Classic Irish River Cruise

Where Life Moves At Its Own Pace.

Enjoy living life at the glorious pace of the Shannon Princess. Cruise through Ireland's Hidden Heartlands, moor at waterside villages, and experience private guided shore visits. Our Classic Cruise is the perfect vacation to relax and reconnect with family, friends and new friends.

McKernan Woollen Mills

Classic Cruise Highlights at a Glance.

Our Classic Cruise is an outstanding cruise and our most popular cruise choice. Highlights include Birds of Prey at glorious Adare Manor, handweaving on the shores of Lough Derg and lunch at a Guinness and Oyster Bar in vibrant Galway – the Gaelic speaking capital of the west of Ireland. Cruise right to the high crosses of Clonmacnoise – an atmospheric ancient monastic settlement and the mythical ancient burial ground of the High Kings of Tara and Connaught.  Enjoy a hosted Irish whiskey tasting at Kilbeggan Distillery, as well as a private visit to Leap Castle - reputed to be Ireland’s most haunted home. Discover a waterway where life moves at its own pace. Perhaps time enough for a pub or two!

Why Not Add On....

If you wish we can add many activities on an 'a la carte basis', to our Classic Cruise itinerary – including golf, fishing and horse-riding along the River Shannon.

The Shannon Princess can be booked by the Cabin or as an exclusive charter for up to 10 guests. Cruises are of a 6 night / 7 day duration and run each Sunday April through to October.

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Classic Irish River Cruise

Your Private Guided Tour

Itinerary: North-Bound

Warm Welcomes, Waterways and the Wild

Day 1: A Warm Shannon Princess Welcome

Your Shannon Princess journey begins when your barge host meets you at 3pm at our designated hotel. You are transferred by our private coach to the Shannon Princess, waiting for you in beautiful Killaloe, County Tipperary. In keeping with the friendly style of the family-owned and managed Shannon Princess, you receive one of the warmest welcomes in European barging and enjoy a champagne reception to toast the special days ahead. There’s time to relax on deck and meet up with fellow guests as you watch the world float gently by and ease into your first gourmet dinner on board.

While in Killaloe, you also have plenty of time to explore its charming riverside setting - once home to the court of Brian Boru, the 11th-century High King of Ireland.

Day 2: Killaloe to Mountshannon

You begin the day with a scenic drive to the grand and glamorous Adare Manor – the former seat of the Earl of Dunraven and dating back to the 17th century. Here on the banks of the River Maigue you are treated to an impressive display of some of the world’s most majestic birds of prey – including falcons, hawks, owls, and eagles. You enjoy the privilege of getting up close and personal to these magnificent creatures and experience the magic of flying some of these awe-inspiring birds freely to the glove. All while taking in the estate's magnificent walled garden, parklands and surrounding woods.

You return to Shannon Princess and cruise through the beautiful countryside – as old as time and unchanged through the years. There are so many treasures to tempt you as we go – from first-class fishing to abundant bird life, and unforgettable scenery.

We cruise through the fjord-like reaches of the River Shannon and enter Lough Derg passing Holy Island - once a monastic settlement and complete with Irish round tower and ruined churches. Continuing westwards we head towards the charming estate village of Mountshannon, perched high above the Lough and renowned for its stunning scenery and gorgeous walks.

Once moored, we step back in time and treat you to a visit to a traditional hand weaver’s workshop and studio. Since early Ireland, the skills of spinning and weaving have been important trades – and you see for yourself how today’s thriving artisan industry has adapted to technology and the future.

You close the day with an exquisite gourmet dinner on board, and perhaps a romantic moonlit ramble along the riverbank.

Day 3: Mountshannon to Terryglass

As the day begins, we cruise leisurely north through the countryside rich with lake and shoreline scenery. We ease towards the eastern shore of the Shannon and moor at the charming hamlet of Terryglass – a lively little village that has proudly twice-won the highly coveted national prize of ‘Ireland’s Tidiest Town’.

After lunch in the village, you take an unforgettable visit to Leap Castle - once home to one of America’s founding fathers, John Carroll, and reputed to be Ireland's most haunted house. Here you’re hosted by the renowned musician Sean Ryan and his family - who showcase their history-steeped home and authentic Irish culture.

