What have Ireland cruises to offer? If you are thinking of the idea of a cruise to Ireland an alternative is to fly direct and take a cruising holiday here.
The northern parts of Ireland are just ideal for all kinds of water sports, cruising and angling. Shoreline pursuits include walking, cycling and horse riding.
There are many cruise operators which we will list below and you can have a great holiday on the water but of course can combine it with many shore stop off points along the way.
The main reason is Lough Erne in County Fermanagh is linked to 750km of cruising waterway. It actually stretches all the way from Fermanagh down through the centre of Ireland to Limerick where the River Shannon meets the Atlantic Ocean.
So many people take a Shannon river cruise and County Fermanagh is the true heartland and gateland to the rest of Ireland.
Immediately you will be struck by the greenness of the countryside but it is the stillness and silence of this spectacular landscape you will never ever forget. No wonder many city dwellers return to our paradise year after year "to get away from it all".
If you want to do an Ireland cruise by boat what can you expect? Here is a typical example of a short Lakeland Boating Trip from Lough Erne in County Fermanagh. A number of operators are listed on the right hand side.
4 day Cruise Example
Lakeland Boating or Cruising
Here is just one example of a 4 day cruise on Lough Erne . I will let your mind wander with me and at the end I will give you a full list of contacts of cruising operators.
Start on Lower Lough Erne head northward to Belleek home to the world famous Belleek Pottery. This picturesque village boasts a number of places to lunch or you can buy some tackle or bait.
Returning from Belleek take the eastern shore passing Castle Caldwell, a forest park and bird nature reserve. You will also pass through what we call the Broad Lough which is the widest part of the lake. Head your cruiser to Lusty Beg which is an island resort with excellent accomodation and leisure facilities.
Heading further South, the lakes becomes dotted with islands .If you would like you can stop off at the Lakeside in Castle Archdale, an excellent country park offering walking and cycle paths and in season an outdoor pursuits centre.
The lake narrows meandering through the islands easily moving from Ely Lodge Forest and the Lough Erne Golf Resort on teh western shore to the Lough Erne Yacht club on the eastern shore.
Just north of Enniskillen, Devenish Island dominates the horizon, the round tower and ruins of the monastic site proving a wonderful stopping off point for a visit.
Enniskillen, the island town, has a multitude of moorings. Served by a wide range of restaurants, bars, shops and leisure services, the town is also home to one 12th century castle, museum, and theatre. Stop for a bite to eat at the beautifully located Killyhevlin Hotel on the shores of Upper Lough Erne.
South of Enniskillen, the lough winds through the beautiful lakeside countryside stopping in Bellanleck and Carrybridge. Head out into the Upper Lough and stop at the Share Holiday Village an outdoor centre for able bodied and disabled outdoor activities. Maybe visit the Hare Krishna on Inish Rath Island. The last stop is Crom Estate, now run by the National Trust, a 1,900 acre lakeside estate with a visitors' centre and cafe with walks and paths for cycling throughout the estate.
Fermanagh Lakes Cruising
Here is a list of boating/cruising operators:
Lakeland Boating-Corraquill Cruising, Derylin
Barges which are suitable for all weather cruising.
Lakeland Boating-Manor House Marine Day Boats, Killadeas
Boats available for half and full day hire.
Lakeland Boating-Carrybridge Boat Company, Lisbellaw
Lochside Cruisers Ltd., Enniskillen
Lady of the Lake Tours, Manor House Hotel, Killadeas