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-Ireland on Barge Shannon Princess-

Cruise Details:

  • Up to 10 guests
  • 107 Ft. Long
  • Rating: Deluxe
  • Charter & Cabin bookings
  • Hosts: Ruairi, Olivia & Ross Gibbons
  • English Speaking Crew of 5
  • Bicycles: To be advised
  • Air Conditioned: No
  • Last Visited 2014

Cruise Rate Includes:

6 nights/7 days in a cabin with a private bath, chauffeured transfers from the Aberdeen Lodge in Dublin to the barge & return, all meals, from dinner the first night to breakfast the last morning, all wines with lunch & dinner, open bar, daily escorted excursions.

Cruise Rate Does NOT Include

Airfare to and from Ireland, cancellation insurance and crew gratuity (suggested minimum amount is 5% of the cruise price)


Shannon Princess

Lori Young, our well-traveled Sales Manager, was delighted to visit Shannon Princess in July, 2014. She came back raving about the warmth of the Irish people and the high quality operation of the Shannon Princess, owned by our old friends Captain Ruairi Gibbons and Chef Olivia Power. We consider Chef Olivia the top chef in the barging industry – and cuisine enjoyed by Lori confirmed this view. Below are sightseeing highlights from her trip.

Ireland barge cruise Shannon Princess ownersMy Ireland journey on the Shannon Princess began with a warm welcome from Captain Ruairi at the pickup hotel in central Dublin, the Brooks Hotel. The Brooks Hotel offers comfortable rooms, efficient front desk service, helpful concierge, and a very good restaurant and bar. The hotel is perfectly situated on a quiet street yet near to everything!

Shannon Princess was moored in Killaloe, the most southerly town on the route, approximately a 2.5 hour drive from Dublin. As we approach the parking lot in the marina, two smartly dressed women greet us, it is Cyann and Pavletta, our adorable hostesses. A champagne welcome on board with Ruairi and his wife Chef Olivia followed, along with an introduction to the week ahead.

After, there was time to unpack and get familiar with our floating home. Cabins are smartly appointed and the space is well-thought out. There’s an armoire with hanging space and shelves, night tables with drawers and a small writing desk for all your tech gear. The bathroom has more storage than needed and even a hamper is provided! Cabin amenities include; fluffy towels and robes, slippers, crisp duvets, dryers, curling irons, regional guide book and binoculars, flashlight, and so much more!

Our welcome dinner was a feast for the senses and each meal thereafter, Chef Olivia just kept exceling – we all marveled at her talent, TOP CHEF extraordinaire! See the menu page for a full tour of Olivia’s gastronomic delights.

While most tourists visit Ireland and drive the periphery, this cruise affords the unique opportunity to go inland on a series of “Loughs” or lakes. The lakes are connected by rivers and easy enough for mariners to traverse from one to the next. The landscape is an attractive bend of rolling hillsides, woodlands and farmland. Fun fact: Ireland has 1.5 million more cows than people! Swans abound, creating a picture perfect scene as the Shannon Princess plies the waterways. If birding is a pastime, these waterways will not disappoint, no wonder each cabin is supplied with a pair of binoculars!

I found the sightseeing diverse, with emphasis on introducing guests to the people in the villages, shops, farms, and even the pubs along the route! Our first guided tour was to “Craggaunowen, The Living Past”, a reenactment of a traditional Bronze Age Settlement, portraying everyday life of Pre-historic and early Christian Eras. Nestled within a beautiful pine forest the exhibition was very well-done. I had no idea so many artifacts have been preserved in the many bogs throughout Ireland, and many have only recently been excavated. A brief stop at a local weavers studio on the way back provided an intimate tour of the looms and the studio by owner, Eugene McKernan, who was working on some truly spectacular scarfs.

Tuesday, following a morning cruise to Terryglass, we were treated to lunch ashore at The Derg Inn, a traditional pub. I ordered my first Irish pub version of Fish and Chips – it was fresh, simple and scrumptious! After lunch we headed to Leap Castle, reputed to be the most haunted castle in Ireland – the crew forewarned me to take heaps of photos as some guests have had mysterious orbs appear. Ruairi is sure to let his guests know in advance not to expect a fancy or refined visit of Leap Castle and he was right! The castle is mostly in ruin but its owner, Sean Ryan is very much alive and a colorful character in his own right. Sean captivated us with ghostly tales, the gruesome history of the O’Carroll clan and his Irish Tin Whistle, the visit is such a treat!

