What Better Way To Explore The Beautiful Emerald Isle Than From Its Inland Waterways That Partition The Countrys Land Here Are The 10 Best River Cruises In Ireland Ranked
Irelands longest river is the River Shannon, which begins in County Cavan and flows through seventeen counties in total, before finally pouring into the deep Atlantic Ocean. Apart from the Shannon, Ireland has many more rivers, which are not only beautiful to the eye, but they hold a lot of mystical presence.
Many of Irelands tales and myths revolve around its waters, as the pagans considered them sacred and used them for bare necessities, such as a food source and a way to transport goods around the island.
Many say that they feel the enchantment of our country when close to our waters, and that is why we are big fans of exploring Ireland from the rivers. its a whole other experience! We are here to list the 10 best river cruises in Ireland, so you, too, can experience the magical mystery of the Emerald Isle.
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Hotel Barge Shannon Princess
The River Shannon and its lakes represent Ireland at its finest and your cruise aboard Shannon Princess features a landscape of rolling green fields, ancient Celtic landmarks and an abundance of wildlife.
The legends and fables of Ireland are found everywhere and are well understood by the hospitable Irish people who will be happy to tell you more about the ancient culture. The history of Ireland has been varied and sometimes difficult, but the locals always find the time to chat and perhaps charm you a tale or two of folklore.
During your cruise, there is a programme of fascinating excursions that will you give you a true immersion into the heritage and traditions of this part of Ireland, such as a personal tour of a castle by its eccentric owner, a birds of prey display, visits to a whiskey distillery and hand-weaving workshop and, of course, the chance to sample a pint or two of the black stuff Guinness.
Shannon Princess, accommodating 10 guests in comfort, is the largest hotel barge to be cruising the River Shannon and its picturesque, intertwining lakes. Her thoughtfully-designed interior includes a comfortable saloon and dining area with panoramic windows. The five junior twin/double cabin suites, also with picture windows, are stylishly furnished and each is air-conditioned, centrally heated, and accompanied by a modern en-suite shower room.
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What To Expect On A River Cruise Holiday
River Cruises are a fantastic way to discover hidden gems in multiple destinations as we cruise along the most stunning waterways in Europe and beyond. We hand pick our 4 and 5 star ships to make sure they offer a range of fantastic facilities, including restaurants, bars, spas and lounge areas. Beyond the amenities of the ship itself, weve chosen a superb selection of cruises to some of the worlds most wonderful destinations. Choose from cruises along the Danube, Rhine, Nile, Mekong and more. Some of our most popular River Cruises are along the Danube, which include excursions to the famous European cities of Munich, Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest, among others. With expert, local guides to give us the history in some of the places we visit, well be sure to get the most out of our ports of call.
Are River Cruises Expensive
Our river cruises are fantastic value for money as flights, transfers, accommodation aboard the ship, meals and some guided offshore excursions are all included in the price. Drinks are not included and will have to be signed for whilst on board, along with other expenses like beauty treatments and extra excursions. A final bill for these extras will be given to you on your last evening onboard. Local wine is included with dinner with Lueftner cruises and an optional drinks package is available with Nicko cruises.
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Cruising On The Shannon River
An Irish river cruise on the Shannon is a relaxingly-active way to explore some of Irelands most beautiful destinations. In Ireland and Northern Ireland, you do not need a license to cruise. As long as you are 21 years or older, you can hire a cruiser.
Carrickcraft has marinas in Carrick-On-Shannon, Banagher and Bellanaleck. We are the only Cruiser company with marinas on both the Shannon and Erne. Whether you are a newbie or an expert boating enthusiast, we will make sure you are matched with a boat that suits your needs. Take a look atour fleet of two to ten berth cruisers.
Once you have decided on your Carrickcraft cruiser, we will help you become familiar with the craft, and we will demonstrate how to leave and return to a mooring. Then you will be able to do some manoeuvres yourself. We will also show you how to navigate the River Shannon and give you our bespoke navigation guide.
If you have never taken a cruise on the River Shannon, we have loads of useful information on our website to help you prepare. But be warned, your excitement levels will rise the more you learn about boat hire holidays on the River Shannon.
Amawaterways Luxury River Cruise
For over one thousand years, the great rivers of Europe – the Seine, the Rhine, the Danube and more – have been the travel and trade routes of choice. To this day, great castles, magnificent cathedrals, and elegant cities tempt travelers to step ashore from river cruises. Stroll the picturesque villages of Bordeaux and Burgundy, glory in the tulip fields of Holland, and explore the great museums and palaces of the Russian Czars.
Wherever rivers lead, our AmaWaterways river cruise programme will allow you to enjoy the best of Europe from a delightful and unique perspective.
