Cork Harbour Festival, Ireland’s Biggest Celebration of Maritime Culture is Now On!

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Cork Harbour Festival is the largest annual event in Cork Harbour offering a week-long celebration of Ireland’s maritime culture from June 1st to 10th. The festival features over 80 different events, with over 50 event partners across Cork City and County.

Founded in 2015, the Festival celebrates Cork Harbour as a natural and cultural resource, with the communities and their stories at the heart of it. Throughout Festival week there is a huge variety of events to dive into, from water activities to guided walks, open days to open sails, seafood tasters to seaweed foraging and so much more. 

Festival Event Highlights

Flagship Ocean to City Race

Ocean to City  An Rás Mór is Ireland’s very own long-distance rowing race attracting hundreds of participants annually. Started in 2005, it has grown from its origin as a race for traditional fixed-seat boats into an all-inclusive rowing and paddling event, embracing everything from traditional wooden working boats, currachs, skiffs, gigs and longboats to contemporary ocean racing shells, kayaks, canoes and even stand-up paddle boards.

With thousands of spectators each year, the race is a real flagship event for Cork Harbour; one of the largest natural harbours in the world. An Rás Mór appeals to a wide range of rowers and paddlers from across Ireland and beyond. It includes races over four course distances: the 28km Ocean Course, 22km City Course, 13km Monkstown Course and the 4km Youth Course – all finishing to a warm welcome in Cork’s city centre.

Modelled on London’s Great River Race, start times are staggered with the slowest boat types leaving first, and the fastest boat types leaving last. Celebrating both traditional boats and the more competitive contemporary craft, An Rás Mór is much more than just a race… it is a test of endurance, a personal challenge and a shared effort.

The Ocean to City Race is on June 8th, and you can immerse yourself in the colour and excitement of the finish line and cheer on the Ocean to City particpants as they complete this spectacular and gruelling race. With live commentary from Cork’s 96FM, food, entertainment, live music and much more it will be something not to miss!

The finish line festivities begin from 3.30pm on the day.

Scuba Diving

This introductory scuba diving session from the Cork Scuba and Freediving Centre will entail some theory followed by a 45 minute practice in sheltered water at Myrtleville beach, running from the 3rd-7th of June. This activity is priced at €95.


Learn the fundamentals and get introduced to the fun and adventure of kayaking with the Phoenix Kayak Club! This activity is on June 7th at 6pm, and is priced at €15. To book, visit

Comedic Dinner Theatre Experience

A high-octane comedic dinner theatre experience suitable for all ages and unlike anything else in Ireland! Learn about Cork City and the waterways that surround this island city. Meet Cork’s quirky characters and enjoy two courses of delicious local food, served up, with live traditional music and plenty of personality. You can even have your photo taken as a head on a spike and learn how to “speak Cork”.

This event is available on the 6th, 7th & 8th of June at 7pm, and is priced at €47 for adults with festival discount code HARFEST24 & €32 for children. To book, visit


Try Powerboating by joining SAILCORK on one of their RIBs. Be introduced to some Powerboating skills under the safe supervision of their qualified Instructors, and zoom into Cork Harbour to see some spectacular sights from the sea.

This activity is on the 8th of June, and is priced at €70. To book, visit

Additional Information

But that’s not all – the Festival’s event and activity offering is huge, with a wide range of free and paid activities.

From poetry, otter walks, ghost tours to a sea shanty concert, there is something for everyone at the Cork Harbour Festival.
To see the full Festival programme, visit

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Julia Labedz
Julia Labedz
Julia has several years of experience as a writer and editor, working with independent clients as well as larger organizations. Prior to working for ITTN she was a marketing executive. She has both a BA and MFA in English with Creative Writing, with an extensive professional and creative portfolio. In her free time, Julia works on her novel.

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