SeaFest, Ireland’s Maritime Festival, comes to Cork 10-11th July 2015



A Swell Line-Up of Free Family Fun Announced for SeaFest 2015

All sorts of fun will be available at Ireland’s first national maritime festival, SeaFest 2015, from hurricane wind simulators, modern day warship tours, shellfish cookery demonstrations, a fish market, ship simulators, sailboats and ferries in Cork Harbour and a RNLI duck race!

SeaFest 2015 promises to be a fun filled family affair celebrating Ireland’s incredible ocean wealth while showcasing our abundant maritime resources. Taking place in Ringaskiddy, Haulbowline and finishing up in the Port of Cork on Saturday 11 July 2015, this festival will provide incredible line-up of free entertainment, music and activities for all the family.

At SeaFest you can experience what it’s like to be a captain on the high seas in the state-of-the-art simulator, take a tour of a modern day warship in Haulbowline, or be blown away by hurricane force winds in the Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) Beaufort Scale Hurricane Experience. The SeaFest line-up has it all – from boating trips, yacht sailing, open water swimming, marine simulators, tours of Irish Navy ships, rescue demonstrations, sea life exhibits, educational screenings and talks, to a food village with live seafood cookery talks and demonstrations.

As part of SeaFest, a ‘parade of sail’ including yachts and boats will sail from Ringaskiddy to the Port of Cork marina in the city centre at 4pm. The parade of sail will follow behind the last of the 500 swimmers of The Vibes & Scribes Lee Swim and further celebrations will continue in The Port of Cork from 5-8pm with live music, street performers and food market, face painting & balloon modelling and tours of a naval ship.

“As an island nation, it is so important to recognise and celebrate the incredible resources of Ireland’s abundant and surrounding seas,” said Minister Simon Coveney, T.D. “This two day festival will travel Ireland, taking place in Cork in 2015 and with plans already underway to bring SeaFest to Galway in 2016. It is a national festival at which we can share our seafaring heritage and future, enjoy a myriad of water sports and activities, have fun while learning about the sea and the opportunities it presents, and feast on some of the world’s best seafood. I am

hugely excited about this national festival, SeaFest, and look forward to it becoming one of Ireland’s leading festivals in the coming years.”

Ireland’s two greatest natural resources – our vast undersea territory and our young people – will come together in Ringaskiddy as part of the Explorers Marine Life Education Exhibit. The exhibit is a collaboration between the Lifetime Lab and the Marine Institute’s Explorers Programme and will give children a hands-on marine experience where they will learn about and see creatures like the seahorse, starfish, and even whale bones! They will also discover the real map of Ireland, which extends out across the Atlantic Ocean.

Cookery demonstrations, workshops on how to cook and eat prawns, lobsters, mussels and oysters among other seafood will be hosted by the seafood development agency, BIM and Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board, with renowned seafood chefs Martin Shanahan and Rory O’Connell. As well as leading Irish chefs showing people just how easy, quick and healthy it is to enjoy fresh fish from our oceans, there will also be fishmongery demonstrations and a large fish market, as well as a ‘Tales from the Deep’ movie screening which gives an exclusive glimpse into the life of an Irish fisherman.

In Haulbowline the Irish Naval Service will be on hand to provide tours of a modern day warship! Come and meet the men and women of the Irish Defence Forces and discover what life is like on the high sea and learn about the latest in modern seafaring technology on board this new ship.

More than 2,000 ducks in lifeboats will race in Cork Harbour as part of the RNLI Duck Race. The RNLI are the nominated charity for the event and the race will help raise funds for the charity, which provides rescue services all around the Irish coast and saves hundreds of lives at sea each year.

The National Maritime College of Ireland (NMCI) will be sharing their facilities, normally used to train for a career as a maritime professional, with the public at SeaFest. Festival goers can experience various ship models in national and international waters in a variety of weather conditions via the simulators; these simulation exercises show the skills required when working at sea. Visitors to the festival will also be able to visit UCC’s new Beaufort Building. This state of the art €15 million building will house the LIR National Ocean Test Facility and the SFI MaREI centre which is a cluster of key university and industrial partners dedicated to solving the main scientific, technical, social and economic challenges related to marine renewable energy.

SeaFest 2015 promises to be a thoroughly enjoyable festival for all. Don’t miss this opportunity to enjoy the best of Ireland’s oceans this July in Cork Harbour. A full festival programme is now available on


For more information, please contact

Deirdre Connoly, CAMEO Communications Tel: 085.2449804 Email:

About SeaFest 2015 –

Celebrate Ireland’s incredible ocean wealth at SeaFest 2015, which takes place in Ringaskiddy on Friday and Saturday, 10th and 11th July 2015. This maritime festival showcases Ireland’s abundant maritime resources over two days in Cork Harbour. The programme of events is extensive and includes a seafood fair, carnival games and seafaring family fun, Irish Naval Service manoeuvres, a sail-by of leisure craft and yachts, lectures and exhibits on marine life, and all manner of festival entertainment for every age group. View Festival Programme.

As part of SeaFest 2015 the annual Our Ocean Wealth Conference takes place on 10 July 2015, and will focus on the commercial opportunities presented by Ireland’s ocean wealth and the enormous potential of our ‘blue economy’. Each year, this conference attracts several hundred stakeholders including marine researchers, investors, entrepreneurs, maritime-related startups, businesses and organisations, from all over Ireland and from around the world, to hear from marine industry experts. The event also provides an opportunity to network with industry peers and develop opportunities for collaboration.

How to get there

By Car

There will be free parking available to visitors on Saturday 11 July in a carpark adjacent to The National Maritime College of Ireland (NMCI).

As Ringaskiddy is a ferry port, a useful tip for directions is to follow the car ferry symbol on all road signs around Cork. This will bring you along the N28 to Ringaskiddy. You will pass straight through a small roundabout in the village of Shanbally. At the next Roundabout, which is at the entrance to ‘Pfizer’, take 2nd exit and continue to Ringaskiddy village. Go through the village and pass the entrance to the ferry port on your left hand side. You will pass the entrances to the ‘National Vehicle Distribution Centre’ and some warehouses. The NMCI is the next entrance on the left and is signposted at the entrance. The Beaufort Building and access to Haulbowline are after the NMCI entrance also.

By Bus from Cork City

The Festival can be reached by the regular bus service from Cork City. The Bus Éireann Bus 223 departs from South Mall in Cork City to Haulbowline Maritime College, serving all stops and operating via Douglas Road, Douglas Village, Rochestown Road, Passage, Glenbrook, Monkstown, Rafeen, Coolmore, and Ringaskiddy, with occasional services operating via Maulbaun and Rochestown College.

By Park & Ride

A free park and ride facility is also being provided at The Black Ash Park & Ride facility off the South City Link Road. The service to Ringaskiddy will depart from Black Ash every half hour.

By Ferry from Cobh (Naval Pier)

There will be a ferry service operated by the Naval Service from the Naval Pier in Cobh to Haulbowline on Saturday 11th July from 10am departing every hour until 5pm. Return Ferry from Haulbowline to Cobh will leave 11am every hour to 6pm.