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Cruise on the Shannon River - Ireland's Ancient Highway

Cruise on the Shannon River – Ireland’s Ancient Highway


A cruise ship on the Shannon River with Le Boat is among one of the most distinct methods to check out Ireland taking you via the heart of the nation as well as its lengthy background. When you select an Irish River cruise ship, you have the possibility to self-drive along Ireland’s old freeway to historical damages as well as popular castles. Each community along the River Shannon invites bargers with open arms as well as cold pints of Guinness as gifted artists captivate the group with dynamic typical songs.

Cruising the Shannon might be the objective, however leaving the watercraft to experience Irish friendliness is what produces memories to last a life time. If you are intending a cruise ship on the Shannon, we are mosting likely to offer you all the details you require to maximize your journey. Right currently, Le Boat is using very early reservation financial savings of 10% up until November 30 for the 2023 period. Check out all their locations in Europe as well as Canada. See information below.

Cruising on the Shannon

Cruising on the Shannon River with Le Boat

This was our 4th Le Boat River Cruise. We had actually simply completed travelling the Canal du Midi in France as well as made 2 various other journeys on the Rideau Canal in Ottawa, Canada the summertime prior to. We were eagerly anticipating travelling the River Shannon as it looked comparable to a Rideau Canal cruise ship with even more open water as well as lakes than the lengthy as well as slim Canal du Midi. Ireland has an unique location in our traveling hearts as well as we were mosting likely to see locations in Ireland that we hadn’t seen prior to.

Read regarding various other Le Boat River Cruise experiences:

About the Shannon River

About Cruising on the Shannon River

The Shannon River is the lengthiest river in Ireland covering 360 kilometres via the heart of the nation. It begins in Shannon Pot in County Cavan in the north of Ireland as well as finishes in County Limerick at the Shannon Estuary.

Our Shannon River Cruise Route

shannon river cruise map

During our 8-day Shannon River Cruise, we took a trip from Carrick on Shannon from the Le Boat workplace. (Emerald Star in Ireland) to Portumna where Le Boat has an additional workplace. Boats are all parked in their marina with complete power as well as centers.

In Ireland, Le Boat is called Emerald Star. Emerald Star has actually been Ireland’s Number One boating vacation carrier as well as has actually been operating the Rivers Shannon for virtually half a century so I can recognize why they didn’t wish to shed their name!

What to Expect on a Cruise on the River Shannon

What to expect cruising on the Shannon river

Carrick on Shannon to Portumna (or visa versa) is among one of the most preferred paths for Shannon River Barge Cruisers. It is a 160 kilometres trip that takes you via 5 locks as well as under 2 bridges. To traveling 160 kilometres on a Le Boat houseboat, the trip takes roughly 20 hrs of travelling time. Boats are restricted to 10km per hr, so when you are Shannon Cruising, you are kicking back to kick back. As you can see from the map, we covered a great deal of Ireland.

We were amazed with simply the amount of Irish were travelling the Shannon River on either their very own watercrafts or with watercraft services. It absolutely advised us a great deal of the Rideau Canal in Canada because feeling. When travelling that canal, we saw several independent sailors take pleasure in the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

River Shannon Cruise Shuttle

We flew right into Dublin where our shuttle bus from Kearns Coaches selected us as much as take us to the Le Boat Headquarters at Carrick on Shannon. We asked our motorist if we can quit at a food store to grab materials as well as he mored than happy to have a time-out while we got food as well as beverages for our week on the River Shannon.

Carrick on Shannon is a city where we can have acquired all our materials, so the quit wasn’t required, however it behaved to be able to fill food right into the van as well as unload it straight at the dock.

Do you Need Boating Experience to Cruise the Shannon River?

Cruising on the Shannon River do you need experience

You do not require boating experience to travel the Shannon with Le Boat. A Le Boat rep will certainly stroll you via every little thing you require on the watercraft and after that take you out for a brief lesson. All watercrafts have an optimal rate limitation of 10 kilometres per hr as well as there are a lot of bumpers on the watercraft. Plus, watercrafts have thrusters that you will certainly find out exactly how to make use of in your alignment as well as they make driving simple.

