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Cork Harbour Festival Runs until Sunday June 9th

4th June 2019
Currach racing at the Cork Harbour Festival Currach racing at the Cork Harbour Festival

The nine-day Cork Harbour Festival which celebrates our maritime heritage, continues all this week until Sunday June 9th. With over 70 maritime events taking place, there is still time to go on a yacht in Cork Harbour, try a scuba dive in Myrtleville, enjoy a surf lesson with Swell Surf School and take part in Sunset Coasteering where you can experience the thrill of swimming in sea caves.

See Bob Bateman's photo gallery of the Ocean to City race here

Cork is famous for its bridges and Atlantic Sea Kayaking are offering the public the opportunity to see Cork city from the water and to paddle and kayak under the beautiful bridges. On Saturday (June 9) Blackrock Sailing Club will host a special regatta where teams will race against each other around Cork Harbour.

Sailing, motor and rowing boats can join a group of Drascombe boats as they enjoy the natural heritage of Cork Harbour and visit Cobh, Aghada, East Ferry, Ballinacurra, Crosshaven and Passage.

Dr Tom Doyle from the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences in UCC, will give a talk on the dangers of marine plastic pollution (June 5) while the Department of History in UCC will present three lunchtime lectures on maritime history in St Peter’s Cork, on June 4, 5 and 6.

Cork’s maritime heritage and culture will be celebrated through music and prose. The Gab Storytelling Group will recount memorable maritime stories and harbour ditties in the Top Bar in Cork Opera House (June 6). Renowned maritime choral group The Molgoggers will perform sea shanties and sea songs in Nano Nagle Place (June 7) while Songs of the Sea, an evening of song exploring the high seas with the Cork Singers Club will take place in Spailpín Fánach on Sunday June 9. All these events are free.

The Cork Harbour Festival is a wonderful family friendly festival. CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory are hosting a special Children’s Maritime Workshop with Cork Nature Network on Saturday June 9 where children can learn about the ocean. Children and adults can fish for crabs on Cobh Promenade while tasting delicious sea food platters.

Beyond the River which tells the story of Dusi Canoe Marathon, one of the world’s toughest river races will screen in Triskel Arts Centre and guided tours of Elizabeth Fort and Spike Island will take place. Several Cork Harbour Festival events are also taking place during Seafest. On Saturday June 8 join Meitheal Mara and have a go in a traditional currach or a Chinese dragon boat. The Rebel Plunge Swim takes place on Sunday at 1.30pm. Competitors will enter the water at the Port of Cork and will swim 3.8km to Blackrock Village.

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Cork Harbour Information

It’s one of the largest natural harbours in the world – and those living near Cork Harbour insist that it’s also one of the most interesting.

This was the last port of call for the most famous liner in history, the Titanic, but it has been transformed into a centre for the chemical and pharmaceutical industry.

The harbour has been a working port and a strategic defensive hub for centuries, and it has been one of Ireland's major employment hubs since the early 1900s. Traditional heavy industries have waned since the late 20th century, with the likes of the closure of Irish Steel in Haulbowline and shipbuilding at Verolme. It still has major and strategic significance in energy generation, shipping and refining.

Giraffe wander along its shores, from which tens of thousands of men and women left Ireland, most of them never to return. The harbour is home to the oldest yacht club in the world, and to the Irish Navy. 

This deep waterway has also become a vital cog in the Irish economy.

‘Afloat.ie's Cork Harbour page’ is not a history page, nor is it a news focus. It’s simply an exploration of this famous waterway, its colour and its characters.

Cork Harbour Festival

Ocean to City – An Rás Mór and Cork Harbour Open Day formerly existed as two popular one-day events located at different points on Cork’s annual maritime calendar. Both event committees recognised the synergy between the two events and began to work together and share resources. In 2015, Cork Harbour Festival was launched. The festival was shaped on the open day principle, with Ocean to City – An Ras Mór as the flagship event.

Now in its sixth year, the festival has grown from strength to strength. Although the physical 2020 festival was cancelled due to Covid-19, the event normally features nine festival days starting on the first week of June. It is packed full of events; all made possible through collaboration with over 50 different event partners in Cork City, as well as 15 towns and villages along Cork Harbour. The programme grows year by year and highlights Ireland’s rich maritime heritage and culture as well as water and shore-based activities, with Ocean to City – An Rás Mór at the heart of the festival.

Taking place at the centre of Ireland’s maritime paradise, and at the gateway to Ireland’s Ancient East and the Wild Atlantic Way, Cork is perfectly positioned to deliver the largest and most engaging harbour festival in Ireland.

The Cork Harbour Festival Committee includes representatives from Cork City Council, Cork County Council, Port of Cork, UCC MaREI, RCYC, Cobh & Harbour Chamber and Meitheal Mara.

Marinas in Cork Harbour

There are six marinas in Cork Harbour. Three in Crosshaven, one in East Ferry, one in Monkstown Bay and a new facility is opening in 2020 at Cobh. Details below

Port of Cork City Marina

Location – Cork City
Contact – Harbour Masters Dept., Port of Cork Tel: +353 (0)21 4273125 or +353 (0)21 4530466 (out of office hours)

Royal Cork Yacht Club Marina

Location: Crosshaven, Co. Cork
Contact: +353 (0) 21 4831023

Crosshaven Boatyard Marina

Location: Crosshaven, Co. Cork
Contact: +353 (0)21 4831161

Salve Marina Ltd

Location: Crosshaven, Co. Cork
Contact: +353 (0) 21 4831145

Cork Harbour Marina

Location: Monkstown, Co. Cork
Contact: +353 (0)87 3669009

East Ferry Marina

Location: East Ferry, Co. Cork
Contact: +353 (0)21 4813390

New Cove Sailing Club Marina

(to be opened in 2020)

Location: Cobh, Co. Cork
Contact: 087 1178363

Cork Harbour pontoons, slipways and ramps

Cork City Boardwalk Existing pontoon

Port of Cork 100m. pontoon

Cork city – End of Cornmarket St. steps and slip;

Cork city - Proby’s Qy. Existing limited access slip

Quays Bar & Restaurant, Private pontoon and ramp for patrons, suitable for yachts, small craft town and amenities

Cobh harbour [camber] Slip and steps inside quay wall pontoon

Fota (zoo, house, gardens) Derelict pontoon and steps

Haulbowline naval basin; restricted space Naval base; restricted access;

Spike Island pier, steps; slip, pontoon and ramp

Monkstown wooden pier and steps;

Crosshaven town pier, with pontoon & steps

East Ferry Marlogue marina, Slip (Great Island side) visitors’ berths

East Ferry Existing pier and slip; restricted space East Ferry Inn (pub)
(Mainland side)

Blackrock pier and slips

Ballinacurra Quay walls (private)

Aghada pier and slip, pontoon & steps public transport links

Whitegate Slip

Passage West Pontoon

Glenbrook Cross-river ferry

Ringaskiddy Parking with slip and pontoon Ferry terminal; village 1km.

Carrigaloe pier and slip; restricted space; Cross-river ferry;

Fountainstown Slip

White’s Bay beach

Ringabella beach

Glanmire Bridge and tide restrictions

Old Glanmire - Quay

Cork Harbour Festival & Ocean to City Race

Following the cancellation of the 2020 event, Cork Harbour Festival will now take place 5 – 13 June 2021, with the Flagship Ocean to City An Rás Mór on 5 June.

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