Day 4: Terryglass to Banagher

This morning we leave the Shannon Princess bound for an excursion to the Walled Kitchen Gardens of Portumna Castle, which dates back to the early 17th Century. Continuing our journey, we arrive in Galway - a lively university town and the heartbeat of Irish speaking regions in the west of Ireland. Here you indulge in a delicious lunch at an authentic Guinness & Oyster Bar – and enjoy time to browse and explore the colourful shops and streets. Returning to the Shannon Princess you’re served a delicious gourmet dinner, as we cruise on through countryside dotted with crumbling ivy-covered ruins, medieval garrisons and sleepy market villages. As the evening sets, we moor at Banagher, enjoying sundowners on deck or the chance to explore.

Day 5: Banagher to Athlone

The Shannon Princess meanders up the Shannon towards the riverside town of Athlone - stopping en route to visit Clonmacnoise, a famed 6th century university and early Christian settlement. Continuing, we cruise through ‘The Callows’ – an area of lush grazing meadows and one of Europe’s richest landscapes with premier wild fowl and fauna reserves. You see and admire how little has changed here, for almost 1,000 years.

As evening sets in we moor in the lively, bustling town of Athlone, which sits at the very heart of Ireland. Here you explore at your leisure – and enjoy plenty of time for shopping, antiquing or a visit to any of the town’s impromptu traditional music pubs. Why not visit Ireland’s oldest bar – Sean’s? But be sure to return to the Shannon Princess for gourmet dinner!

Day 6: Athlone to Glasson

Relax and unwind as we float around the beautiful ‘inner lakes’ of Lough Ree - passing stately riverside homes and some of the area’s 365 wooded islands. We moor at the pretty Quigley’s Marina, giving you the opportunity to explore the picturesque Glasson village - known as ‘the village of the roses’. Here you enjoy lunch in the beautiful olde worlde-style gastro pub – Grogans - for an authentic Irish country experience.

The highlight of the afternoon is a visit to a local whiskey distillery – always a highlight. Dating back to 1757, the Kilbeggan Distillery is the oldest licensed whiskey distillery in the world.

Returning to the Shannon Princess, you end the day with Slainte drinks and a special farewell dinner. Rather than bidding you good-bye, and in true Irish spirit, the crew says, ‘see you soon’.

Day 7: Disembark the Shannon Princess

As your week draws to a close, you transfer to the assigned hotel in Dublin, arriving at approximately 12 noon.

Itinerary: South-Bound

From Charming Countryside to Waterways and Welcomes

Day 1: A Warm Shannon Princess Welcome

Your magical journey begins when your barge host meets you at 3pm at our designated hotel. From there our private coach takes you to the beautiful Shannon Princess waiting for you in Quigley Marina in Glasson - 1.50 hours from Dublin. In keeping with the friendly style of the family-owned and managed Shannon Princess, you’re treated to ‘Cead Mile Failte’ (‘a hundred thousand welcomes’) and enjoy a champagne reception to toast the special days ahead. There’s time to relax on deck and meet up with fellow guests as you watch the world float gently by and ease into your first gourmet dinner on board.

Day 2: Glasson to Athlone

As the day begins, you take the time to enjoy an early morning stroll through the gently winding country lanes. You see for yourself how little the countryside has changed through the years, and that nature has gifted the river & her lakes with many treasures, including first-class fishing, abundant bird life, and incredible scenery.

Then it’s time to set sail on the River Shannon’s ‘Inner Lakes’ and relax in style. You indulge in the scenery as we pass stately riverside homes, as well as some of the 365 wooded islands found on the lake. You then arrive in the lively, bustling town of Athlone in county Westmeath at the very heart of Ireland. Here you make an afternoon visit to Kilbeggan Distillery - the oldest licensed whiskey distillery in the world, dating back to 1757 – and discover a wealth of tradition, craftsmanship and passion for this much-loved Irish drink.

You then take time to explore at your leisure, with a spot of shopping, antiquiquing or taking in any of the impromptu music ‘sessions’ at the town’s local pub. We call it ‘the craic’ and you’ll love it – just don’t forget to return to the barge for your freshly-prepared gourmet dinner!

