The best way to celebrate the sea is to get out on the water – give kayaking or sailing a go, take a boat trip or climb aboard an Irish vessel. And, all activities are free!

Take a vessel tour
One of the latest vessels in the Irish Naval Service fleet, William Butler Yeats will be open for tours during SeaFest 2018. The vessel is deployed for fishery protections, search and rescue and in maritime patrol missions. Speak to our naval personnel and get a close-up look at the equipment on board. Tour the LÉ William Butler Yeats from 2pm – 6pm on Friday and 10am – 6pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Take a guided tour of the Commissioner of Irish Lights vessel the ILV Granuaile. Take a look inside this working-service vessel used to maintain lighthouses, buoys and beacons all around the Irish coast. The ILV Granuaile will be open for tours from 10am – 5pm each day. Along with open tours of Irish Lights vessel Granuaile, visitors can learn about the evolution of navigation Lights at sea, how people can visit Ireland’s Lighthouses and climb the towers at Great Lighthouses of Ireland, discover the interesting role Irish Lights played in the 1916 decade through an interesting history exhibition and much more.

Tour the Marine Institute’s marine research vessel the RV Celtic Explorer and speak to scientists about the research that is undertaken on board. The vessel is used for fisheries research, oceanographic, hydrographic and geological investigations and seabed mapping. The RV Celtic Explorer will be open for tours from 2pm – 6pm on Friday, and 10am – 6pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Climb on board a 45 metre super pelagic trawler MVF Girl Stephanie and to meet with owner and retired fisherman Pauric Connelly, his daughter Stephanie and son and captain Tomás and his crew of six to learn about fish stocks and the sustainable fishing practices of the Irish fishing fleet. The trawler will be open from 12pm – 6pm on Friday, and 10am – 6pm each on Saturday and Sunday.

Get afloat with Irish Sailing
Fri 1pm – 5pm, Sat and Sun 10am – 4pm.

Irish Sailing is giving you the chance to get out on the water, by offering a number of sailing activities over the weekend.

  • Be part of the crew and feel the breeze and thrill of sailing on board a skippered Keelboat on Galway Bay
  • Step aboard a motorboat for a steady comfortable ride with qualified tour guides, and take an intimate look at the Galway Hookers in the Claddagh
  • Take part in a supported inclusion water sports session with sailing or kayaking sessions available for children and adults with disabilities or impairments.

All participants are provided with buoyancy aids, so remember to dress for the Irish weather and bring your hat, sun cream and raincoat.

Thanks to our volunteers from Galway Bay Boat Tours, Galway City Sailing Club, Galway Bay Sailing Club, Port of Galway Sea Scouts, Spiddle Sailing Club and Clifden Boat Club.

Pre-bookings are required. BOOK NOW

Paddle a kayak in the harbour
Fri, Sat and Sun 10am – 7pm

As part of this year’s festival, Kayakmór are offering kayaking sessions in the heart of Galway Harbour. These trips are aimed at first time kayakers and each session will last one hour. Sessions will take place every hour, from 10am to 7pm each day.

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

Pre-bookings are required. BOOK NOW

A kite-surfing spectacle
World-Record Kite Surfer Francisco Lufinha
will kitesurf from the Aran Islands to Galway Harbour on Saturday afternoon (weather dependent). Francisco holds the world record for the Longest Journey Kitesurfing without stops, achieved in 2015 between Lisbon and Madeira Island, covering 874km of the Portuguese Sea during 48 hours.

Rescue demonstration from the Irish Coast Guard
A Search and Research (SAR) demonstration from the Irish Coast Guard will take place in Galway Harbour from 4pm – 5pm (weather permitting) on Saturday 30th June. Take a look at how the Irish Coast Guard team and volunteers responds to incidents at sea.