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Drogheda Port's Irish Maritime Festival Welcomes the Tall Ships This Weekend

13th June 2018
Drogheda Port's Irish Maritime Festival Welcomes the Tall Ships This Weekend

The award-winning Irish Maritime festival is back. Taking place this weekend (16-17th June) in Drogheda Port, it’s a super-sized maritime celebration and it suitable for all ages. Hosted by Louth County Council and Drogheda Port Company in conjunction with Virgin Media, the event sees Drogheda’s busy working port converted into a weekend-long festival of all things maritime.

Parade of Sail: Friday 15th June, 12 noon

The whole event kicks off on Friday afternoon as the beautiful ships sailing to Drogheda Port. The ships muster at the mouth of the Boyne at noon and sail in a procession right up to the Town Quays. The best vantage point Is out at the Maiden’s Tower in Mornington where spectators have a birds-eye view of all the ships arriving.

Droghedas Magnificent Maritime Parade of SailDrogheda's Magnificent Maritime Parade of Sail

Tall Ships in Drogheda

There is a fantastic array of ships to look forward to this year. The Tall Ships include The Phoenix, The Earl of Pembroke, Johanna Lucrectia, The Keewaydin. They will be joined by three French Naval Vessels, the Altair, the Antares and the Aldebaran, each of whom will be available to board over the weekend.

"The Tall Ships include The Phoenix, The Earl of Pembroke, Johanna Lucrectia, The Keewaydin"

Back by very, very popular demand is the Liverpool-based tugboat the Brocklebank and her crew. They were such a hit last year, with queues to visit them both days, that it was just essential to bring them back again this year.

All ships will be open from 12.30 to 4.30pm, but it’s worth getting there early to ensure you don’t miss out. Festival gates open at 11.00am daily.

The Stowaway Sessions

(Friday 15th June and Saturday 16th June, 7.30pm)

2017 saw the inaugural “Stowaway Sessions” that the Irish Maritime Festival. Each night, the deck of the Earl of Pembroke played host to an intimate music gig with Drogheda’s historic Viaduct as the backdrop. 2018 sees the Stowaway Sessions return with two more incredible gigs – Friday night The Lost Brothers and Eve Belle and Saturday night Declan O’Rourke with Pilgrim Street. Tickets sold out in record time, but watch out for the 2019 progamme that will be announced in mid-April next year – the Stowaway Sessions are truly special gigs.

Maritime Education Zone

The Irish Maritime festival proper commences at 11am on Saturday morning as gates open to the public. Discover the Maritime Learning Zone which includes displays and crews from the RNLI, Inland Waterways Ireland, the Irish Coast Guard and many others. Enjoy boat displays from Boyne Boats, Power Kites and Sand Yachts. Learn all about the sea and measures to protect our seas with the crew from 'Seastainability'.

"The Drogheda Sail Training Bursary will give two more teams of youngsters from Drogheda the chance to learn to sail"

Sailors in the Making

The Drogheda Sail Training Bursary will give two more teams of youngsters from Drogheda the chance to learn to sail as part of the Irish Maritime Festival 2018. Departing in the Sail Training vessel, The Brian Boru, each team will take part in a week-long voyage at sea to learn how to sail. The adventure not only teaches sailing skills but valuable life skills of teamwork, communications and compromise. This award-winning scheme has trained over 100 young sailors in the past 5 years.

Boyne Swim

The challenging Boyne Swim is back. Cheer on the 200+ brave Boyne swimmers as they race the 2.7km down the Boyne on Saturday afternoon. With visitors from all over Ireland and Europe, this is a hotly contested title.

Boat Races

Watch out for the elegant yachts as the race up the Boyne, competing in the Howth-Drogheda Yacht Challenge on Saturday.

Spot the beautiful little Water Wags as they sail under the bridges of Drogheda up to the Boyne Canal and historic Oldbridge House on Saturday morning. Then watch them race up and down the Boyne on Sunday.

The Festival Sounds Fabulous

Music is a huge part of the Irish Maritime Festival this year is no different. It will be rocking to the music from 2 live stages for 2018. The first, the Fleadh stage will showcase Trad musicians from across the region ahead of the Fleadh in August.

The Ballast Key Stage promises to get your heart racing with up-and-coming acts to surprise and delight. Hosted by Gerry Hodgers of The Purple Sessions in Boyle’s of Slane. His line-up of acts always impresses the Festival audience. Watch out for Declan Garry and The Skins and Hats on Saturday and Davina Brady and Gerry Simpson’s Gospel Choir and Fuzz Gigolo on Sunday. The full line-up of acts performing on the ballast key stage is available on www.Maritime

Fabulous Food at Droghedas Irish Maritime FestivalFabulous Food at Droghedas Irish Maritime Festival

Maritime Festival Tastes Delicious

Enjoy A Taste of Ireland’s Ancient East in the super-sized food zone at this year’s Irish Maritime festival. Hosted by Boyne Valley Flavours, this event is part of the Boyne Valley Food Series 2018. A series of cookery demos will include TV3’s Chef Tara Walker and local chefs from across the region. Meet the producers behind some of the most wonderful local food brands that you know and enjoy. Ticket your taste buds with tastings of different products and who knows you might even take something tasty home with you!

There’s So Much To See And Do!

All your family favourites are back at the Irish Maritime Festival 2018. Finn McCool’s Fairground has lots of fun rides to enjoy. The ever-popular Sand Shanty includes our giant sandpit on the big day, your chance to discover archaeological treasures. Be amazed by our magician. Test your response times in the Road Safety Authority simulators. Unleash your artistic talents in the art zone.

Capt. Martin Donnelly, Harbourmaster at Drogheda Port concludes “There are loads to see and do at the Irish Maritime Festival 2018, especially our fabulous line-ups of ships. It offers fun and activity for all ages. The Irish Maritime Festival is truly is a family-friendly event that showcases our all that’s great in this maritime town. We look forward to welcoming visitors from far and wide to visit Drogheda this weekend.”

The Irish Maritime Festival takes place on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th June and is hosted by Louth County Council in conjunction with Drogheda Port Company. The Festival is proudly sponsored by Virgin Media and supported by Flogas, Glanbia and Fáilte Ireland. For more information visit

The Irish Maritime Festival Details

Dates: Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th June 2018
Opening Hours: 11.00-18.00hrs (Ships open 12.30-16.30hrs)
Ticket Prices: Children under 12 Free (must be accompanied by an adult)
12 – 18-year-olds €3.00 Adults €8.00
Concessions* €5.00
* Concessions apply to students (with a valid student card), senior citizens (aged 60+), people with a disability and their carer.

Host: The Irish Maritime Festival is planned and managed by Louth County Council in conjunction with Drogheda Port and sponsored by Virgin Media
Animals: Service dogs are welcome however other animals are not permitted.
Ships: List of visiting ships:

Published in Drogheda Port Team

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