Europe & Baltic Cruises
(River Shannon Cruise)
Experience Dublin with your private guide before you set sail on an intimate barging cruise experience of Ireland's renowned River Shannon. With a maximum of 10 guests, and a crew attentive to your desires, this is an entirely different kind of cruising. Enjoy magnificent cheese plates and fine wines, while your onboard chef prepares regional specialties daily from freshly selected local ingredients, giving you a genuine culinary experience as you cruise alongside the green pastures, historic castles and vibrant towns of the Shannon region. Daily excursions with a guide will bring you even closer to the history and culture of this area, as you cruise the River Shannon between the towns of Killinure Point, Athlone, Shannonbridge, Terryglass, Mountshannon and Killaloe.
Cruise Departure Dates:
2014: Departs every Sunday from Apr 13 - Oct 5.
After being picked up at the airport by your English speaking driver, you will be brought on at our of Dublin. Your Driver/Guide will show you Dublin's major attractions such as Trinity College and the Book of Kells, perhaps the worlds most beautifully illustrated book. In the city centre region there is also St Patrick's Cathedral, Christchurch and the famous Guinness Brewery. There are a host of shopping and museums and galleries to explore in the historical Georgian district near St Stephens Green. We highly recommend the National Museum, Natural History Museum and the National Gallery to name a few. In order to give as much flexibility as possible, we have not included entrance fees and these can be paid in person on site.
Here are some suggestions for a pleasant couple of hours in Dublin: Have a stroll through the little-known Iveagh Gardens, which rival those of St. Stephen’s Green but on a lesser scale and with fewer people, then cut through St. Stephen’s Green and head toward Merrion Square. On a Sunday the square is lined with local artists’ work that you can check out before heading into The National Gallery, which overlooks this same square. Head to the art gallery of The Royal Hibernian Academy (25 Merrion Sq.) or visit 29 Merrion Square to get a glimpse of what genteel life was like in Dublin in the late 18th century; Be sure to walk through the main gates of Trinity College and stroll around Parliament Square before heading to the old library to see the Book of Kells. After a quick stop off at The Kilkenny Shop (6 Nassau St.) and The Avoca Handweavers shop (Suffolks Street), head to The Powerscourt Townhouse Centre (between South William and Clarendon streets), a beautiful 1774 building that houses various small boutiques and one-off designer stores of mostly Irish designers.
Albany House (3* Guesthouse) is one of the finest examples of period accommodation available in the heart of Georgian Dublin on Harcourt Street. It was built in the late 18th century and was once part of the prestigious estate of the Earl of Clonmel. A unique blend of understated elegance, sophistication and warm friendly service, Albany House Dublin offers Dublin City B&B Accommodation in an ideal atmosphere of seclusion and comfort for those who appreciate such attention to detail.
Enjoy a half day excursion to the northside of Dublin with your Driver/Guide and private vehicle. Take in the beautiful coastline as you make your way to Howth and Malahide. Explore Malahide castle and desmene - a pocket of grandeur just outside of the city. Be sure to take your camera with you this afternoon on your excursion. In order to give as much flexibility as possible, we have not included entrance fees and these can be paid in person on site.
The ten passenger Shannon Princess II is the only luxury hotel barge cruising the waterways of Ireland. Her thoughtfully designed interior has panoramic windows, through which you can view the passing scenery, and includes a comfortable saloon, dining area and bar. The Shannon Princess II also features full length, roof top sun deck ideal for relaxing with a drink, or watching the sunset after dinner. The five suites have en-suite facilities and give a choice of twin or double bed configuration. The experienced Irish crew go out of their way to ensure your every need is accommodated. Your chef was trained at the Ballymaloe School and distinguishes herself at every meal with her signature dishes and your captain has piloted and managed the Shannon Princess II for many years.
With a pickup at your desginated meeting place, you'll be transfered by coach to your awaiting ship at port.
Welcome aboard!Take some time to get settled in as your Captain and his crew welcome you on board the delightful Shannon Princess with Champagne, Black Velvets or Irish Coffees.
This Morning you begin your cruise around the beautiful “Inner Lakes” of Lough Ree and then continue north to Lough Ree as we explore some of the 365 islands on the lake. You then circle back to the River and onto your mooring in Athlone Town. After lunch you'll depart by bus to the Kilbeggan Whiskey Distillery. Dating from 1757, the distillery is the oldest licensed whiskey distillery in the world. On the return journey there is time for a visit to the village of Ballinahown, an artisan craft village.
The Shannon Princess descends through Athlone Lock and heads south through Europe’s richest example of “Callow” landscape. Countryside little changed in over 1000 years. This is one of Ireland’s premier Wildfowl Reserves. You moor at Clonmacnoise ruins, a famed 6th century university and early Christian settlement. After a visit to the interpretive centre you lunch on board enroute to Shannon Bridge, arriving mid-afternoon to this typical Irish riverside town. After lunch you'll sail to Shannonbridge and visit a local apiary and sample some wild Irish honey and other organic produce at Meadowsweet Farm, hosted by the owner. After dinner on board join the captain for a pint in Killeen's pub for some music whilst you pass the time with the locals.
You travel a very pretty stretch of the Shannon with an ever-changing landscape slipping by. Travelling down through Meelick lock, pausing as Portumna swing bridge is opened to allow the Shannon Princess passage onto idyllic Lough Derg. Moor at Terryglass Harbour. Lunch at the Derg Inn in the Village. Time to explore this charming Hamlet before your visit to Mossfield Organic Farm to sample some of their award-winning cheeses. On to “Leap Castle”, reputed to be Ireland’s most haunted house. You will be greeted by Sean Ryan and his family who will invite you in to their unusual home and Sean, a renowned musician, will tell you the fascinating history of the castle and the part it played in founding the American Constitution. Sean will gladly play a few tunes with possibly the added bonus of being joined by his talented young daughter who will demonstrate her amazing dancing skills.
A full day excursion to Galway City – A lively university city and cultural centre for Irish speaking regions in Western Ireland. Visit Galway crystal, and a profusion of craft and linen shops. Lunch at a Traditional Guinness & Oyster pub. Return to Shannon Princess and set sail through the especially beautiful Lough Derg passing Forrest Park and ancient mountains as you set your course for Mountshannon – a lovely lakeside village perched above the Lough.
This morning you set sail through south Lough Derg and her many Islands rejoining the River Shannon and entering Killaloe, once home to the court of the greatest High King of Ireland, Brian Boru. You'll moor on the Tipperary side of this elegant little town, with plenty of time for you to visit the town. After lunch onboard, set off by bus on an excursion to a unique project set in the grounds of Craggaunowen Castle, designed to bring Bronze Age & Celtic culture to life. Also on display is a reconstructed hide boat used by Irish Monks to sail to North America in the 5th century.
Meet your driver for an airport transfer in a private vehicle.
Please note drivers may or may not speak English as their sole responsibility is to transfer clients from one location to another. If you would like to have the presence of an English speaking Assistant or Guide for your transfer this can be pre-arranged upon request and would be subject to an additional supplement.
This morning you'll disembark from your barge, bidding your captain and crew farewell as you make landfall.
Upon disembarkation, you'll be transfered by coachback to your initial meeting point.
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