A visit to Portumna Castle on Wednesday morning gave insight to an important role in our cruise, as Olivia’s delicious and creative cooking can be attributed to the herbs from the Kitchen Garden here. This property is dated from the early 1600’s and felt modern with a geometrically laid out ‘ladies garden’ in the front and a back lawn that led down to the lake. Lunch today was ashore at an authentic Guinness and Oyster bar in the bustling port city of Galway with time to explore on your own after, this was a pleasant contrast to the sleepy villages we had been mooring near. A hot pot of tea or cocktails were waiting on board for our late afternoon cruise as we took in the changing colors of the landscape on the Shannon River as the sun began to wane - exquisite!

Thursday's excursion brought us to Clonmacnoise, a 6th Century Monastic site that is situated on an esker ridge overlooking the bog, a definite highlight. In earlier times this was the crossroad for communication, religious learning, trade and politics. There are still pilgrimages that take place to this well-preserved site. To access the site from the docks and to maintain its authenticity one still needs to walk through the cow pasture! Wander through the graveyard, marvel at the towers, and be sure to try out the whispering wall (it really works!), a means of communication to avoid consumption. The government has outdone itself here and this tour should not be missed.

Our final cruise on Friday brought us past what seemed like hundreds of tiny uninhabited islands before arriving at our final mooring in Glasson. We devoured Olivia’s bountiful lunch spread and set off to Kilbeggan Distillery for a private tour and whiskey tasting. After all, you can’t come all this way and not sample the whiskey! On the way back, I asked Ruairi if we could stop in Glasson, which he happily accommodated. My peers popped into a pub for Irish coffees with Ruairi, while I visited the local art gallery, teeming with top quality local pottery, soaps, art, and textiles. Tonight was our final dinner which Captain Ruairi has joined us for. This was an extravaganza of the senses – once again Olivia has shone, every element of the meal was sheer perfection. Ruairi is a fine story-teller in his own rights and our hostesses made us all feel so special this final night with their own toast to our well-being!

Saturday was a sad farewell but I know I will return to the Shannon River Valley. It was a memorable week filled with laughter and learning and the hospitality of my hosts can’t be beat, they were extraordinary from start to finish. 


Floor Plan:

Barge Cruise
2015 Value Season Rates

Whole Boat Charter of 10: $41,500
Whole Boat charter of 8: $39,300
Whole Boat charter of 6: $37,100
Individuals: $4,400 per person double occupancy
Single Supplement: $1,500

2015 Value Season dates
Aprill 12 - 18 April 26 - May 2
April 19 - 25  May 3 - 9

 

2015 regular Season rates

Whole-Boat Charter of 10: $47,000
Whole Boat Charter of 8: $44,200
Whole Boat Charter of 6: $41,400
Individuals: $5,050 per person double occupancy
Single Supplement: $1,700

2015 regular Season dates
May 10 - 16 June 21 - 27 August 2 - 8 September 13 - 19
May 17 - 23 June 28 - July 4 August 9 - 15 September 20 - 26
May 24 - 30 July 5 - 11 August 16 - 22 September 27 - October 3
May 31 - June 6 July 12 - 18 August 23 - 29 October 4 - 10
June 7 - 13 July 19 - 25 August 30 - September 5  
June 14 - 20 July 26 - August 1 September 6 - 12  
Barge Cruise

Shannon Princess Accomodations and Amenities

  • 107 Feet Long
  • Five cabins with tiled ensuite shower bath
  • All 101 square feet with picture windows
  • All with choice of one queen or two twin beds
  • Two bathrobes in each cabin
  • In the Public Areas
  • Wireless internet connection throughout
  • Panoramic windows in salon, dining room
  • Deck
  • Hot tub - New for the 2014 season!
  • Spacious deck
  • 4 Raleigh brand bicycles
  • Mountain bikes with pumps and helmets
  • Extra bikes of different types/sizes available on request









Shannon Princess cabin




 

Shannon Princess Ireland  Cruise Itinerary

"Authentic Bites & Sights of Ireland"
QUIGLEY'S MARINA TO KILLALOE On the Shannon Waterway

Sunday: Dublin to Quigley's Marina
Warm Irish Welcome Aboard
Guests will be met at 3:00pm at the Brooks Hotel, very centrally located in Dublin and transferred by coach to the Shannon Princess moored in Glasson. Family-owned and -managed, Shannon Princess delivers one of the warmest welcomes in European barging. We welcome you on board the elegant Shannon Princess with a Champagne Reception. There is time to relax on deck or to mingle and chat with fellow guests & local boat owners. Watch the world float by, as you enjoy your first gourmet dinner on board.

