A cruise on the Shannon River with Le Boat is among the most distinct methods to check out Ireland taking you through the heart of the nation and its long history. When you select an Irish River cruise, you have the opportunity to self-drive along Ireland’s ancient highway to historical ruins and well-known castles. Each town along the River Shannon invites bargers with open arms and cold pints of Guinness as skilled artists amuse the crowd with vibrant standard music.
Travelling the Shannon might be the objective, however leaving the boat to experience Irish hospitality is what develops memories to last a life time. If you are preparing a cruise on the Shannon, we are going to provide you all the info you require to take advantage of your journey. Today, Le Boat is providing early reservation cost savings of 10% up until November 30 for the 2023 season. Have a look at all their locations in Europe and Canada. See information here.
Travelling on the Shannon
This was our 4th Le Boat River Cruise. We had actually simply ended up travelling the Canal du Midi in France and made 2 other journeys on the Rideau Canal in Ottawa, Canada the summertime prior to. We were anticipating travelling the River Shannon as it looked comparable to a Rideau Canal cruise with more open water and lakes than the long and narrow Canal du Midi. Ireland has an unique location in our travel hearts and we were going to go to locations in Ireland that we had not seen prior to.
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About the Shannon River
The Shannon River is the longest river in Ireland covering 360 km through the heart of the nation. It begins in Shannon Pot in County Cavan in the north of Ireland and ends in County Limerick at the Shannon Estuary.
Our Shannon River Cruise Path
Throughout 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 another workplace. Boats are all parked in their marina with complete power and centers.
In Ireland, Le Boat is called Emerald Star. Emerald Star has actually been Ireland’s Primary boating vacation service provider and has actually been running on the Rivers Shannon for almost 50 years so I can comprehend why they didn’t wish to lose their name!
What to Anticipate on a Cruise on the River Shannon
Carrick on Shannon to Portumna (or visa versa) is among the most popular paths for Shannon River Barge Cruisers. It is a 160 km journey that takes you through 5 locks and under 2 bridges. To take a trip 160 km on a Le Boat houseboat, the journey takes roughly 20 hours of travelling time. Boats are restricted to 10km per hour, so when you are Shannon Cruising, you are kicking back to unwind. As you can see from the map, we covered a great deal of Ireland.
We were shocked with simply the number of Irish were travelling the Shannon River on either their own boats or with boat leasings. It certainly advised us a great deal of the Rideau Canal in Canada because sense. When travelling that canal, we saw numerous independent boaters delight in the UNESCO World Heritage Website.
We flew into Dublin where our shuttle bus from Kearns Coaches chose us as much as take us to the Le Boat Head Office at Carrick on Shannon. We asked our chauffeur if we might stop at a supermarket to get materials and he mored than happy to have a time-out while we purchased food and beverages for our week on the River Shannon.
Carrick on Shannon is a city where we might have purchased all our materials, so the stop wasn’t required, however it was good to be able to pack food into the van and unload it straight at the dock.
Do you Required Boating Experience to Cruise the Shannon River?
You do not require boating experience to travel the Shannon with Le Boat. A Le Boat agent will stroll you through whatever you require on the boat and after that take you out for a brief lesson. All boats have an optimal speed limitation of 10 km per hour and there are lots of bumpers on the boat. Plus, boats have thrusters that you will discover how to utilize in your orientation and they make driving simple.
Our guide strolled us through the heating and a/c and all of the controls that we ‘d be utilizing throughout the next 7 days. And he will take you out on a test drive to reveal you how to utilize the thrusters and controls. By the time he left the boat, we felt great to begin browsing our method along the Shannon River.
Day 1– Carrick on Shannon
We invested the night at Carrick on Shannon and immediately fell for this town. There are lots of things to do in Carrick on Shannon that you might invest 2 nights in the town.
Carrick on Shannon is a dynamic city filled with bars that are loaded to the hilt. We discovered that it is a popular Stag and Hen celebration location in the UK and wedding event celebrations had actually flown in from all over Britain to commemorate.
