Seafest Galway 2018

“For whatever we lose (like a you or a me), it’s always our self we find in the sea.
— E.E. Cummings

With a heatwave forecast well into next week, this year's SeaFest organisers are delighted to bring to a global stage some of Galway's most iconic cultural sites, during one of the most popular maritime festivals in Ireland.   By Anna King.

This contemporary festival will bring communities together to celebrate Galway's local heritage, arts, food, culture & abundant maritime resources, while at the same time raising awareness of the value and opportunities provided by the sea. 

From 29th June to 1st July 2018, SeaFest has an amazing line-up of educational events & entertainment for all age groups.

The Oliver family, from Galway Bay Boat Tours are delighted to be part of this exciting family festival, and in collaboration with Seafest organisers they will be offering a whole weekend of free boat tours! 

Share the magic! Galway Bay Boat Tours in Collaboration with Seafest, Galway 2018.

Share the magic! Galway Bay Boat Tours in Collaboration with Seafest, Galway 2018.

Galway Bay Boat Tours is a family run business specialising in tailored boat tours & training on Galway Bay for individuals, families and small to medium-sized groups.

Our passion for the seas around the West coast of Ireland stems from generations of fishing and seafaring within our family backgrounds.  To say the sea is in our blood is probably the best way to describe our love of the Atlantic Ocean that rolls into Galway Bay.  Having been involved in fishing and sailing for generations, our family still fish commercially for lobsters, crabs, and other shellfish in the bay, so for those of you who are up for a bit of adventure, check out our popular fishing tours.
— Skipper Ciaran Oliver.
The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination and brings eternal joy to the soul.  — Robert Wyland
The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination and brings eternal joy to the soul.

— Robert Wyland

Ciaran explains that being part of Seafest, Galway 2018, is an exciting opportunity to share his family's expertise and love of West coast living with both local communities & visitors: "Galway's culture has been shaped by a Wild Atlantic way of life and it is amazing to be able to bring people out on the Bay to experience the beauty and heritage of the area.  We are delighted with the renewed interest in Galway's marine life."  This is a sentiment expressed also by port harbourmaster, Captain Brian Sheridan in an interview with SeaFest: "Although Galway's Port is over 1000 years old, we think it's best days are yet to come" (see full interview).

Seafest Galway, 2018

These are views shared by an increasing community of like-minded people who either make a living from Galway Bay's resources, or just love getting out on the boats to experience the exhilaration of the elements.  Ciaran is involved in a number of such projects, including the Port of Galway Sea Scouts teaching at Galway Technical Institute, and the Badoiri an Cladaig movement.  Dedicated to both restoring & supporting the restoration & continuation of Galway's traditional Hooker workboats, this group are well on target to reconstruct a number of working boats to be launched in the Bay to celebrate Galway's largest festival yet: European Capital of Culture, 2020.

In collaboration with ‘The Irish Sailing Association’, Galway Bay Boat Tours (GBT) has also inspired numerous visitors to develop a life-long love for ocean living:

Try Sailing, Galway.

Try Sailing, Galway.

“We have motivated countless generations to 'get out onto the sea', engage in sailing & water activities as a hobby, as well as develop professional careers in the maritime industry & sport and we hope that SeaFest, Galway, 2018 will introduce even more people to the wonders of ocean living.”


Ciaran explains that festivals such as SeaFest really inspire people to get out on the water. "Whether for pleasure during vacations, training for sporting events, or owning your own boat, it is now possible through associations such as Try Sailing to fulfil your dreams of sailing a boat yourself, or to join a crew of like-minded people".

Try Sailing, Galway.

Try Sailing, Galway.


Ciaran's family have been fishing for generations and they have spent years developing a portfolio of ocean experiences for the Galway community, including tours, maritime heritage events, professional courses & range of boating experiences for both complete beginners & experienced sailors:

“We provide expert tuition on how to learn to sail and operate powerboats, motorboats, as well other educational opportunities. In addition to more conventional sailing / power boats, we can provide you with a chance to venture out to sea on a genuine Traditional Galway Hooker Boat.”

We are dedicated to sharing with you the ancient history of this rich maritime tradition, as well as enabling you to partake in the sailing of one of the most visually striking, beautiful & enchanted vessels in the world.
— Ciaran Oliver


Learning how to sail, or just experiencing the exhilaration of being out on the water, close to nature’s beauty and mystery, can be transformative.

Sailing brings people together; it enables family bonding; it builds confidence, skills & team-building.

Quite literally, sailing is the perfect antidote to modern-day stressful living. 

So, give sailing a try during SeaFest, Galway 2018.  It's only once you are out and about that you can really feel the magic! 

SeaFest Galway, 2018

SeaFest Galway, 2018

Thought is the wind and knowledge the sail".  David Hare

See SEAFEST for full event details:

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Sailing | Kayaking | Music | Entertainment

There is something for everyone.  Events Include:

 ‘The Atlantic Theatre’ will showcase talks from multi-award winning cameraman Doug Allan, and screenings of the documentary Ireland’s Deep Atlantic and popular Irish animation Song of the Sea.

Galway City Museum will be hosting five workshops specifically for children with sensory difficulties and their siblings.

Thrilling performances from world-class Flyboarders, live seafood cookery demonstrations, vessel tours, a Defence Forces display and a host of marine-themed workshops for kids.

Seafest Galway 2018

SeaFest 2018 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 Marine Institute co-ordinates SeaFest on behalf of the cross-government Marine Coordination Group, working together with a wide range of agencies and organisations. SeaFest has received support from Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), Bord Bia, Commissioners of Irish Lights, Department of Defence, Galway City Council, Galway County Council, Port of Galway, Irish Coast Guard, Irish Sailing, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), Department Agriculture Food and the Marine, European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, Ireland’s European Structural and Investment Funds Programmes 2014-2020.