Our 2021 and 2022 AmaWaterways brochure are available to browse online, please select your preferred itinerary from the list on the right hand side. Alternatively, choose from a selection of our special offers below which include flights ex Ireland, return port transfer and 7 nights River Cruise on twin share basis on a full board basis, unlimited wine/beers at meals and complimentary excursions. Special offer prices do not include pre/post nights, upgrades and port charges.
- Travel date: 30th October 2020 7nt FlyCruise does not port charges e160pp Cat E
- Travel date: 05th July 2020 7nt FlyCruise- does not inc port charges e160pp. Cat D
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Why Book A 2021 River Cruise
The most popular river cruises can sell out very quickly. By booking as soon as you can, youll have the best choice of itineraries and cabin types. Whats more, many river cruise lines offer promotions for early bookers such as free flights, free chauffeur transfers or no single supplements.
Browse the sailings below to find your perfect river cruise. If you would like more information or to make a booking, call our Cruise Concierge team for their expert advice and award-winning customer service.
Ireland Cruises Take You To Culture And Beauty
An Ireland cruise takes you to the countrys city life and natural landscape. Whether youre looking for live music in a pub, a hike through a national forest, or historic castles and churches, its not hard to find something enthralling to do during your cruise to Ireland. Here are some of the countrys top attractions.
Killarney National Park
This beloved national park in Ireland stretches out from the city of Killarney and includes part of the Ring of Kerry drive. The eastern edge of that drive takes you right through the middle of the park. Other top sights to see are Torc Waterfall, Ross Castle, and Ladies View lookout point.
Pints and Performances
Do an Irish whiskey tasting at Midleton Distillery and Jameson Distillery, have a pint at the world-famous Guinness Storehouse, and sip on Irish Coffee . Then visit a pub with live music or dance to see some fast toe tapping and hear energetic music beats.
Ireland is home to a number of formidable castles, many of which date back to medieval times. A couple that stand out are Kilkenny Castle, a medieval castle right on the edge of the city of Kilkenny, and Blarney Castle, located in the southeast countryside and home to the Blarney Stone awaiting your kiss.
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Shannon River Cruise Guide: Planning An Irish Boating Holiday On The Shannon
When it comes to river cruises, Ireland is a destination that is sure to tick a lot of boxes no matter what type of holiday you have in mind. If you are looking for an Irish river cruise where you can explore some of Irelands most beautiful destinations, then this Shannon River cruise guide is for you.
Shannon River Cruising With Carrickcraft
We hope youhave enjoyed our River Shannon cruising guide, as you can see a boating holidayis a wonderful way to see this stunning part of Ireland. You can go where youwant at your own pace and make it as relaxing or active as you like.
If you want to explore the River Shannon, Carrickcraft has an extensive fleet of cruisers as well as two marinas along the River Shannon that make hiring a craft and getting out on the water as convenient as possible. If you would like to know more and discuss your requirements for a River Shannon cruise, please contact us, and we will be delighted to help you plan your Irish boating holiday.
Melanie May spent five years backpacking solo around the world and turned her wanderlust into a career when she became a freelance writer and photographer. She won the Best Newcomer award at the Travel Extra Travel Journalist of the Year Awards 2018 and is a member of the British Guild of Travel Writers. She runs her own blog, Travel Eat Write Repeat and you can follow her travels over on Instagram
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What Are The River Cruise Cabins Like
Accommodation varies from ship to ship, and the style and layout of cabins will differ, depending on which deck/cabin type has been booked. Travel Departments River Cruise holidays include a lower deck cabin as standard and upgrades to middle and upper decks are available at a supplement. Many lower deck cabins have smaller, non-opening windows, while middle and upper deck cabins generally have opening panoramic windows. Detailed information can be found in the individual holiday descriptions. All cabins have a bathroom with shower and are equipped with a hairdryer, safe and air conditioning.
Where Can You Sail
There’s a huge choice of destinations to explore across Europe, Asia and Africa’s popular rivers. Many sailings occur on the waterways of Europe, including rivers such as the Rhine, Douro and the Danube.
If you’re looking to head further afield, Asia offers the Mekong, Irrawaddy and the Yangtze for a chance to experience local life and captivating cultures up close.
One of the key times to enjoy a river cruise is during the festive season, with Christmas market river cruises exploring seasonal delights along the river banks.
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Why Barge In Ireland
Barging in Ireland reveals its many charms best seen from the water. An extraordinarily scenic cruise route, Irelands natural beauty offer major appeal. Lovers of history will thrill to the tours and visits. Guests aboard an Irish cruise will intimately explore Irelands vibrant culture and impressive place in world history while also discovering the small slices of Irish life typically overlooked while traveling.