Monday: Glasson to Athlone Town
Whiskey Galore

There’s time for an early morning stroll through twisting country lanes, before we set out on our cruise on the River Shannon’s “Inner Lakes”. Soon after arriving in the lively bustling River Town of Athlone, an afternoon visit is made to a local whiskey distillery. Dating from 1757 the Kilbeggan Distillery is the oldest licensed whiskey distillery in the world. On the return journey there is time for a visit to the village of Ballinahown, an Artisan Craft Village. Explore at your leisure, time for shopping, antiquing or a visit to any of the towns impromptu traditional music pubs- don’t forget to return on board for gourmet dinner!
Tuesday: Athlone Town to Shannonbridge
Lands of Saints & Scholars
After breakfast, we sail through “The Callows”, lush grazing meadows that remain unchanged in over a 1000 years and are now a Wildfowl & Fauna Reserve. We moor below Clonmacnoise, pictured above, ruins for a visit to the ancient burial grounds of the High Kings of Tara & Connaught. We sail onwards to Shannonbridge and visit a local apiary, and sample some wild Irish honey and other fresh organic produce at “Meadowsweet Farm” hosted by the owner family. After dinner, join the Captain for a “pint” in Killeen’s pub for music and chat and pass some time with the locals


Wednesday: Shannonbridge to Terryglass

The Fighting Irish and Ghosts!
A cruise through ever-changing landscape, crumbling ivy covered ruins, medieval garrisons & sleepy market villages. Shannon Princess arrives at the quaint little village of Terryglass. We visit Mossfield Organic Farm to sample some of their award winning cheeses and then to neighbouring “Leap Castle”. Reputed to be Ireland’s most haunted house, Leap Castle, pictured above, was once home to one of America’s Founding Fathers- John Carroll. You will be hosted by Sean Ryan, a renowned musician and his family who will invites us in to their unusual home.

Thursday: Terryglass to Mountshannon
Lunch and shopping in Galway City
Today take a morning excursion to the Walled Kitchen Gardens of Portumna Castle, and onto Galway, pictured at right, a lively Anglo-Norman university town and cultural centre of Irish speaking regions in the west of Ireland. Lunch is at an authentic Guinness & Oyster Bar with time to browse and explore the colourful shops and streets. Return to “Shannon Princess’ for gourmet dinner as we meander through Lough Derg to Mountshannon – a lovely old estate village perched prettily above the Lough. After dinner enjoy a moonlit ramble around Mountshannon or dancing in the local hotel


Friday: Mountshannon to Killaloe
Slainte and Irish Farewell

A cruise through the charming lower stretches of Lough Derg and the River Shannon arriving into the pretty twin towns of Killaloe & Ballina, a prosperous town with art, history and foodie treats. A private tour of the Belfry of St. Flannan’s Anglican Cathedral will be hosted by the Choir Master. Then a visit to “Craganowen” a Celtic Bronze Age Settlement, pictured at left, where your guide will interpret and bring to life the “Living Past”. Later in the afternoon we drop in on a “Traditional Irish Hand Weavers” workshop and studio where guests will experience a step back in time while also learning how these thriving small cottage industries are dealing with technology and the future. Captains “Farewell” Gourmet Dinner showcasing local produce.

Saturday: Killaloe to Dublin

A Sad Farewell
Shannon Princess will be moored in Killaloe. You will depart after breakfast at 9:00am and chauffeured back to your transfer point in central Dublin. Estimated arrival in Dublin is 11:00am – 11:30 am. Upon request, you can be taken to Dublin airport. Estimated arrival time to Dublin airport is noon. Please make all onward travel plans the day of departure strictly on the basis of this timetable. Breakfast is your last on-board meal.