Our overview strolled us via the home heating as well as cooling as well as all of the controls that we’d be utilizing throughout the following 7 days. And he will certainly take you out on an examination drive to reveal you exactly how to make use of the thrusters as well as controls. By the moment he left the watercraft, we felt great to begin browsing our method along the Shannon River.

Day 1 – Carrick on Shannon

Cruise on the Shannon River Carrick on Shannon

We invested the evening at Carrick on Shannon as well as immediately loved this community. There are a lot of points to do in Carrick on Shannon that you can invest 2 evenings in the community.

Carrick on Shannon is a vibrant city full of bars that are loaded to the handle. We figured out that it is a preferred Stag as well as Hen event location in the UK as well as wedding event events had actually flown in from throughout Britain to commemorate.

Cruise on the Shannon River Carrick on Shannon Pub

It was simple to locate a bar where we presented my sibling Jim to a correct pint of Guinness. Before Ireland, he swore that he would certainly not come to be a follower of Guinness due to the fact that he doesn’t such as dark beer, however we quickly made a “Guinness Lover” out of him. We invested the evening bar jumping as well as paying attention to gifted Irish bands prior to strolling back to our watercraft that lay right midtown in the Le Boat Marina.

Cruise on the Shannon River Costello Memorial Chapel
Costello Memorial Chapel

One not to miss out on location in the heart of midtown Carrick on Shannon is Costello Memorial Chapel. It is claimed to be the 2nd tiniest church on the planet as well as was made by Edward Costello that committed it to his better half that passed away in 1877. Both their burial places get on display screen under glass inside.

Day 2 – Carrick on Shannon to Tarmonbarry

Cruise on the Shannon River en route to Tarmonbarry

We had a lot of time daily to reach our following location on the Shanon River, so each early morning we made morning meal on the watercraft as well as appreciated a leisurely speed prior to establishing off for Tarmonbarry.

Le Boats have complete cooking areas as well as they provide you with pots as well as frying pans, recipes, as well as flatware. By purchasing the barbecue starter package, we likewise had salt as well as pepper, olive oil as well as tin aluminum foil. All we required to buy at the supermarket was the dishes as well as treats we desired for the week in advance.

Lunch at Dromod

En path, we quit at the wonderful waterfront town of Dromod. Dromod is an attractive community that is an ideal quit for lunch. We anchored at the harbor that has actually been made use of for greater than 150 years for barges lugging Guinness as well as utilizing it as a stop. There are a number of dining establishments as well as bars with a significant steakhouse.

Cruise on the Shannon River Dromond Harbor

You can leave to the train gallery as well as can take a brief flight on the still-operating vapor train. Outside you’ll see traditional cars, an old bus, an aircraft, as well as a submarine. Inside the gallery, there are tools on display screen from WWII.

Cruise on the Shannon River Dromond Cox Steakhouse

If you aren’t mosting likely to prepare lunch on the watercraft, we recommend picking up lunch at the Brandywell Bar Restaurant as well as Lodge to attempt some Guinness Pie or you can stockpile on some grocery stores at Kinneden Organics to buy some natural vegetables and fruit. Cox’s Steakhouse is an additional preferred dining establishment as well as if you are remaining the evening, make certain to reserve a table beforehand for supper.

Overnight in Tarmonbarry

Cruise on the Shannon River Tarmonbarry

After a number of hrs at Dromod, we made our method to Tarmonbarry where we invested the evening in this dynamic community. We were informed that we’d require to call the bridge caretaker to obtain under the bridge, however as he was driving by, he shouted over to us, stating we’d make it. Just go slow-moving! Only in Ireland eh?

We followed his recommendations as well as gradually gone across under the bridge eluding our heads as we passed. We remained in Tarmonbarry with a lot of hrs to extra prior to sundown.

