Portaferry (from the Irish: Port an Pheire meaning "landing place of the ferry") is a large village in County Down, Northern Ireland, at the southern end of the Ards Peninsula, near the Narrows at the entrance to Strangford Lough. It had a population of 2,467 people in the 2001 Census. It has an aquarium and is well-known for the annual Galway Hookers Regatta. It hosts its own small Marina, the Portaferry Marina. A passenger/car ferry service operates daily at 15 minute intervals (8am to 11pm) between the villages of Portaferry and Strangford, less than a mile apart, conveying about 500,000 passengers per annum.
Commercial fishing for clams and king prawns and the farming of oysters and mussels takes place within the confines of Strangford Lough. This is supplemented by the presence in Portaferry of the Marine Laboratory of the Queen's University of Belfast. There are fine Georgian buildings in the town square, including a Market House, now used as a community centre.
Portaferry Lifeboat is an essential lifeline for local fishermen and yachtsmen. In 1987 a lifeboat house was built aided by monies raised through the Belfast Newsletter’s Lord Louis Mountbatten Appeal Fund. In 1994 a new Atlantic 75 inshore lifeboat, also named ’Blue Peter V’, replaced the Atlantic 21. (The Atlantic 75 is the fastest sea going lifeboat in the RNLI’s fleet and is capable of speeds up to 34 Knots.)