The 2016 Foyle Maritime Festival, in association with the Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race, kicks off on Saturday July 9 and continues until Sunday July 17 in Derry~Londonderry.

This year’s festival has an action-packed program that is overflowing with family fun, explained Tourism NI’s Communication & Destination PR Officer, Rachel Quigg:  “The city will be transformed into an International Marina, providing a celebratory welcome to all 12 Clipper Race Yachts and their crews.

“This year’s festival has tonnes of things for families to enjoy including a variety of live music, fun street theatre performances and animation.  Foodies will be busy exploring the Clipper Race Kitchens at Ebrington Plaza showcasing the wealth of local food at its best in what is NIs Year of Food and Drink.  There will be live cookery demonstrations, food tasting to tantalize your taste buds, as well as the return of the Walled City Market and Continental Market along Queen’s Quay for visitors to explore.”

Tourism NI has listed a small selection of the huge array of unmissable happenings taking place during the festival.

A dedicated arts and crafts programme for kids will be running daily during the festival.  They will get to create a swashbuckling sword at pirate-themed workshops, enjoy some fishy business creating creatures from the deep or listen to magical stories of mermaids and the daring sea voyages. For older kids, or those who are young at heart, you can try your hand at some circus skills or simply enjoy the funfair attractions, tasty treats and general good old fashioned fun.

Music City 2016 will turn Derry City into one big performance space with hundreds of musical performances of all genres taking place in streets, squares, neighbourhoods, churches, offices and workplaces.  This year’s festival will feature a special homecoming gig from Mercury Prize nominee, Soak, as well as The Strypes, David Kitt, Girls Names, and stars of America’s Got Talen, The Willis Clan.  There will even be a Music City Busking Competition with a whopping £1,000 cash prize up for grabs.

The Foyle Maritime Lecture Series will take place weekly from June 15 until July 6, from 7.30pm at the Tower Museum.  Speakers include Dr Liam Campbell and Ken McCormack, and various topics, including the changing landscape of Derry~Londonderry and the North West, will be discussed.  Admission is free but places must be booked via the Tower Museum.

On July 13, 14 and 15, members of the public will be treated to Clipper 2015-16 Race Fleet: Open Boat Tours.  People will be able to discover what life as an ocean racer is like on a personal yacht tour conducted by crew members who have competed in the unique race.

On Saturday July 16 the spectacular finale, The Voyage of Sunniva – Night of the Two Moons, which takes place at Queen’s Quay, brings together land, water, aerial performance, light, music and fireworks in a world class spectacle that will be remembered forever by all who see it.

The closing day of the festival, Sunday July 7, will feature the Clipper Race Yachts Parade of Sail.  This will be a very special event as the city bids an emotional farewell to the Clipper race yachts as they depart for their next official race start at Greencastle, Co Donegal.

There is loads more happening during the Foyle Maritime Festival, visit for further details. 

If you are planning on visiting, why not extend your stay? A wide range of excellent accommodation is available across Derry~Londonderry, ranging from luxurious hotels, to B&B’s full of character and charm, and self-catering options, as a home from home.  Check out for further details.