Please note: this is a sample itinerary which may be subject to change depending on local conditions. The route will run in reverse on alternate weeks. Contact Us for reservations and more information about barge cruise vacations on the rivers of Ireland Or call us toll free at (800) 880-0071.


"Family Adventure Cruises in Ireland "

QUIGLEY'S MARINA TO KILLALOE ON THE SHANNON WATERWAY

FAMILY ADVENTURE CRUISE HIGHLIGHTS

Fun Activities: Walking, Zorbing, Zip Lining, Canoeing, Water-skiing, Trekking, Fishing, Cycling, Horse Riding, Water Sports, Traditional Music, Pottery & Crafts, Go cart racing etc.
- Bespoke Cruise each day can be changed and arranged to your immediate requirements
- Culinary/ Gourmet dining or dining of your choice
- Wii and PS3 on board (we carry games for all age groups) as well as DVDs and Satellite TV
- Spectacular unspoiled landscape and atmospheric ancient settlements and ruins
- History, antiquity folklore and music

Sunday: Dublin to Quigley's Marina

Our Family Welcomes Your Family
The Barge Host will meet guests at 3:00pm at the designated meeting point. The transfer will be in the Barge’s private coach to the Shannon Princess moored in Glasson. Family-owned and -managed, Shannon Princess delivers one of the warmest welcomes in European Barging. We welcome you on board the elegant Shannon Princess with a Champagne Reception. There is time to relax on deck or to mingle and chat with fellow guests & local boat owners. Watch the world float by, as you enjoy your first family dinner on board. .

Monday: Glasson to Athlone Town
Cruising and Zorbing

There’s time for an early morning stroll through twisting country lanes, before we set out on our cruise on the River Shannon’s “Inner Lakes”. Soon after arriving in the lively bustling River Town of Athlone. After lunch, drive the short distance to the “UpRiver” activity centre and get strapped in for “ZORBING”. Participants are safely harnessed opposite each other before being launched down the Zorbing run. Revolving head over heels, gaining speed with every revolution. Land and sky merge into one as you feel almost weightless – the thrill is intoxicating and totally unique. Afternoon Cupcake & Brownie Cookery lesson in our Galley. Alternative activities today are Kayaking, Rafting and Zip Lining!

Tuesday: Athlone Town to Shannonbridge
Lands of Saints and Racers
After breakfast, we sail through “The Callows”, lush grazing meadows that remain unchanged in over a 1000 years and are now a Wildfowl & Fauna Reserve. We moor below Clonmacnoise ruins for a visit to the ancient burial grounds of the High Kings of Tara & Connaught. We sail onwards to Shannonbridge and after lunch we depart for “Europes Largest GoKarting Track” www.pallaskarting.com. After dinner, join the Captain for a “Pint” in Killeen’s pub for music and chat and pass some time with the locals. Alternative activities today are Cheese Making & Horse Riding.

Wednesday: Shannonbridge to Terryglass

The Fighting Irish and Ghosts!
A cruise through ever-changing landscape, crumbling ivy covered ruins, medieval garrisons and sleepy market villages.Shannon Princess arrives at the quaint little village of Terryglass. After lunch, our coach takes to “Flower Hill” Equestrian Centre. www.flowerhill.net. This is probably Ireland’s prettiest and most exhilarating Horseback riding venue. It is suitable for all grades of riders and will stay in the memory for a long time to come. Alternative activity today is a visit to Leap Castle, Irelands most haunted house.

Thursday: Terryglass to Mountshannon
Explore in a Kitchen Garden
Today take a morning excursion to the Walled Kitchen Gardens of Portumna Castle, and onto Galway, a lively Anglo-Norman university town and cultural centre of Irish speaking regions in the west of Ireland. Lunch is at a quirky old fashioned Fish & Chip restaurant with time to shop and experience local street theatre. Return to “Shannon Princess’ for Cocktails & Alfresco Dinner as we meander through Lough Derg to Mountshannon – a lovely old estate village perched prettily above the Lough. After dinner enjoy a moonlit Treasure Hunt around Mountshannon or dancing in the local hotel.


Friday: Mountshannon to Killaloe
Activity Center on Shore - Boating Skills on Deck

A Cruise through the charming lower stretches of Lough Derg and the River Shannon arriving into the pretty twin towns of Killaloe & Ballina, a prosperous town with art, history and foodie treats. On Deck Knot and Boat Skills with the Captain. After lunch a short trip to the nearby “University of Limerick Activity Centre” Here Guests can choose from an endless list of activities including rope walking, sailing & archery. Capatin's Farewell Dinner.