It was simple to discover a club where we presented my sibling Jim to a correct pint of Guinness. Prior to Ireland, he pledged that he would not end up being a fan of Guinness since he does not like dark beer, however we quickly made a “Guinness Enthusiast” out of him. We invested the night bar hopping and listening to skilled Irish bands prior to strolling back to our boat that lay right downtown in the Le Boat Marina.
One not to miss out on location in the heart of downtown Carrick on Shannon is Costello Memorial Chapel. It is stated to be the 2nd tiniest chapel on the planet and was made by Edward Costello who dedicated it to his spouse who passed away in 1877. Both their burial places are on screen under glass inside.
Day 2– Carrick on Shannon to Tarmonbarry
We had lots of time every day to get to our next location on the Shanon River, so each early morning we made breakfast on the boat and delighted in a leisurely rate prior to setting off for Tarmonbarry.
Le Boats have complete cooking areas and they provide you with pots and pans, meals, and flatware. By buying the picnic starter package, we likewise had salt and pepper, olive oil and tin foil. All we required to buy at the supermarket was the meals and treats we desired for the week ahead.
Lunch at Dromod
En path, we stopped at the charming riverside town of Dromod. Dromod is an attractive town that is an ideal stop for lunch. We docked at the harbor that has actually been utilized for more than 150 years for barges bring Guinness and utilizing it as a stopover. There are a number of dining establishments and bars with a noteworthy steakhouse.
You can go out to the train museum and can take a brief flight on the still-operating steam train. Outside you’ll see timeless vehicles, an old bus, a plane, and a submarine. Inside the museum, there are weapons on screen from WWII.
If you aren’t going to prepare lunch on the boat, we recommend picking up lunch at the Brandywell Bar Dining Establishment and Lodge to attempt some Guinness Pie or you can stockpile on some groceries at Kinneden Organics to buy some natural vegetables and fruit. Cox’s Steakhouse is another popular dining establishment and if you are remaining the night, ensure to schedule a table ahead of time for supper.
Overnight in Tarmonbarry
After a number of hours at Dromod, we made our method to Tarmonbarry where we invested the night in this vibrant town. We were informed that we ‘d require to call the bridge keeper to get under the bridge, however as he was driving by, he screamed over to us, stating we ‘d make it. Simply go sluggish! Just in Ireland eh?
We followed his suggestions and gradually crossed under the bridge ducking our heads as we passed. We remained in Tarmonbarry with lots of hours to extra prior to sundown.
It was then on the bikes that we leased from Le Boat searching for the Abbey that was developed by Saint Barrech, (Barry) in the sixth Century. It was a longer bike flight than anticipated, however after biking through farmland, hills, and the Irish Countryside, we lastly discovered the Abbey that houses his stone boat.
Legend has it that Saint Barry carried out a wonder when he required to cross the River Shannon to tend to an ill pal. Without any boat in sight, we turned a huge stone into a boat to cross the river. We saw stated stone in all its splendor at Whitehall Church simply north of Town.
This is a fantastic town to hang out in for the night with lots of bars and dining establishments. We listened to live music at Keenans and delighted in a pint outdoors at The Shannon Bar and Garden.
Day 3– Tarmonbarry to Lanesborough
After a night of a number of pints of Guinness, we slept like children in the peaceful marina. This marina lies on a biking and strolling path and produces a great location to extend your legs in the early morning.
It was then off to Lanesborough in the nick of time for lunch.
Make certain to drop in this town as there are a number of excellent historical churches to check out. There’s a distillery in the area and excellent locations for coffee. It was throughout this journey that Jim and Janice discovered that Dave and I enjoy a great cup of coffee as we set out every day to discover a tasty coffee bar. We constantly discovered what we required!
Lanesborough to Athlone
We parked our boat by the bridge throughout the Shannon River from Lanesborough. It is here that you can check out the twin cities of Lanesborough and Ballyleague. Sling Shot Gin is distilled right in this town and you can drop in for a taste and to buy an Irish memento.
Do not miss out on checking out St. John’s church which dates all the method back to the start of the Christian custom in Ireland throughout the fifth Century. Lanesborough is a fantastic location to delight in lunch and to extend your legs prior to proceeding to your stop for the night, Athlone.
