The Experience

Buoyed by spectacular scenery and Ireland’s legendary hospitality, cruising on ‘Shannon Princess II’ through the fjord-like reaches of the Shannon River onto Lough Derg puts you in the center of the enchanting history and culture of the land. Your Irish captain, Ruairí Gibbons, and his wife Olivia, a renowned chef, invite you to see for yourself how their barge earned a spot in the book Once in a Lifetime Trips. Day 1: SUNDAY
Meet in Dublin and transfer to Shannon Princess II, moored at Quigley Marina in Glasson. After a champagne welcome, take some time to relax on deck before sitting down to a gourmet dinner.

‘Shannon Princess II’ | Meals: D
Time for an early stroll along the scenic, twisted lanes before a morning cruise on the River Shannon’s “inner lakes” to Athlone. After lunch, visit Kilbeggan Distillery for a tasting. Dating from 1757, it is the oldest licensed whiskey distillery in the world. Return to the barge by way of the village of Ballinahown with its artisan crafts.

‘Shannon Princess II’ | Meals: B,L,D
Shannon Princess II cruises through the callows, a protected area of lush meadows and grasslands. Moor below the ruins of Clonmacnoise, a famous sixth-century university and early Christian settlement. Have lunch as the barge continues cruising to Shannonbridge. Visit to family-owned Meadowsweet Farm to sample wild Irish honey and other fresh organic produce. After dinner this evening, call at Killeen’s Pub for traditional music and a chat with the locals.

‘Shannon Princess II’ | Meals: B,L,D
Today’s idyllic cruise passes changing landscapes dotted with ivy-covered ruins, medieval garrisons and sleepy market villages. After Meelick Lock, pause as Portumna Swing Bridge is opened to allow access to Lough Derg; moor at the foot of Terryglass. After lunch, visit Mossfield Organic Farm to sample the award-winning cheeses. Continue to Leap Castle, Ireland,™s most haunted house. Learn the castle’s history from Sean Ryan and his family who, as they demonstrate, are also talented traditional musicians.

‘Shannon Princess II’ | Meals: B,L,D
Visit Portumna Castle and its walled kitchen gardens this morning. Continue to the university city of Galway, a stronghold of the Irish language, for lunch at the authentic Guinness and Oyster Bar. Return to ,˜Shannon Princess II,™ for a leisurely cruise to Mountshannon, perhaps to enjoy a moonlit ramble in the old estate village or dancing at the local hotel.

‘Shannon Princess II’ | Meals: B,L,D
Cruise through charming stretches of Lough Derg to the twin towns of Killaloe & Ballina. Enjoy a private tour of the belfry of St. Flannan’s Anglican Church, hosted by the Choir Master. Then visit the Craggaunowen Project, where ring forts, ancient dwellings and farmsteads bring to life Ireland’s “living past”. Continue to a traditional hand weavers workshop and studio to learn how small cottage industries still thrive. Return to the barge for a gala farewell dinner this evening.

‘Shannon Princess II’ | Meals: B,L,D
After breakfast, transfer back to Dublin where your journey ends.

Meals: B
Cruise itinerary operates in reverse direction on alternate weeks.

Canal Barge Cruising in Europe is a relaxed way of travel that is inherently flexible and subject to change. The above itinerary is an example of the places you may see and visit during your cruise; your actual itinerary may vary.

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