IRELAND RIVER CRUISE
The River Shannon is Ireland's longest river at 224 miles, The Shannon rises in County Cavan and flows gently south to Limerick and into the Atlantic Ocean. It also divides the West of Ireland from the east and south. All along the Shannon River, there are charming towns and villages, the most noteworthy being Carrick on Shannon, Athlone and Limerick. Every town tells its own story. Barge cruises in Ireland, especially on the Shannon is a great way to get away from the stresses of everyday life. There are no traffic jams and there is lots of time for fishing, swimming, and all types of watersports. Three major lakes on the Shannon are Lough Allen, Lough Ree and Lough Derg. Not forgetting the Grand Canal and the Royal Canal which link the Shannon to Dublin. With so much included in the price, Irish Barge trips offer value for money. Travelling from town to village and no need to worry about directions or unpacking. You will wake up in a different place every day, refreshed and ready for the next adventure.
Guests are met in Dublin** and transferred by private chauffeured minibus to Shannon Princess. Your Captain and his crew welcome you on board with champagne, Black Velvets or Irish coffees. Time perhaps for a gentle stroll before your first dinner on board.
This morning we begin our cruise around the beautiful “Inner Lakes” of Lough Ree and then continue north as we explore some of the 365 islands on the lake. We then circle back to the River Shannon and onto our mooring in Athlone Town. After lunch we visit the Kilbeggan Whiskey Distillery, dating from 1757 and the oldest licensed whiskey distillery in the world. On the return journey there is time for a visit to Ballinahown, an artisan craft village. Dinner on board.Tuesday, Day 3 Athlone to Shannonbridge
Today we negotiate Athlone Lock and head south through Europe’s richest example of “Callow” landscape. We moor at Clonmacnoise ruins, a famed 6th century university and an early monastic settlement. Following a tour, we cruise on to our mooring at Shannonbridge. Then, after lunch we visit Leap Castle, reputed to be Ireland’s most haunted house. You will be given a personal tour by the eccentric owner Sean Ryan, whom with traditional Irish musicians, will relate to you the fascinating history of the castle and its part in founding the American Constitution. After dinner on board, perhaps join the captain for a pint in Killeen’s pub and an evening with the locals.
This morning, we cruise a very pretty stretch of the River Shannon through Meelick lock, pausing as Portumna swing bridge is opened to allow us passage onto idyllic Lough Derg and then moor at Terryglass Harbour. This afternoon we visit Birr Castle, still resided in by the Earl of Rosse and family, to see the magnificent gardens, the fascinating Science Centre and admire the historic Great Telescope. Dinner on board.Thursday, Day 5 Terryglass to Mountshannon
Today, our tour is firstly, to the walled gardens of Portumna Castle, then on to Galway, a lively University City and cultural centre for Irish-speaking regions in Western Ireland. Visit the Galway crystal, craft and linen shops and then lunch at a traditional Guinness & Oyster pub. We return to Shannon Princess and set sail across beautiful Lough Derg, passing Forrest Park and ancient mountains as we enjoy our dinner and sunset cruise to Mountshannon – a lovely lakeside village perched above the Lough.
Today we set sail across south Lough Derg, re-joining the River Shannon to moor at Killaloe, once home to the court of the greatest High King of Ireland, Brian Boru. After exploring this elegant little town, we lunch on board, then set off to Adare Manor, a magnificent estate located on the banks of the River Maigue. Here, in the setting of the Walled Garden, we gain a real insight into the history and tradition of falconry and have the opportunity to ‘get up close and personal’ with birds of prey such as owls, falcons and eagles – a magical experience. We end the afternoon by visiting a traditional Irish hand-weaving workshop. ‘Sláinte’ cocktail reception and Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board.
|2020 Departure Dates (Sunday)||Rates||Cruise Region|
|Apr 19, 26; May 3||Val||Ireland - The River Shannon|
|May 10, 17, 24, 31; Jun 7, 14, 21, 28; Jul 5, 12, 19, 26; Aug 2, 9, 16, 23, 30; Sep 6, 13, 20||Reg||Ireland - The River Shannon|