Overnight in Athlone
Athlone is the biggest city on your Shannon River Cruise and we recommend investing 2 nights here if you can. I ‘d rather do excursion out to Lanesborough and Loch Ree throughout the day and utilize Athlone as a base for 2 nights. Loch Ree is so popular to check out that there are Viking ships that take travelers out to explore its Viking history and all of its abbeys dotting the coast.
Day 4– Athlone
Athlone is house to the world’s earliest bar and we parked our boat straight in front of this historical landmark. The bar lies straight on the Shannon River and Le Boat has prime docking areas right in the center of town. If it is complete, you can likewise park at the marina a bit prior to town, however we suggest getting to Athlone early to get an area at this prime area. We were within strolling range from all over. And had a thousand-dollar-a-night view from our prime area.
There are numerous things to do in Athlone, that it is among the leading traveler locations in Ireland. It’s a popular stop for trip buses taking a trip in between Dublin and Galway and for excellent factor.
Roam through its Middle ages Streets to browse its stores, dining establishments, and coffee shops. And ensure to go to Athlone Castle which controls the waterside. Our boat was simply a couple of brief actions far from this historical landmark going back to 1210. You can take assisted trips through the castle premises.
Sean’s Bar– World’s Oldest Bar
The World’s Oldest Bar was certainly an emphasize. The Guinness Book of World Records states that it is Europe’s earliest bar, however the proof reveals that it is really The World’s Earliest continually running bar. They have the documents to show it. Sean’s Bar go back to 500 advertisement and it was throughout remodellings in the 1970s that they discovered thousand-year-old coins and the initial structure made from Wattle and Wicker.
This town was made more well-known when Michael Jackson dropped in to drop a great deal of cash in the Bastion Gallery. Athlone really is a gem of a Shannon River Cruise and numerous Shannoriver cruisers utilize this as a base and merely do day trips from here.
Day 5– Athlone to Shannonbridge
Today is a stunning day so ensure to leave intense and early to take your time at one of the most amazing stops on the Shannon River. Today you go to the amazing Clonmacnoise. This stop is an ancient city that showcases a 6th-century monastic settlement.
We left Athlone as quickly as the locks opened to make it to Clonmacnoise prior to the crowds. Although you can dock your boat here on the Shannon River, bus trips regular this marvel of Ireland. So you will be sharing it with overland travelers.
Clonmacnoise is a monastic settlement from the sixth century. Bring up to the dock is extraordinary unto itself. The very first thing that appears is the high fort ignoring the Shannon River. As you stroll up the course towards the entryway, the crosses and churches appear and you understand you remain in for something unique.
Strategy to invest 2 hours taking pleasure in Clonmacnoise. Your see starts with a 15-minute movie describing the history of the abbey followed by an assisted trip. The assisted trip provides insight into the crosses and premises, and is excellent to participate in however it is likewise good to stay after the crowd leaves (And prior to the next one shows up).
Throughout that time, you have time to delight in the premises by yourself. There are more than 700 early Christian gravestones, high towers, and extraordinary stone crosses.
Inside the museum is wonderful also. Make certain to watch out for The North Cross, which looks comparable to the cross on the Book of Kells. Find out more: 34 of the very best Things to do in Dublin, Ireland
Because this website is among the early Christian settlements, Clonmacnoise is a popular spiritual trip, and Pope John Paul II offered mass here in 1979.
Overnight at Shannonbridge
Tonight is the night we docked at Shannonbridge which is another emphasize of a Shannon River Cruise. Thus numerous locations that we docked throughout our Le Boat journey on the Shannon, we parked best downtown and might stroll all over. In reality, we were as soon as again in front of a popular Ireland bar! Luker’s Bar Shannonbridge is house to among the best-preserved bars in all of Ireland. Luker’s Bar is so well-known that it is on the Irish Bar Calendar including well-known bars in the nation.
We were fortunate since John, the owner was serving that night and he took us on a trip into his genuine bar that has actually hardly altered because the 1750s. There is the last staying Victoria Regina Fireplace in all of the British Isles, old wood tables where you can nearly smell the aroma of an 18th-century celebration and souvenirs from a bygone period.
