of Galway.

Learn all the fishy details around how your Irish seafood is sustainably caught and prepared at the amazing Bord Bia and Bord Iascaigh Mhara space at #SeaFest18.


Looking for some academia?

Of course it’s great to have fun, but this festival is about more than that after all. That’s why our Ocean Wealth Summit will be getting down to more serious matters with our theme: Investing in Marine Ireland.

And at Galway’s Dock you’ll find expert speakers, conferences and a trade show to help you get your head around some of the more compelling issues and opportunities our seas currently face.

Learn from keynote speakers and discover all about investing in Marine Ireland, at this year’s Ocean Wealth Summit. Our theme this year is Investing in Marine Ireland.


Anything else?


Well you’re in Galway of course, so there’s so many other wonderful things to see and do while you’re visiting the Town of the Tribes

How can I find out more?

Check out other pages of our website which has lots of more in-depth information on what’s taking place across the festival

Or why not download our Seafest App and carry the schedule around with you.

Download on iTunes

Download on Google Play

Download the SeaFest App today for everything you need to know about what’s on and where to find it!

Volunteer for SeaFest 2018

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volunteer for Seafest 2018

Apply now to volunteer at SeaFest 2018!

Volunteers are wanted for Ireland’s largest and most spectacular maritime festival, SeaFest 2018, taking place in Galway Harbour from 29th June to 1st July.

The Marine Institute is coordinating SeaFest on behalf of the Government Marine Coordination Group and is calling for volunteers to apply now.

Johnny Donnelly Managing Director of Arcana, the event managers for SeaFest 2018, said,

“A wide range of organisations and agencies come together to take part in this festival, including businesses across Galway. Our festival volunteers also play an incredibly important role in making SeaFest one to remember, and also help us to showcase Galway at its best.”

“We encourage those with an interest in the marine or those proud of Galway city, to apply to volunteer for SeaFest 2018. This is a unique opportunity to be involved in one of Ireland’s biggest maritime festivals and help raise awareness about the value of our seas.”

SeaFest 2018 offers a packed programme of family-friendly events on and around the water which aim to engage the young and the young at heart in the magic and mystery of the ocean. Enjoy thrilling performances from World-Champion Flyboarders, boat trips along Galway Bay, as well as the chance to try kayaking and sailing in Galway Harbour.

There will be inspiring talks from award-winning wildlife cameraman Doug Allan, as well as seafood cookery demonstrations, tours of ocean-going vessels, an equipment display from the Defence Forces and interactive activities for the kids.

To become a volunteer for SeaFest 2018 visit and complete the online application form. Applications will close on Friday 8th June 2018.

All volunteers must be aged 18 years or older. Volunteers have the option to volunteer for one, two or the three days of the festival. Volunteers may also be selected for Garda Vetting.

For more information on the festival, follow SeaFest on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Volunteers at last year’s festival in Galway. Photo: Andrew Downes, Xposure. 

Businesses on board for SeaFest 2018 with €7m for local economy

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Seafest for the Local Economy Dr. Peter Heffernan, CEO Marine Institute Gary McMahon Galway City Council and Jim O'Toole CEO BIM at the stakeholders of SEAFEST 2018 meeting at Galway's City Hall. Photo:Andrew Downes, Xposure

Dr. Peter Heffernan, CEO Marine Institute, Gary McMahon, Acting Director of Services, Galway City Council and Jim O’Toole, CEO BIM at the stakeholders of SeaFest 2018 meeting at Galway’s City Hall. 

The business of SeaFest was discussed at a special meeting in Galway City Hall recently (Thursday, 3rd  May 2018). Ireland’s largest maritime festival generated €6.9m for the Galway economy in 2017 and organisers are predicting a similar return for businesses and traders this year.

An insight into the exciting ocean-themed attractions and activities planned for SeaFeast 2018 were also outlined with Marine Institute CEO Dr. Peter Heffernan describing the event as “the ploughing championships for marine.”

More than 100,000 visitors are expected to attend SeaFest from 29 June to 1 July, and with details of the programme revealed, organisers say locals and visitors alike are in for a spectacular maritime treat.

Bigger and better this year

Dr. Heffernan said he is confident that SeaFest will be even better again this year.

Galway Harbour will be a hub of activity for three days, featuring even more activities for children, aquatic displays, vessel tours, as well as exhibitions and entertainment. We will also be increasing our level of pre-event digital activity engaging with our online community with a range of educational and important stakeholder messages.

Ireland’s marine infrastructure and resources will be on show, and visitors will also have the opportunity to celebrate our maritime history and discover more about our oceans. SeaFest also raises public awareness of the value of our marine resources and the economic benefits our ocean provides to Galway and all of Ireland’s coastal communities.

Maritime feast for all the senses at Galway Harbour

Chairman of the Port Company, Mr. Maurice O’Gorman said:

SeaFest is a marvellous festival, unquestionably the best of its kind in the country. It’s going to be brilliant weekend of spectacle and family-friendly entertainment and we are delighted to be able to open the port and provide a stage for such a wonderful event.

Seafood at SeaFest

Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) CEO Jim O’Toole said BIM is delighted to be play a key role in SeaFest 2018.