Cruise on the Shannon River Whitehall Church Tarmonbarry
Actual rock watercraft from the wonder of Saint Barry

It was after that on the bikes that we rented out from Le Boat searching for the Abbey that was developed by Saint Barrech, (Barry) in the sixth Century. It was a much longer bike flight than anticipated, however after biking via farmland, hillsides, as well as the Irish Countryside, we ultimately discovered the Abbey that houses his rock watercraft.

Legend has it that Saint Barry carried out a wonder when he required to go across the River Shannon to have a tendency to an ill pal. With no watercraft visible, we transformed a large rock right into a boat to go across the river. We saw claimed rock in all its splendor at Whitehall Church simply north of Town.

This is an excellent community to socialize in for the night with a lot of bars as well as dining establishments. We paid attention to live songs at Keenans as well as appreciated a pint outdoors at The Shannon Bar as well as Garden.

Day 3 – Tarmonbarry to Lanesborough

Cruise on the Shannon River Lanesborough

After an evening of numerous pints of Guinness, we rested like children in the silent marina. This marina lies on a biking as well as strolling path as well as produces an excellent location to extend your legs in the early morning.

It was after that off to Lanesborough in the nick of time for lunch.

Make certain to drop in this community as there are a number of outstanding historical churches to check out. There’s a distillery around as well as wonderful locations for coffee. It was throughout this journey that Jim as well as Janice found out that Dave as well as I enjoy an excellent mug of coffee as we laid out daily to locate a scrumptious coffee bar. We constantly discovered what we required!

Lanesborough to Athlone

Cruise on the Shannon River Lanesborough Church

We parked our watercraft by the bridge throughout the Shannon River from Lanesborough. It is below that you can check out the twin cities of Lanesborough as well as Ballyleague. Sling Shot Gin is distilled right in this community as well as you can drop in for a preference as well as to buy an Irish keepsake.

Don’t miss out on seeing St. John’s church which dates right back to the start of the Christian practice in Ireland throughout the 5th Century. Lanesborough is an excellent location to take pleasure in lunch as well as to extend your legs prior to proceeding to your quit for the evening, Athlone.

Overnight in Athlone

Cruise on the Shannon River Athlone Castle

Athlone is the biggest city on your Shannon River Cruise as well as we recommend investing 2 evenings below if you can. I’d rather do outing bent on Lanesborough as well as Loch Ree throughout the day as well as usage Athlone as a base for 2 evenings. Loch Ree is so preferred to check out that there are Viking ships that take vacationers bent on discover its Viking background as well as all of its abbeys populating the coast.

Day 4 – Athlone

shannon river cruise parking downton athlone

Athlone is residence to the globe’s earliest club as well as we parked our watercraft straight before this historical spots. The club lies straight on the Shannon River as well as Le Boat has prime docking rooms right in the facility of community. If it is complete, you can likewise park at the marina a bit prior to community, however we advise reaching Athlone early to obtain a place at this prime place. We were within strolling range from almost everywhere. And had a thousand-dollar-a-night sight from our prime place.

Cruise on the Shannon River Seans Bar

There are many points to do in Athlone, that it is among the leading visitor locations in Ireland. It’s a preferred quit for scenic tour buses taking a trip in between Dublin as well as Galway as well as completely factor.

Wander via its Medieval Streets to browse its stores, dining establishments, as well as coffee shops. And make certain to see Athlone Castle which controls the beachfront. Our watercraft was simply a couple of brief actions far from this historical spots going back to 1210. You can take directed excursions via the castle premises.

Sean’s Bar – World’s Oldest Pub

Cruise on the Shannon River Worlds oldest pub

The World’s Oldest Pub was absolutely an emphasize. The Guinness Book of World Records states that it is Europe’s earliest club, however the proof reveals that it is in fact The World’s Oldest constantly running club. They have the documentation to confirm it. Sean’s Bar go back to 500 advertisement as well as it was throughout restorations in the 1970s that they discovered thousand-year-old coins as well as the initial framework made from Wattle as well as Wicker.

Cruise on the Shannon River Athlone Bastion Gallery

This community was made a lot more popular when Michael Jackson dropped in to go down a great deal of cash in the Bastion Gallery. Athlone absolutely is a treasure of a Shannon River Cruise as well as several Shannoriver cruisers utilize this as a base as well as merely do day excursions from below.