Day 3: Athlone to Shannonbridge

From Ireland, Land of Saints and Scholars – to our fighting history and some ghosts for good measure – today is a mixture of history and fascinating stories. After a hearty country breakfast, we descend through Athlone Lock and sail through ‘The Callows’ – lush grazing meadows that have not changed for 1000 years and which are now a beautiful wildflower and fauna reserve. We then moor below Clonmacnoise ruins and make a trip to the ancient burial grounds of the High Kings Tara and Connaught - a chance to step back in time and explore our rich past.
You enjoy lunch on board as we cruise on to Shannonbridge - arriving at this charming little walled village which is an excellent spot for riverside walking and exploring. We then take an excursion to Leap Castle - once home to one of America’s founding Fathers - John Carroll – and reputed to be Ireland’s most haunted building. There, renowned musician Sean Ryan and his family are your hosts and will show you around their historical and unusual home. You might choose to end the evening with ‘a pint’ at Luker’s Pub, along with some traditional music and a chat with the locals.

Day 4: Shannonbridge to Terryglass

The Shannon Princess slowly cruises through a beautiful landscape that constantly changes – offering up rolling green hills, ivy-covered ruins, medieval garrisons and sleepy market villages. After descending Meelick Lock, we pause at the Portumna Swing Bridge which opens to welcome the Shannon Princess onto the serene Lough Derg. We will moor at the beautiful Terryglass Harbor in the quaint story-book village of Terryglass in County Tipperary. This charming hamlet has twice-won the highly-coveted national prize of ‘Ireland’s Tidiest Town’.

We make a memorable visit to the beautiful, award-winning Birr Castle Gardens. Here rare trees and flowers, wildlife and wonderful walks meet amazing feats of science and engineering at the on-site Science Centre – home of the Great Telescope. Back on the barge you enjoy a gourmet dinner, with time afterwards to explore and sample local nightlife if you wish.

Day 5: Terryglass to Mountshannon

This morning we leave the Shannon Princess bound for an excursion to the Walled Kitchen Gardens of Portumna Castle which dates back to the early 17th Century. We then make our way on to Galway – the lively Anglo-Norman cultural capital of Ireland and a stronghold of the Irish language. Ireland's fourth-largest city, Galway has expanded beyond its medieval core of narrow streets into a lively university town of quaint shop fronts and busy pubs. Take the time to discover it all, to browse in the colourful shops which showcase local artisan crafts – with the treat of the day being lunch at an authentic Guinness and Oyster Bar.

Return to ‘Shannon Princess’ and cruise south as the sun sets on an especially beautiful portion of Lough Derg, cruising past ancient mountains and forested parks. We set course for the charming estate village of Mountshannon, perched above the Lough. A lovely place to visit, Mountshannon is renowned for its stunning scenery and pretty walks.

After a gourmet dinner on board, enjoy a moonlit ramble around the village.

Day 6: Mountshannon to Killaloe

The Shannon Princess cruises through the fjord-like reaches of the River Shannon and its many islands and castles. The vast waterway carves a dramatic route through the hills and valleys of the twin towns of Killaloe and Ballina. Joined by the old bridge, both lively centres are full of art, history and foodie treats, while Killaloe is best known as the birthplace and home of Brian Boru, the 11th-century High King of Ireland.

Later in the afternoon we take you back in time – on a trip to a traditional Irish handweaver’s workshop and studio. Here you’ll see for yourself how the beautiful fabrics of our land are created, and how these small cottage industries are meeting the future and technology.

You lunch in Killaloe, then drive to beautiful Adare Manor - the former seat of the Earl of Dunraven and dating back to the 17th century. Here on the banks of the River Maigue you are treated to an impressive display of some of the world’s most majestic birds of prey – including falcons, hawks, owls, and eagles. You enjoy the privilege of getting up close and personal to these magnificent creatures and experience the magic of flying some of these awe-inspiring birds freely to the glove. All while taking in the estate's magnificent walled garden, parklands and surrounding woods.

Returning to the Shannon Princess, you end the day with Slainte drinks and a special farewell dinner. Rather than bidding you good-bye, and in true Irish spirit, the crew says, ‘see you soon’.

Day 7: Disembark the Shannon Princess

After breakfast and as your week draws to a close, you leave the Shannon Princess at Killaloe and transfer to the assigned hotel in Dublin - arriving at approximately 12 noon.

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