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Strömgatan 18, Stockholm, Sweden
(+46) 322.170.71

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About us

A Family Boating Business


The Oliver Family History

Sailing and fishing have been a part of the Oliver family for generations.  The family originates from Claddagh, an iconic community nestled in the heart of Galway city across from the historic Spanish Arch and touching Galway Bay. The family history’s in boats goes back over 100 years, with ancestors setting off from Galway Bay in the now famous Hooker boats.  This sailing tradition is something that the Oliver family is passionate about and endeavour to share their heritage by making the sea fun and accessible for all to enjoy.


The Oliver Family Today

We continue to operate a family run boating business from the Claddagh that offers guided boat tours on Galway Bay for small to medium sized groups. The sailing and fishing traditions of the area have been part of the Oliver family for generations, and we are currently the only company providing this service from the city.

We have a small fleet of passenger motor/powerboats which meet required safety standards and are licenced by Dept of Transport.

Over the last few years we have been working on ideas various based on customers needs and some of the new services launched this year include, 1-hour ‘Harbour Tours’, 2-hour ‘Galway Bay Tours’ and specialized ‘Tailored Tours’ of 2 hours+ for those wanting something a bit more customized.

100 years experience

The Oliver family have been on the water for over 100 years

Family Business

Galway Bay Boat Tours is a family run business established on generations of boating experience.


Your safety is our number one priority. You can be confident in us when availing of our tours.


We have the knowledge to keep you safe, entertained and happy when out at sea.

The Galway Hooker

The Galway Hooker in its various forms (gleoiteog, púcán, leathbhád & bád mór) is the traditional sailing work-boat of Galway Bay. These distinctive short, broad boats, with their tarred black hulls and brown sails, were used for fishing and for transportation (particularly turf and seaweed).  The last of the working Galway Hookers was named the Truelight and owned by Máirtín Oliver.  Máirtín was the last man to have  sailed an original working Galway Hooker from the Claddagh, prior to their re-emergence in the 1980s as pleasure crafts.   In honour of the late King of Claddagh a Galway Hooker boat was custom made for the Museum by traditional craftsmen Pat Ó Cualáin and Micheál MacDonncha from An Cheathrú Rua.  This boat hangs spectacularly in the atrium of the Galway City museum.

History of the Galway Hooker 

The traditional boat of the Claddagh fishermen was the unique Claddagh Hooker, named after the hooked fishing lines used before the introduction of nets.

The hooker was constructed by hand using tarred timbers and was blackened by a kind of emulsion of creosote and coal. Its sails consisted of three brown sails, the main sail, the foresail on either side of the mast and a jib sail extended beyond the bow. The special rust colour of the sails came from being soaked in a solution made from tree bark, a process known as “barking”.

There were four types of hooker, each of a different size: an bád mór, an leathbhád, an gleoiteog agus an púcán.