When contemplating a European river cruise, Ireland might not be the first country that springs to mind. For over 25 years we have been operating our boutique barge the Shannon Princess. We take our guests on a luxury cruise visiting fabulous stretches of the River Shannon, the longest river in the UK & Ireland.
So why is Ireland an ideal location for a European barge cruise?
Outside of the capital Dublin, Ireland has a large number of towns and villages which are just waiting to be explored. Most people on vacation get a real feel for a place when they meet the locals.
With castles, monasteries and forts dotted throughout the country it is like stepping back in time and absorbing yourself in history and folklore. We visit interesting places as we travel along the River Shannon including Clonmacnoise a 6th century monastery founded by Ireland’s saints and scholars of that era.
Before we go though a lock dating back to the Victorian era we visit Athlone town, home to Adamson’s castle and Sean’s Bar which holds the Guinness book of records award for being the oldest pub in Ireland! Here you can immerse yourself in traditional Irish music and the craic. Enjoy a walking & Whiskey tour to one of the world’s oldest distillery.
Cycling, mountain hikes, walking tours, fishing, shopping, golf, swimming. There are so many things to do in Ireland and many of them involve getting lots of fresh air!
Along the banks of the River Shannon there is an abundance of wildlife, especially birds such as the rare white-tailed eagle, majestic corncrakes and graceful swans. One of our cruise excursions is a visit to Adare Manor. Their country pursuits activities include falconry where our guests get up and close to birds of prey.
Fishing is a very popular sport and pastime in Ireland. Trout, pike and salmon are among the most popular fresh water fish. Our guests can fish right off the barge or indeed from the jetty or river bank.
Walking is made even more enjoyable with an abundance of beautiful Irish scenery, providing a breath-taking back drop for photos. (see #4 Scenery). Our walking tours charter is very popular and covers between 14 – 20kms each day!
If haunted castles are your thing, then Ireland is the place to visit! Leap Castle is believed to be Irelands most haunted castles and we bring our guests to tour around the castle and say hello to the Ryan family who currently reside there!
Ireland is home to famous golf clubs such as Adare Manor. As part of our Golf cruise we visit favorites – Lahinch Old Course, Adare Manor, Doonbeg and Glasson Golf.
While we travel from one town to the next, the cruise provides an opportunity to see some of Ireland’s beautiful landscapes and ever changing scenery. Our guests can sit back and relax on deck and take in the scenery, watching the world go by.
Of course with all this un-spoilt natural beauty that surrounds us we have developed a walking itinerary so that our guests can incorporate a walking holiday with a luxury barge cruise, visiting areas of interest including the Slieve Bloom Way, the Pilgrims Path and the East Clare Way.
We are very lucky in Ireland to have a great choice of local food producers, many of them supplying organic produce. Lush pastures give Irish beef its renowned great taste and it is exported to a number of countries world-wide.
Artisan cheese, yoghurts, chocolates and bread along with fresh vegetables can be found at farmers markets and local stores. We source many of these suppliers for our barge cruise. Always fresh and always tasty.
One other area that we are passionate about is foraging. The Irish countryside has a abundance of wild produce that is just waiting to be picked. Berries, wild garlic, nettles and much more (see our blog on foraging in Ireland).
We create delicious breakfasts, lunches and gourmet meals on board our cruise. All are prepared by our highly trained chef Olivia. We have a great selection of drinks and our wines are all chosen to accompany the various dishes. We highly recommend a glass of the award winning, Irish distilled, Muldoon Whiskey.
There are so many reasons why Ireland is perfect for a European barge cruise. We have mentioned just a few!
About our European barge cruise
Our boutique barge cruises the River Shannon travelling from Athlone to Killaloe. We have an itinerary to suit everyone.
Enjoy scenic views of the beautiful Irish countryside while cruising on the River Shannon and immerse yourself in local heritage and culture. Shannon Princess is the perfect way to explore Ireland.
So why not choose Ireland and the Shannon Princess for a European barge cruise that will go beyond your wildest vacation expectations.