Day 5 – Athlone to Shannonbridge

Cruise on the Shannon River Views

Today is a stunning day so make certain to leave intense as well as very early to take your time at one of one of the most remarkable quits on the Shannon River. Today you see the incredible Clonmacnoise. This quit is an old city that showcases a 6th-century reclusive negotiation.

We left Athlone as quickly as the locks available to make it to Clonmacnoise prior to the groups. Even though you can dock your watercraft below on the Shannon River, bus excursions regular this marvel of Ireland. So you will certainly be sharing it with overland vacationers.

Clonmacnoise

Cruise on the Shannon River Clonmacnoise

Clonmacnoise is a reclusive negotiation from the sixth century. Pulling as much as the dock is extraordinary unto itself. The initial point that appears is the high ft neglecting the Shannon River. As you stroll up the course in the direction of the entry, the crosses as well as churches emerge as well as you recognize you remain in for something unique.

Cruise on the Shannon River Clonmacnoise Abbey

Plan to invest 2 hrs taking pleasure in Clonmacnoise. Your browse through starts with a 15-minute movie describing the background of the abbey adhered to by an assisted scenic tour. The directed scenic tour deals understanding right into the crosses as well as premises, as well as is excellent to participate in however it is likewise good to stay after the group leaves (And prior to the following one gets here).

During that time, you have time to take pleasure in the premises by yourself. There are greater than 700 very early Christian markers, high towers, as well as extraordinary rock crosses.

Cruise on the Shannon River Clonmacnoise North Cross

Inside the gallery is superb also. Make certain to watch out for The North Cross, which looks comparable to the cross on the Book of Kells. Read a lot more: 34 of the Best Things to do in Dublin, Ireland

Since this website is among the very early Christian negotiations, Clonmacnoise is a preferred spiritual expedition, as well as Pope John Paul II provided mass below in 1979.

Overnight at Shannonbridge

Cruise on the Shannon River Shannonbridge

Tonight is the evening we anchored at Shannonbridge which is an additional emphasize of a Shannon River Cruise. Like many locations that we anchored throughout our Le Boat journey on the Shannon, we parked best midtown as well as can stroll almost everywhere. In reality, we were once more before a well-known Ireland club! Luker’s Bar Shannonbridge is residence to among the best-preserved bars in all of Ireland. Luker’s Bar is so popular that it gets on the Irish Bar Calendar including popular bars in the nation.

Cruise on the Shannon River Lukers Bar Shannonbridge

We were fortunate due to the fact that John, the proprietor was offering that evening as well as he took us on an excursion right into his genuine club that has actually hardly transformed given that the 1750s. There is the last continuing to be Victoria Regina Fireplace in all of the British Isles, old wood tables where you can virtually scent the fragrance of an 18th-century event as well as souvenirs from a past period.

Cruise on the Shannon River Old Lukers Bar Shannonbridge
Owner Jon with Dave in Ireland’s most genuine historical club

You might wish to invest all your time in the club when docking your watercrafts on the River Shannon, however make certain to venture bent on check out even more of Shannonbridge. The bridge itself is a stunning curved framework that was finished in the 1700s. There is an incredible old ft situated precisely the River Shannon where you can get a coffee as well as check out the martello towers.

Cruise on the Shannon River Shannonbridge Fort

The ft was developed to protect the Shannon River from an intrusion by Napoleon as well as there are plenty points to see. If you are trying to find real-time songs, Killeen’s Bar has songs on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, as well as Sunday evenings from May to October.

It might be a village, however you can handle to go club jumping in Shannonbridge. That’s simply the method points remain in Ireland.

Day 6 – Banagher

Cruise on the Shannon River Banagher

Banagher is a charming following quit on the River Shannon cruise ship where you’ll be remaining in a big marina. This marina has showers, washing, as well as neighboring food vehicles in the high period. It’s a really brief stroll to community to take pleasure in a lot of bars as well as dining establishments. Make certain to see the River Shannon Brewery to pause from Guinness as well as check out their artisan craft beers the Martello Tower as well as Crank Red Ale.

