From a geographic perspective, Europe is a maritime continent. In terms of length of coastline relative to its overall size, Europe is the most sea-bound of all the five continents. Nevertheless, central and eastern Europe in particular can often seem very remote from the sea. At first glance, the sea for many nations only plays a role in the daily lives of those who live on the coast, or as a holiday destination. How fundamental the sea has been in shaping Europe's development, and the role it continues to play right up to the present day, is highlighted in a new special exhibition entitled Europe and the Sea.