Shannon Princess Irish River Barge
The ten passenger Shannon Princess is the largest hotel barge cruising the River Shannon. Her thoughtfully designed interior includes five twin/double bedded suites with Loughside views, a comfortable saloon/dining area and a full-length upper sun deck with spa pool. The five suites have en suite facilities and give a choice of twin or double bed configuration. Her experienced Captain and crew go out of their way to ensure your every need is accommodated. Your Master Chef was trained at the Ballymaloe School and distinguishes herself with the creation of some wonderful signature dishes.
Day 1: Dublin – Glasson.
Guests are met at the designated meeting point in Dublin and transferred to the barge moored in Glasson. Your Captain and his crew welcome you on board with champagne, Black Velvets or Irish Coffees. Time for a stroll before your first dinner on board (D).
Day 2: Glasson – Athlone.
This morning, cruise around the beautiful “Inner Lakes” of Lough Ree and continue north to explore some of the 365 islands on the lake. Circle back to the River Shannon and onto the mooring in Athlone. After lunch depart by coach to the Kilbeggan Whiskey Distillery, the oldest licensed whiskey distillery in Ireland, dating from 1757, for a tour and of course, a tasting. On the return journey there is time for a visit to Ballinahown, an artisan craft village (B,L,D).
Day 3: Athlone – Shannonbridge.
After breakfast, Shannon Princess descends through Athlone Lock and heads south through Europe’s richest example of “Callow” landscape, countryside little changed in over 1,000 years. This is one of Ireland’s premier Wildfowl Reserves. Moor at Clonmacnoise ruins, a famed 6th century university and early Christian settlement. Lunch on board en route to Shannonbridge arriving mid-afternoon at this typical Irish riverside town. After lunch visit “Leap Castle”, reputed to be Ireland’s most haunted house. You will be greeted by Sean Ryan and his family who will invite you into 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. After dinner on board, join the captain for a pint in Killeen’s pub for some Irish music and time with the locals (B,L,D).
Day 4: Shannonbridge – Terryglass.
This morning cruise a very pretty stretch of the River Shannon with an ever-changing landscape drifting by. Pass through Meelick lock, pausing as Portumna swing bridge is opened to allow Shannon Princess passage onto idyllic Lough Derg. Moor at the harbour of Terryglass, a picturesque, waterside village, for lunch. This afternoon visit Birr Castle, still resided in by Lord Rosse and his family, to see the magnificent gardens, the fascinating Science Centre and admire the historic Great Telescope (B,L,D).
Day 5: Terryglass – Mountshannon.
Today, visit the walled gardens of Portumna Castle and continue on to Galway, a lively university city and cultural centre for Irish-speaking regions in Western Ireland. Visit the Galway crystal, craft and linen shops and then lunch at a traditional Guinness & Oyster pub. Return to Shannon Princess and set sail across the especially beautiful Lough Derg passing Forrest Park and ancient mountains on a course for Mountshannon – a lovely lakeside village perched above the Lough (B,L,D).
Day 6: Mountshannon – Killaloe.
This morning set sail through south Lough Derg past her many islands, re-joining the River Shannon and entering Killaloe, once home to the court of the greatest High King of Ireland, Brian Boru. The mooring is on the Tipperary side of this elegant little town, with plenty of time to explore. After lunch set off on an excursion to a unique project set in the grounds of Craggaunowen Castle, designed to bring Bronze Age and 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. Later in the afternoon, visit a traditional hand-weavers workshop and studio, where guests will take a step back in time, whilst also learning how these thriving small cottage industries are dealing with technology and the future. Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board (B,L,D).
Day 7: Depart Killaloe.
After breakfast, disembark for transfers back to the designated drop off point (B).