Helpful Tips Before You Go
The cruise season for Ireland is typically May through August, which is also when Celebrity Reflection sails itineraries there that embark from Dublin. This is because the winter months have more rain, more cold, and less daylight. In the spring and summer months youll be able to enjoy sights while also hopefully basking in some pleasant weather during your Ireland cruise.
It is Ireland, though, known for its drizzly rain. Pack a rain jacket or poncho so youre ready for whatever the weather throws your way during your day in port. Along with the rain jacket, packing clothing you can easily layer is key to being comfortable during your time exploring the Irish coast and countryside. Even in summer, the weather can get cool during the day, especially by the often-windy coast. A secure daypack to stow away layers when youre not using them is helpful to have while in port.
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Things To Do On A Shannon River Cruise
You can be as mild or wild as you want on a Shannon river cruise, but one thing is for sure, youll never be bored.
Fishing there are great stocks of a wide range of fish on the River Shannon including brown Pike, Bream, Perch, Roach, Rudd and Tench. All along the River Shannon, there are plenty of fishing hotspots and coarse angling areas. There are different permit requirements for fishing in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, so please check what, if any, licence you need before you start fishing.
Birdwatching birders and twitchers are in for a treat when cruising the RiverShannon as the bird watching along these waters is world-class. Keep your eyespeeled for Kingfishers, Whooper Swans, Black-tailed Godwits, Mute Swans,wigeons, and Golden Plovers.
Swimming pack your bathers, as the fresh and unpolluted water of the River Shannon isperfect for a dip. The river is also quite shallow in some areas so evenchildren can enjoy a splash around too.
Water sports the River Shannon has some great sheltered waters which are perfect for water skiing and wakeboarding. Some of our pleasure crafts will easily tow a speedboat or ski-boat, and there are plenty of places to tie up the cruiser so you can get out on the water to ski or board.
Paddling fancy something a bit gentler? Take a canoe or kayak out on the calm waters ofthe River Shannon and explore the lakes up close and personal and glimpse thecountryside in a way few others do.
Take The Helm On The Royal Canal
To set your own agenda, rent a boat for a few days for the journey from Dublin to Shannon on the Royal Canal — just make sure youre up to the challenge of the 46 locks en route. The canal passes through dramatically different landscapes, starting in the urban surroundings of Dublin before flowing through open countryside. No previous boating experience is needed to rent Meave, a four-passenger, 40-foot barge. The operators at Rent My Boat give you a full lesson before you set off.
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Ireland Sights And Landmarks
Home to both natural and man-made wonders, Ireland is a visual delight. In its rural reaches, emerald-hued landscapes roll out like a carpet. Stunning coastal mountains slope down to low plains in the islands center. Tidy villages and dramatic cliffs hug the coast. The world-famous Ring of Kerry, the 100-mile circular drive along the west coast, reveals all these stunning natural features.
At Blarney Castle, just outside of Cork, kissing the world-famous Blarney Stone is rumored to bestow the gift of gab. The stone has been part of the castle since the 15th century. Even if you dont fancy kissing the wall, the castle itself is well worth exploring.
The people of Dublin, the nations capital, have long celebrated the written word, nowhere more deeply than at the library of Trinity College, the hallowed home of the inspiring 9th-century illuminated Book of Kells, a collection of the four Gospels of the New Testament painstakingly penned and painted by Columban monks. Today, the devout of Dublin flock to the soaring, 12th-century St. Patricks Cathedral, the nations spiritual touchstone and a Gothic masterpiece adorned with richly decorated floors, and to the Gothic-Romanesque Christ Church Cathedral. The citys and nations political heart is Dublin Castle, with its impressive keep, built after the Norman invasion that unseated the Vikings here. The regal Bedford Tower is topped by a copper-green dome, suitable for the Emerald Isle.
Viking Tours Ireland Ideal For History Buffs
Ideal for families and history buffs, this Viking themed cruise sets off from Athlone, and gives children the opportunity to dress up as Vikings for the day, whilst sailing in a Viking replica boat.
Adults can be intrigued by the history of the Vikings, as well as visiting the monastic settlement and round tower of Clonmacnoise. A great day out for all ages.
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Shannon Princess Cruise An Intimate Cruise Journey Through Ireland
This ultra luxurious cruise hosts just 10 passengers, making it very tranquil and intimate. Not only does this cruise take you past beautiful and lush countryside, there is also a wealth of activities to chose from, which will give you a great experience at each stop off. This of the most popular in the country!
So, whether its a romantic cruise, a family cruise, a quick cruise or a few days onboard youre looking for, there are options for everyone in Ireland. The duration ranges from 45 minutes to multiple days, so the choice is yours.
However, one thing is for sure seeing Ireland from the waterways will be an unforgettable experience, no matter which part of the country you are in. Make sure to take part in any of the best river cruises in Ireland.