Skip navigation

Region’s Most Unique Waterfront Event Returns

Only event hosted on Norfolk’s cruise ship pier features sailboats, local brews, live music, and more. 

Norfolk, Va. (September 13, 2023) – On September 23, one day prior to the 4,000-passenger cruise ship Carnival Magic returning to Norfolk from the Bahamas, Nauticus’ downtown cruise ship pier will be transformed into the ultimate waterfront event space.  The second annual SailFest returns with a community regatta and pier party.  The fundraiser supports Sail Nauticus, a sailing program for our local, underserved youth. 

The family-friendly waterfront event features a driving range (with biodegradable golf balls), the live music of Schooner or Later, sailboat racing, and local vendors.  Ticket holders will enjoy the best creations of local favorites, Waters Edge Winery, Elation Brewing, and Neptune’s Fury Coffee Co.   

“This is a unique, fun celebration for our community,” said Director of Development & Marketing, Rehn West.  “But our guests definitely know they’re supporting a program that makes a real difference in the lives of Hampton Roads students.” 

Community members interested in attending SailFest should visit to purchase tickets. The event features adult and child tickets to include drinks and food from local food trucks, Hades Wood Fired Pizza and Hangry’s. But hurry, ticket prices increase on September 18.  

SailFest would not be possible without the generous support of Presenting Sponsor, Bay Power Solutions and community sponsors, Rivers Casino Portsmouth, Xylem Tree Experts, Southern Bank, Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), Williams Mullen, Gentry Locke, Virginia Pilot Association, Hampton Roads Shipping Association and Virginia Maritime Association.   

About Nauticus  
Nauticus is a maritime discovery center located along the waterfront in downtown, Norfolk, VA, offering a unique form of experiential learning for all ages. Through interactive exhibits and STEM to STERN programming, Nauticus uses the museum, Battleship Wisconsin, sailing center, and Schooner Virginia to tell the story of the maritime environment, industry, and the military. The Nauticus Foundation is the nonprofit, 501©3 that supports the mission and activities of Nauticus. Nauticus’ mission is to benefit the community through education, impactful experiences, and sharing access to maritime resources. For more information, visit