You might wish to invest all your time in the bar when docking your boats on the River Shannon, however ensure to venture out to check out more of Shannonbridge. The bridge itself is a stunning arched structure that was finished in the 1700s. There is an incredible old fort situated right on the River Shannon where you can get a coffee and check out the martello towers.
The fort was developed to protect the Shannon River from an intrusion by Napoleon and there are plenty things to see. If you are trying to find live music, Killeen’s Bar has music on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday nights from May to October.
It might be a village, however you can handle to go bar hopping in Shannonbridge. That’s simply the method things remain in Ireland.
Day 6– Banagher
Banagher is a beautiful next stop on the River Shannon cruise where you’ll be remaining in a big marina. This marina has showers, laundry, and neighboring food trucks in the high season. It’s an extremely brief walk to town to delight in lots of bars and dining establishments. Make certain to go to the River Shannon Brewery to take a break from Guinness and experiment with their artisan craft beers the Martello Tower and Crank Red Ale.
It remained in this town that we delighted in among our preferred suppers on the River Shannon. Regretfully, I entirely forgot its name, however if you stroll into a back alley not far into town, you’ll come out to an attractive yard. Dave and I discovered it while trying to find a coffeehouse and they had tasty coffees. While drinking our coffee, we made an appointment for that night.
This charming dining establishment is a brand-new addition to the town with wonderful food and a terrific environment. At the time of composing they didn’t have their alcohol license yet, however they permitted us to bring our own white wine.
Among the more distinct things to do in Banagher is to hop in for a swim in the River Shannon at the Banagher Pool which lies right in the waters of the river.
Day 7– Portumna Castle
Our last drive along the Shannon River prior to our last night was a stunning journey through Lough Derg to Portumna. We recommend passing Portumna and making your method to the marina in front of Portumna Castle. It is through the bridge and you will need to time it according to your schedule that you’ll get from Le Boat, however believe me, you will wish to remain in front of the castle.
Portumna Castle is a gem of Ireland and both King James I and Queen Elizabeth I visited this spectacular castle. You can take a trip of the castle premises and inside there is a coffee shop offering fresh coffee and food that can be checked out totally free. Thankfully we had our bike leasings and delighted in a great flight through the attractive Portumna Forest Park.
There are lots of bars, dining establishments and shopping in the area and as holds true with all of the towns and towns on the Shannon River, an intriguing church and some old ruins.
The Abbey Ruins situated in between the castle and town can be quickly checked out throughout your walk and are entirely complimentary to get in. They were an emphasize of the numerous things to see on the River Shannon.
Day 8– Last Night Portumna Dock
It was a 9 am check out the next day, so we left Portumna Castle in the afternoon to make the last bridge crossing back to the Le Boat dock in Portumna. This dock is a separated location to ensure to have what you require for the night. You can purchase food and have it provided for a flat cost from town. The Le Boat personnel were good sufficient to telephone for us and we purchased Italian food for our last night on the River Shannon.
We invested the night unwinding and evacuating to be off the boat and all set for our shuttle bus back to Dublin intense and early.
Our Le Boat journey had actually concerned an end, however the memories produced will last a life time.
About a Shannon River Cruise
Our path took us from Carrick on Shannon to Portumna. It was an 8-day cruise and we invested about 3 hours every day on the Water.
Our journey covered 160 km/ 5 locks/ 2 Bridges/ 20 hours of cruisingLocks are open Monday– Saturday 09:00 am -8 pm and Sundays 10:00 am-6:00 pmWhen leasing a Le Boat, whatever is consisted of. They provide you wise cards if requirement to run the locks. The majority of the time they are not required, however I have actually checked out that they are needed on the Shannon Erne. Life Jackets need to be used at the locks. This is the ideal journey for novices as no experience is required. The days are unwinding and you’ll move into each town early enough to check out and delight in.
Be gotten ready for Irish weather condition, it can kip down an immediate and we experienced a great deal of rain. We needed to drive from listed below many days, however we had the heat on and the treats streaming as we took in the leisurely rate of checking out the Shannon.
The excellent aspect of checking out Ireland is if the weather condition is bad, the bars are open with friendly and inviting individuals waiting to warm you up with a great pint of Guinness by the fire.