This year, we plan to build on our popular BIM Seafood Experience with a range of activities that will give visitors, young and old, the opportunity to experience all elements of our diverse seafood industry and resource. From seafood cookery and fishmongery demonstrations in partnership with Bord Bia to a walk-in virtual reality stroll under the sea; our exhibition this year is more exciting than ever. Sustainability will be a key theme with informative exhibits including how fishermen around the coast are playing their part to reduce marine litter through BIM’s Fishing for Litter initiative.

An additional attraction to the BIM Seafood Experience will be Joan Mulloy, a professional sailor and daughter of mussel producer Michael Mulloy of Blackshell Mussels, who with the support of BIM, is attempting to sail single handed in the challenging Soltaire du Figaro race in August. Joan will be at SeaFest with her race boat promoting Ireland’s connection with the sea and the seafood producers on BIM’s Taste the Atlantic – a Seafood Journey trail on the Wild Atlantic Way.


Hazel Dobbyn, BIM< Elaine Donohue Galway West of Ireland EU region of Gastronomy and Pauline Ní Luanaigh BIM at City Hall in Galway for a Stakeholders meeting for the upcoming Seafest 2018 which runs from Friday, 29th June till Sunday, 1 July at the Harbour in Galway City. Photo:Andrew Downes, Xposure

Hazel Dobbyn, BIM, Elaine Donohue Galway West of Ireland EU region of Gastronomy and Pauline Ní Luanaigh, BIM

SeaFest for the Galway Economy

Galway Chamber is once again delighted to welcome Sea Fest 2018 to Galway. Speaking of the event, President of Galway Chamber Dave Hickey said that the opportunity to welcome 100,000 visitors to Galway while showcasing all we have to offer within the blue economy is hugely significant for Galway and the region.

The addition this year of Galway’s European Region of Gastronomy designation would be outstanding in terms of food and tourism.

Elaine Donohue, Galway and West of of Ireland Region of Gastronomy at City Hall in galway for a Stakeholders meeting for the upcoming Seafest 2018 which runs from Friday, 29th June till Sunday, 1 July at the Harbour in Galway City. Photo:Andrew Downes, Xposure

Elaine Donohue, Galway and West of of Ireland Region of Gastronomy.


In addition to activities from BIM and the Department of Defence, SeaFest 2018 is also being supported by Galway City Council, Galway County Council, Port of Galway, Galway Chamber, Irish Sailing, Údarás na Gaeltachta, The Village Salthill and Latin Quarter Galway.

City Hall in Galway for a Stakeholders meeting for the upcoming Seafest 2018 which runs from Friday, 29th June till Sunday, 1 July at the Harbour in Galway City. Photo:Andrew Downes, Xposure

City Hall in Galway for a Stakeholders meeting for the upcoming Seafest 2018 which runs from Friday, 29th June till Sunday, 1 July at the Harbour in Galway City.

Dr. Peter Heffernan said collaboration with the event partners is key to the success of the national maritime festival.

“A unique aspect of SeaFest is the number of local, state and national agencies and organisations that come together to plan this event. It is a remarkable citizen-focus collaboration.”

SeaFest 2018 will be held in Galway from 29 June to 1 July 2018.

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Photos by Andrew Downes, Xposure. 

The first winner of the SeaFest Kids Colouring Competition announced

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Rebecca, aged 10, from Galway is the first winner of the SeaFest Kids Colouring Competition and will receive a €50 Eason Ireland Gift Card for her colourful creation.

To take part in the competition, Rebecca coloured in a picture of SeaFest flags and the Marine Institute’s research vessel RV Celtic Explorer in Galway Harbour. The image was drawn by urban illustrator Róisín Cúre at last year’s festival.

Aodhan Fitzgerald, the Marine Institute’s Manager of Research Vessel Operations said, “It is great to see children getting creative and adding all the colours of the rainbow to our research vessel. At this year’s SeaFest, visitors will be able to take a tour of the Celtic Explorer and talk to scientists about the work undertaken on board Ireland’s marine research vessel.”

Rebecca, Aged 10, Galway

The SeaFest Kids Colouring competition will be open until the end of July 2018 and a winner will be announced in May, June and July, with each winner awarded a €50 Eason Ireland Gift Card.

To enter, colour in the SeaFest Kids Colouring Competition, take a photo of the finished creation, upload the photo to Facebook or Twitter and add #SeaFest and post on the SeaFest Facebook page or tag SeaFest on Twitter. Add your first name, age and county/country to your post. Be sure to make sure your Facebook post is public, so SeaFest can see your entry.

A copy of the SeaFest Kids Colouring Competition can be downloaded from the Kids Zone on the SeaFest website at Copies of the competition are also available across Galway, including the Marine Institute, Galway City Museum, Galway Atlantaquaria, Fáilte Ireland Office Galway, Galway City Centre Library, Ballybane Library, Westside Library, Oranmore Library, as well as the Harbour Hotel, House Hotel and the Galmont Hotel and Spa.

To see all the competition entries, follow SeaFest on Facebook and Twitter. The full terms and conditions of the SeaFest Kids Colouring Competition are available on the Kids Zone at

SeaFest will take place in Galway from Friday 29th June to Saturday 1st July, and will include a host of fun and free activities for those of all ages. The festival will cover all things marine – from seafood cookery to science, exploring the ships that transport us to discovering the creatures of the deep.