Cruise on the Shannon River Banagher Restaurants

It remained in this community that we appreciated among our preferred suppers on the River Shannon. Sadly, I totally neglected its name, however if you stroll right into a back alley stone’s throw right into community, you’ll appear to an attractive yard. Dave as well as I discovered it while trying to find a coffeehouse as well as they had tasty coffees. While drinking our coffee, we made an appointment for that evening.

This wonderful dining establishment is a brand-new enhancement to the community with superb food as well as a remarkable ambience. At the moment of creating they didn’t have their alcohol permit yet, however they permitted us to bring our very own red wine.

Cruise on the Shannon River Banagher River Pool

One of the a lot more distinct points to do in Banagher is to jump in for a swim in the River Shannon at the Banagher Swimming swimming pool which lies right in the waters of the river.

Day 7 – Portumna Castle

Cruise on the Shannon River Portmuna Castle

Our last drive along the Shannon River prior to our last night was a stunning journey via Lough Derg to Portumna. We recommend passing Portumna as well as making your method to the marina before Portumna Castle. It is via the bridge as well as you will certainly need to time it according to your schedule that you’ll obtain from Le Boat, however believe me, you will certainly wish to remain in front of the castle.

Cruise on the Shannon River Portmuna Abbey

Portumna Castle is a treasure of Ireland as well as both King James I as well as Queen Elizabeth I saw this magnificent castle. You can take an excursion of the castle premises as well as inside there is a coffee shop offering fresh coffee as well as food that can be gone to totally free. Luckily we had our bike services as well as appreciated a great flight via the picturesque Portumna Forest Park.

Cruise on the Shannon River Portmuna Town

There are a lot of bars, dining establishments as well as purchasing around and also as holds true with every one of the communities as well as towns on the Shannon River, a fascinating church as well as some old damages.

The Abbey Ruins situated in between the castle as well as community can be conveniently discovered throughout your stroll as well as are totally cost-free to go into. They were an emphasize of the several points to see on the River Shannon.

Day 8 – Final Night Portumna Dock

Cruise on the Shannon River Portmuna Dock

It was a 9 am check out the following day, so we left Portumna Castle in the mid-day to make the last bridge going across back to the Le Boat dock in Portumna. This dock is a separated location to make certain to have what you require for the evening. You can get food as well as have it supplied for a level cost from community. The Le Boat team behaved adequate to phone for us as well as we got Italian food for our last evening on the River Shannon.

We invested the evening unwinding as well as evacuating to be off the watercraft as well as prepared for our shuttle bus back to Dublin intense as well as very early.

Our Le Boat journey had actually involved an end, however the memories produced will certainly last a life time.

About a Shannon River Cruise

Cruise on the Shannon River FAQ Cruising

Our path took us from Carrick on Shannon to Portumna. It was an 8-day cruise ship as well as we invested regarding 3 hrs daily on the Water.

Our journey extended 160 kilometres / 5 locks / 2 Bridges / 20 hrs of cruisingLocks are open Monday – Saturday 09:00am -8 pm as well as Sundays 10:00am-6:00pmWhen leasing a Le Boat, every little thing is consisted of. They offer you wise cards if demand to run the locks. Most of the moment they are not required, however I have actually checked out that they are called for on the Shannon Erne. Life Jackets need to be used at the locks. This is the excellent journey for novices as no experience is required. The days are unwinding as well as you’ll move right into each community early sufficient to check out as well as take pleasure in.

Cruise on the Shannon River Le Boat

Be planned for Irish weather condition, it can kip down an immediate as well as we experienced a great deal of rainfall. We needed to drive from listed below many days, however we had the warm on as well as the treats moving as we absorbed the leisurely speed of discovering the Shannon.

The wonderful feature of seeing Ireland is if the weather condition misbehaves, the bars are open with pleasant as well as inviting individuals waiting to heat you up with a great pint of Guinness by the fire.

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