Saturday: Killaloe to Dublin

Slainte - An Irish Farewell
Shannon Princess will be moored in Killaloe. You will depart after breakfast at 9:00am and chauffeured back to your transfer point in central Dublin. Estimated arrival in Dublin is 11:00am – 11:30 am. Upon request, you can be taken to Dublin airport. Estimated arrival time to Dublin airport is noon. Please make all onward travel plans the day of departure strictly on the basis of this timetable. Breakfast is your last on-board meal.


Walking Itinerary

Discovering the Treasures of a Fabled Waterway

Our Luxury bus driver is in attendance on all walks allowing walkers the freedom to extend walks or return to the barge at their wish.

Sunday: The Court of High Kings...the Twin Towns of Killaloe and Ballina
Guests shall be met by the Barge Guide at 3:00pm at the Brooks Hotel, very centrally located in Dublin, and transferred by luxury coach to the Shannon Princess in Killaloe. We are moored on the Tipperary side of these picturesque little Ecclesiastical towns. Killaloe was once home to the court of the last High King of Ireland. "Cead Mile Failte," (a hundred thousand welcomes!) Your Captain and his crew welcome you aboard the elegant Shannon Princess with a Champagne Reception. Time enough to meet new friends; relax on deck or explore this charming riverside town and local sites of interest. Watch the world float by, as you enjoy your first Gourmet dinner aboard.

Monday: Morning Walk, the Graves of the Leinstermen
We take a hike into the Arra Mountains from our mooring in Killaloe. At the summit of Toutinna is the "Graves of the Leinstermen", today one stone is standing, the rest are covered in undergrowth. The site may have originally been a stone circle or a Meolithic Tomb. Keep a look out for evidence of the area's great slate quarrying tradition. Magnificent views can be had from these parts, and blanket bog and several varieties of heather add to the allure of the landscape. This is an excellent walk and can take between 3 to 5 hours to walk. We are walking on natural terrain with moderate gradients. We slip our moorings at Killaloe, and start our journey up river. This afternoon we literally go with the flow, up through Lough Derg with its many Islands and Medieval strongholds. Here the Shannon Princess follows a dramatic route carved through the hills and valleys of Munster's North Riding. The River sweeps past banks charmingly dotted with wild horses and crumbling castles. We moor at the lovely old estate village of Mountshannon, perched prettily about the Lough. After a gourmet dinner aboard, enjoy a moonlit ramble around Mountshannon.

Tuesday: Morning Walk, the East Clare Hills
The East Clare Way walk starts from overnight mooring in Mountshannon. This is a 127km route of marked Highways and Byways. You will be guided through what is considered the most beautiful section. A gentle climb up through riverside villages and into the Slieve Bernagh hills until we overlook some of the most spectacular scenery in the whole of Munster with Lough Derg and its many islands at our feet creating a landscape rich in beauty, color and variety. This is a 3 to 4 hour walk on natural terrain and trails with moderate gradients.

This afternoon, Shannon Princess meanders effortlessly north through Lough Derg. We moor waterside at the foot of a hill that slopes gently up to Terryglass village. Lunch in the village at the Derg Inn before an afternoon guided visit to the grounds of Birr Castle, family seat of the Earl and Countess of Rosse. Besides enjoying glorious castle gardens and parkland, the Castle is home to Ireland's Historic Centre. At Terryglass take time to explore this rural Hamlet - walk, cycle, swim or make a wish in any of the villages' 'Holy (fairy) Wells'! Gourmet dinner onboard.

Wednesday: Morning Walk, the Slieve Bloom Way - Cadens Town and Kinnity
We travel by luxury coach to the nearby Slieve Bloom Mountains. Steeped in history and folklore, the Slieve Blooms dominate the landscape as it straddles the boarder of counties Offaly and Laois. It's the highest peak, 529m Arderin, translates from Irish as the height of Ireland. Connections with the past are everywhere as the area is dusted with monuments dating back as far as 4,500 years. This is a 3 to 4 hour walk along riverside paths and bog tracks and through woodland trails. Refreshment at Leap Castle hosted by owner and Traditional Musician Sean Ryan.

