SeaFest has raised its sail and set a course South as the Marine festival is leaving Galway from next year.
For the next three years up to 2021, SeaFest will make harbour at its new home in Cork.
Ireland’s National Marine Festival, Seafest has been a massive success in Galway, attracting over 100,000 visitors to the city from June 29 – July 1 this year.
Visitors enjoyed walking the ships in Galway Harbour including the Defence Force’s LÉ William Butler Yeats.
Another highlight was the dazzling flyboarders who performed amazing aerial acrobatics using water-powered jet packs.
The event was such a hit with visitors that SeaFest won Cultural Event of the Year at the the 2018 Industry Awards in July.
Dr Peter Heffernan, CEO of the Marine Institute said: “It is with thanks to the support of Galway city, from businesses, volunteers and visitors, that SeaFest is now regarded as one of the most successful events of its kind in Europe.”
“The festival has been instrumental in highlighting the marine research taking place in Galway, as well as the importance of our seas and the contribution to our local and national economy.”
For lovers of the marine, next year’s SeaFest will be found in Cork city from June 7-9.
Minister for Agriculture, Food, and the Marine Michael Creed said he expected the first of Cork’s three SeaFests would be the biggest one yet.
“As a national festival, it is important that the event reaches across Ireland, enabling more people to increase their knowledge about the value of our oceans.”
Along with SeaFest, Cork will also host the annual Our Ocean Wealth Conference that explores the future of Ireland’s marine economy and how to get people involved with the sea.
The issues it covers include growing the marine sectors, showcasing how the oceans enrich our lives, and of course, climate change and its impact on the oceans.
Next year’s conference will take to the international stage as Ireland plays host to representatives of island states from around the world.
Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney said Ireland has a “hugely positive” story to tell about our engagement with the marine environment.
“We have travelled far in recent years in realising the potential of our marine resources, the Our Ocean Wealth Summit will bring together representatives from island states across the globe, to share knowledge and culture.”
The Tánaiste praised SeaFest for being “a celebration of all that our ocean represents”.