Galway Harbour and Docks will be transformed into an ‘open air sea world’ with a huge variety of activities to observe and take part in on the water.

The majestic tall ship The Phoenix returns to SeaFest for the second year in a row and will be open to tours. This historic ship, which will arrive into Galway Bay from Liverpool, 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.

Both of the Marine Institute’s Research Vessels, the Celtic Explorer and the Celtic Voyager will be there, with the Celtic Explorer conducting open house tours of the ship over the festival.

The Irish naval vessel L.E. Ciara will be in the harbour throughout the festival and will be open to the public.

Always wanted to give sailing a go but didn’t know where to get started? Head along to the Irish Sailing Association’s Try Sailing sessions on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, which aim to get people out on the water for the first time.


A number of different boats are available to try – all completely free of charge:

  • Keelboat Try Sailing sessions (5 people at a time)
  • Galway Hooker Come n Sail sessions (20 people at a time)
  • Motorboats offering boat trips up the Claddagh (20 people at a time)

Disabled access to Try Sailing is available to budding sailors. Trips will be running on the hour every hour from 11am to 3pm and booking is essential at – **THIS EVENT IS NOW BOOKED OUT**

Trips will be running on the hour every hour from 11am to 3pm.  All participants are provided with buoyancy aids, so all you have to remember to bring is a hat and some sunscreen in case of good Irish weather! If you have already booked a place, you’ll find some useful info at

Photo courtesy of Try Sailing

All free and possible with the volunteers and boats from Galway Bay Boat Tours, Galway City Sailing Club, Galway Bay Sailing Club, Port of Galway Sea Scouts, Spiddle Sailing Club and Báidóirí an Cladaig.

Get afloat with a free kayaking trip courtesy of Kayakmór. These trips are aimed at first time kayakers and each session will last an hour, taking place from 11am to 5pm Friday and Saturday and 2pm to 5pm on Sunday.

All participants are provided with a buoyancy aid and a waterproof. Bring a towel, sun hat and suncream lotion. For those who like to make a splash, a change of clothes may be a good idea!


The Commissioners of Irish Lights, who maintain all the lighthouses across the length and breadth of the country, will be bringing their very special exhibition including their Great Lighthouses of Ireland exhibit. In addition, the Granuaile will be in the harbour and will be open to the public from 10am to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday.

The Granuaile

**Update** – The Galway Hookers Race  will now begin at 12pm on Sunday 2 July in Galway Harbour (weather permitting).

The RNLI will also be taking part with their Respect the Water Campaign Roadshow and a packed programme of activities both on and off the water, including the RNLI Air Sea Demo taking place on Saturday at 12pm (weather permitting).