Return to Shannon Princess for gourmet dinner as we cruise an evocative stretch of the River Shannon. Onwards we head, in the wake of time, floating by dappled woodlands and ancient highways. The ever-changing landscape slipping by, pausing as Portumna Swing Bridge is opened to allow the Shannon Princess pass on by, upwards through Meelick Lock to moor overnight at the village of Shannonbridge.

Thursday: Morning Walk, the Pilgrim's Path
After a short cruise, we moor at Clonmacnoise ruins - an atmospheric and spiritual 6th Century monastic settlement soaked in history and myth. Clonmacnoise was the ancient burial grounds of the High Kings of Tara and Connaught and quickly became a popular place of pilgrimage. Here on the Shannon Riverbanks we start our walking trail on THE PILGRIM's PATH. This ancient walking route crossed early historic Ireland from east to west and was known in Gaelic as An tSli Mor, the Great Road. The modern Pilgrim Path covers an intact stretch of that ancient route which winds along the Esker Riada and provides the alker with an elevated view of the bog and river Shannon rich in wildlife and flowers. We follow the trail for 3 to 4 hours, over gently undulating and natural terrain.

The Shannon Princess continues its meander up the Shannon River towards Athlone, cruising through lush grazing meadows and floodplains. These meadows are considered Ireland's premier wildfowl and flora reserves, and excellent examples of "Callows" landscape. We moor in the heart of the bustling town of Athlone with time to visit some of the many charming craft, antique shops or a visit to any of the town's impromptu traditional music pub. Dinner on-board.

Friday: Lough Ree and Westmeath, Afternoon Walk
This morning the barge slips through countryside little changed through the centuries. Relax and unwind as we float along the Shannon's beautiful "Inner Lakes", passing stately riverside homes and some of its reputed 365 wooded islands. We moor at Quigley's Marina near Glasson Village. This afternoon we visit TAIN BO CULAINE - the legendary route taken across Ireland by Queen Maedbh of Connacht in her attempts at the theft of her husband's riches and his prized Brown Bull of Cooley. The Tain Trail is steeped in mythology and history as it retraces the journey and battles between Maeve and her armies and the Warrior hero Cuchulainn. We join the Tain Trail along the Shores of Lough Ree where Maeve met a bloody end. We follow the trail for 3 to 4 hours. This is a charming lakeshore byway on natural surfaces with only slight gradients. Farewell "Slainte" Gourmet Dinner.

Saturday: Athlone to Dublin
Shannon Princess will be moored at Quigley's Marina, near to Athlone. You will depart at 9:00am and chauffeured back to your transfer point in central Dublin. Estimated arrival in Dublin is 11:00am – 11:30 am. Upon request, you can be taken to Dublin airport. Estimated arrival time to Dublin airport is noon. Please make all onward travel plans the day of departure strictly on the basis of this timetable. Breakfast is your last on-board meal.


Please note:
This is a sample itinerary which may be subject to change depending on local conditions. The route will run in reverse on alternate weeks. Contact Us for reservations and more information about barge cruise vacations on the rivers of Ireland Or call us toll free at (800) 880-0071.



Shannon Princess Sample Menus

Chef Olivia's New Irish Cuisine

Breakfast
Fresh Berries Raspberries, Loganberries, Strawberries, Blueberries and Cherries
From the Kitchen Garden Portumna Castle
* * *
Irish Farmhouse Cheeses
Carrigburn, Carrigaline, Cashel Blue
* * *
Eggs Any Style
* * *
Irish Porridge splashed with Bailey's Irish Cream
* * *
Buttermilk Scones, Coconut and Bran Muffins, Honey and Oak Biscuits
* * *
Lemon Curd
* * *
Smoked Fish, Tomato Relish
* * * * *

Lunch
Cold Poached Wild Salmon on Rocket Leaves with Salsa Verde
* * *
Confit Rabbit Legs
Bean and Sour Tomato Cassoulet
* * *
Muscle and Artichoke Risotto
* * *
Nanny Goats Cheese and Honeyed Onion Tartlettes
* * *
Sweet Chili and Roast Pepper Salad
* * *
Braised Fennel and Cos Salad
* * *
Basil and Aubergine Salad
* * *
Irish Cheese Platter
Summer Puddings
* * * * *

Dinner
Salted Organic Salmon, Dill, Wasabi and Cucumbers
* * *
Strawberry and Cracked Pepper Sorbet

* * *
Wild Sea Bream, and Tarragon Dumplings
* * *
Leaf Salad
* * *
Farmers Market Cheeses served with Oatcakes, Membrillo and Vintage Port
* * *
Chocolate and Apricot Tart Buttermilk Ice Cream
* * * * *

Shannon Princess offers an interesting Old and New world wine list!

