The family-friendly interactive bridge and exhibitions are ideal for all visitors especially the younger ones. Explore maritime skills and technologies past and present, from learning about the fishing history to steering a ship into port.
Step aboard ‘The Bridge’ and discover the art of navigation and communication at sea. Become the captain of a ship and try your hand at manoeuvring into port using the state-of-the-art bridge simulator – but remember to bring your sea legs, as it can get choppy!
The Bridge Simulator gallery helps young people understand key navigational issues: plotting a course; negotiating deep and shallow waters; reading charts; and taking into account factors like weather conditions. You can also learn sailing skills online in the Sail Safe website, and sail a yacht to Antigua in the exciting Ocean Challenge game.
The Centre and Bridge are open to visitors and families every weekend during July and August on Saturdays from 12 – 5 pm, and Sundays from 11 am – 4 pm. Weekdays open all year from 10 am – 6 pm and during school holidays.
The Bridge is excellent resource for cross-curricular learning.
Schools groups can book the bridge for one-hour sessions on weekdays or weekends. The staff guide will book groups to help focus and extend their learning.
For full information on the Centre’s resources and programmes for schools see our section on School Tours.
The ship’s interactive simulator brings to life the excitement, difficulties, hazards and skills of handling ships at sea. Join the crew and experience the sights and sounds of the vessel in operation, and feel the vibration of the ship’s engine.
The simulator is based on the software used to train ship’s captains and rescue services. Through three interactive screens, visitors use real navigational equipment, electronic charts and radars to make their way through scenarios that are graded to suit the expertise of the users.
Example Scenario: Easy
It’s a beautiful August morning in Killybegs. A visiting yacht is entering the harbour but one of the crew has just fallen overboard. You are the coxwain of the Killybegs lifeboat. Your mission is to first find the yacht and then find the missing crewman as quickly as possible – You have 5 minutes.
Example Scenario: Hard
You are the skipper of a large fully laden stern trawler arriving back from a difficult fishing trip. The weather is awful. There is a 2.5meter following sea and near gale force SSW winds. You have to bring your vessel safely in to Killybegs and put her alongside the south end of the new pier after the Cruise liner has departed.