Discover the scenery and historic structures throughout Ireland during this 7-day cruise aboard Shannon Princess. Cruise through the most beautiful stretch of River Shannon and pass by the Portumna swinging bridge that opens up as you glide by. Explore the Leap Castle, rumored to be one of Ireland's most haunted houses. Enjoy traditional Irish music and hospitality onboard as the guests will be served by the owners of the barge themselves, Captain Ruiari and Chef Olivia, a couple who will make your tour an unforgettable experience!
Partake in a day excursion to Portumna Castle and Galway
Explore the Leap Castle, rumored to be one of Ireland's most haunted houses
Tour the famous Birr Castle’s Gardens and Science Center
Visit Kilbeggan Distillery, the oldest licensed whiskey distillery in the world
Guests are met in Dublin and transferred by private chauffeured minibus to the Shannon Princess. Your Captain and his crew welcome you on board with champagne, Black Velvets or Irish coffees. You might have time perhaps for a gentle stroll before your first dinner on board.
This morning you begin your cruise around the beautiful “Inner Lakes” of Lough Ree and then continue north as you explore some of the 365 islands on the lake. You will then circle back to the River Shannon and onto your mooring in Athlone Town. After lunch, you will 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.
Today you will navigate Athlone Lock and head south through Europe’s richest example of “Callow” landscape. You will moor at Clonmacnoise ruins, a famed 6th century university and an early monastic settlement. Following a tour, you will cruise on to our mooring at Shannonbridge. Then, after lunch you can 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, you will cruise a very pretty stretch of the River Shannon through Meelick lock, pausing as Portumna swing bridge is opened to allow passage onto idyllic Lough Derg and then moor at Terryglass Harbour. This afternoon you will visit Birr Castle, still resided in by the Earl of Rosse and family. You will see the magnificent gardens, the fascinating Science Centre and admire the historic Great Telescope. Dinner on board.
Today, your tour will head 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. You will then return to Shannon Princess and set sail across beautiful Lough Derg, passing Forrest Park and ancient mountains as you enjoy your dinner and sunset cruise to Mountshannon – a lovely lakeside village perched above the Lough.
Today you will 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, you will have 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, you will 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. You will end the afternoon by visiting a traditional Irish hand-weaving workshop. ‘Sláinte’ cocktail reception and Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board.
Day 7: Killaloe
After breakfast, guests are transferred by private chauffeured minibus to Dublin.
Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!