~ White Wines ~
Julio Bouchon,  Sauvingnon Blanc, 2007 Chile
Grave del Friuli DOC bidoli,  Pinot Grigio,  2007 Italy
Alkoomi Riesling,  2006 Austrialia
Weingut Steininger Kabinette,  2007 Austria
* * * * *

~ Red Wines ~
Coriole Diva,  Sangiovese Shiraz,  2005 Australia
Montepulciano D’abruzzo DOC,  Fattoria la Valentia,  2006 Italy
Toro DO Bodegas Dos Victorias,  Elias Mora Semicrianza,  2006 Spain
Haut Medoc AC,  Chateau Puy Castera Merlot,  2002 France
Paddy Borthwick,  Pinot Noir,  2005 New Zealand
* * * * *

Picture a Cruise in Ireland on Shannon Princess

A river cruise in Ireland on barge Shannon Princess

Shannon Princess Guest Book

"We had a wonderful time on the Shannon Princess. It was even better than any of us dreamed it could be. Everything runs like clockwork on the barge due to Ruairi and Olivia. They are so amazing and a truly wonderful couple. And the other crew assisting them were the best. They took such good care of us and made us feel so special.

And then the food. I can’t begin to describe the wonderful meals that we had. Olivia is an amazing chef and the food was so delicious. We couldn’t wait for each meal. I ate so much and didn’t gain an ounce which is amazing. I took so many pictures of the food , that my daughter finally asked if I could send her a picture with people in it…

The barge itself is like a floating Irish country house. We were so comfortable even in the cabins...which look small but seem to work very well and my husband is 6’5’. The shower was great and the water hot the minute you got in it. We slept so well in the bed…very comfortable.

There isn’t any complaints that any of us had regarding any part of the trip. The only thing I can say is that I wish more people knew about this gem and I will definitely try to put the word out. I don’t think I have ever been so relaxed…sitting outside on the top deck, sailing along looking at the beautiful scenery and drinking an Irish Coffee. You couldn’t ask for anything better than that. Again thank you for allowing us to experience the Shannon Princess and meet the wonderful people who run it."

- Kathi Sheridan, cruised May, 2014

"Shannon Princess was the vacation of a lifetime! Fantastic cuisine, fabulous host, and an insight into the real Ireland! The crew was were wonderful and catered to every need. The food review: Nothing but accolades! Five stars for every meal!! Olivia was magnificent!!! Visiting ClonMacNoise was an awesome experience. The services of The Barge Lady were very good - you covered everything we needed to know- your tip about attire for the cruise was particularly helpful!! The pre-trip information was quite adequate and presented an accurate overview of what to expect. Thank you for everything!"

- Moira and Kevin Laughlin, cruised May, 2014

"We received excellent service from the entire crew. Captain Ruairi was very accommodating and welcomed anyone to the wheelhouse. He is a master boat-handler and great travel guide. The cuisine was SPECTACULAR! Olivia's cuisine was incredible—best we've ever had on ANY vacation! Amazing, varied menus worthy of photos taken at the table. Fresh, delicious, nutritious, creative, beautifully presented. We wonder how she did it all in such a small galley. For our daily excursions were had a wonderful guide, and we enjoyed every minute. The guide was engaged, informative, fun. The daily excursions were easily the second highlight of our trip (after the cuisine). The cabin was very comfortable for the size, well-maintained, and great housekeeping twice (!) a day. This was our first barge trip, and we have now been exposed to a new and interesting method of travel. It was a great experience. The Barge Lady team handled everything beautifully."

