Happy Christmas from Portaferry Gala

We’d like to wish all the readers of our website, especially those abroad, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy 2016.
This site has now been running since 2003 and we know readers and fans of the Gala are based all over the world.
If you can’t join us in person during Gala Week 2016, we hope you’ll join us here for the latest Gala News and information.
We hope you all have a great Christmas, relax and enjoy some family time.


Carol Ship Weekend

The PAST Carol Ship has sailed for another year. It was great to see Strangford and Portaferry lit up and to hear the various choirs voices drifting across the Lough. From local craft beers to Seaweed Fudge, from Driftwood Christmas Trees to Hand knitted Christmas Jumpers. Portaferry and Strangford are firmly in the mood for Christmas 2015.






Gala 2016….here we come :)

A big “thank you” and a warm welcome to all the new members who have joined following this year’s AGM.
The planning of Portaferry Gala 2016 is getting underway. We’d also like to thank all the outgoing members who have put so much hard work into Gala over the last number of years, especially our outgoing Chairperson, Caroline Mageean.
Enjoy the rest and sit back and enjoy next summer.

ferry times consultation open now

From the DRD NI Website:
Consultation opened on 05 October 2015. Closing date extended to 11th December 2015 at 17:00.


The proposed change is to introduce a sailing from Portaferry at 7.20 am on weekdays all year round.

This would be offset by dropping the last two sailings in the evening (Sunday to Friday) from 1 October to 31 March. From 1 April to 30 September the existing evening sailings will be unchanged.

Over the course of the year, the total number of sailings offered by the ferry service will be the same.


TransportNI is considering an amendment to the Strangford Lough ferry service timetable to provide an additional early morning sailing from Portaferry on weekday mornings.

Over recent years TransportNI has received several requests for a permanent early morning sailing from Portaferry.  The first sailing from Portaferry on weekdays is at 7.45 am and is generally at full vehicle capacity.

Since 2011, an additional sailing at 7.15 am from Portaferry has been provided during the annual refit of the MV Portaferry II.  During the refit the smaller ferry, the MV Strangford, is in service and does not have the capacity to cope with the demand for the normal first sailing at 7.45 am.  The early sailing is welcomed by many commuters from Portaferry who either have to travel by road to get to work on time or get to work later than they would prefer.

Passenger count records show that, on weekdays, the early morning demand exceeds the demand for the last sailings in the evening.  In response to this demand and requests from the public and public representatives, TransportNI has decided to explore the possibility of making the early sailing permanent. 

Ways to respond

Email –


Write to –

Mrs K McMahon
Strangford Lough Ferry Service
Rathkeltair House
Market Street
BT30 6AJ

Telephone: 0300 200 7898

Read the document by clicking here

So Ends Gala Week 2015

We’d like to thank everyone who helped make Gala Week 2015 the successful event it was – from the Sponsors to the Public who involve themselves in the many events across the week, we really, really couldn’t do it without you.

As you may be aware not only is our Chair stepping down this year, but so are a number of other Gala Committee members. Having served on the Gala Committee for a number of years, they feel it’s time to retire. We wish them all the best and thank them for all they’ve done over the years.

Of course, this leave us with a number of gaps for the future.

We have appealed time and time again for more volunteers and once again, have to point out that the reality is, without a Committee, there can’t be a Gala.

So, if you’d like to come on board, with ideas and enthusiasm, now is the time to do so.

Portaferry Gala is YOUR festival for YOUR town. We attract a massive crowd across the week and we do require people to work behind the scenes – from sandwich making to barrier lifting, from sweeping floors to answering phone calls. Please get in touch if you’d like to be involved. info@portaferrytown.com

Thanks so much for making Gala 2015 an event the whole Town can be proud of 🙂