- Chirs and Leo Stern, cruised May, 2014

"Our experience was OUTSTANDING. I highly recommend the Shannon Princess and it’s voyage through the heart of Ireland. Be prepared to be spoiled by the crew, the food, and the experience. We can’t say enough about Ruairi and Olivia and crew. They are the epitome of an excellent team. Olivia created flavorful, beautiful food. Her breakfast pastries were absolutely the freshest and most tasty I’ve had, ever! It was remarkable how she created, seemingly effortlessly, the gourmet meals we enjoyed. We enjoyed the daily excursion, especially the gardens at Birr Castle, including the enormous telescope from 1840. The cabins were nicely laid out with a sizable bathroom and plenty of storage space. Thank you for everything."

- Kathy Ealand, cruised May, 2014

"This was not my first barge trip but would come in first place for crew care and concern and cuisine. The crew was incredibly cheerful and helpful and anticipated our needs. From the first day, they knew what I liked (grapefruit juice and black coffee) and had it waiting for me every morning. I had requested two pillows as personal preferences for my wife and me. As it turns out, the barge normally provides two pillows - we received three! The cabin was actually larger than anticipated. The furnishings pack a lot into a little space, and the bathrooms were well stocked. Overall, my experience on the Shannon Princess far exceeded expectations. On a scale of 10, they get a 15. We'll do it agai.n"

- John Savage, cruised May, 2014

 "We just left Shannon Princess; a sad morning - we will miss our new friends Ruairi and Olivia and the fabulous crew!!!!! The food and service were ‘world class.’ “

- Al and Margaret Giuliani, cruised May, 2014

"The crew were all delightful, attentive and friendly. I loved the variety in the daily excursions, we felt that we saw the "real Ireland". The cuisine was better than excellent...it was superb! Shannon Princess was truly a wonderful experience. Olivia and Rauri were the perfect hosts, attending to every need."

- Bud Tanis, Cruised September, 2012

+ - Overview

Cruise Details:

  • Up to 10 guests
  • 107 Ft. Long
  • Rating: Deluxe
  • Charter & Cabin bookings
  • Hosts: Ruairi, Olivia & Ross Gibbons
  • English Speaking Crew of 5
  • Bicycles: To be advised
  • Air Conditioned: No
  • Last Visited 2014

Cruise Rate Includes:

6 nights/7 days in a cabin with a private bath, chauffeured transfers from the Aberdeen Lodge in Dublin to the barge & return, all meals, from dinner the first night to breakfast the last morning, all wines with lunch & dinner, open bar, daily escorted excursions.

Cruise Rate Does NOT Include

Airfare to and from Ireland, cancellation insurance and crew gratuity (suggested minimum amount is 5% of the cruise price)


Shannon Princess

Lori Young, our well-traveled Sales Manager, was delighted to visit Shannon Princess in July, 2014. She came back raving about the warmth of the Irish people and the high quality operation of the Shannon Princess, owned by our old friends Captain Ruairi Gibbons and Chef Olivia Power. We consider Chef Olivia the top chef in the barging industry – and cuisine enjoyed by Lori confirmed this view. Below are sightseeing highlights from her trip.

Ireland barge cruise Shannon Princess ownersMy Ireland journey on the Shannon Princess began with a warm welcome from Captain Ruairi at the pickup hotel in central Dublin, the Brooks Hotel. The Brooks Hotel offers comfortable rooms, efficient front desk service, helpful concierge, and a very good restaurant and bar. The hotel is perfectly situated on a quiet street yet near to everything!

Shannon Princess was moored in Killaloe, the most southerly town on the route, approximately a 2.5 hour drive from Dublin. As we approach the parking lot in the marina, two smartly dressed women greet us, it is Cyann and Pavletta, our adorable hostesses. A champagne welcome on board with Ruairi and his wife Chef Olivia followed, along with an introduction to the week ahead.

After, there was time to unpack and get familiar with our floating home. Cabins are smartly appointed and the space is well-thought out. There’s an armoire with hanging space and shelves, night tables with drawers and a small writing desk for all your tech gear. The bathroom has more storage than needed and even a hamper is provided! Cabin amenities include; fluffy towels and robes, slippers, crisp duvets, dryers, curling irons, regional guide book and binoculars, flashlight, and so much more!

Our welcome dinner was a feast for the senses and each meal thereafter, Chef Olivia just kept exceling – we all marveled at her talent, TOP CHEF extraordinaire! See the menu page for a full tour of Olivia’s gastronomic delights.

While most tourists visit Ireland and drive the periphery, this cruise affords the unique opportunity to go inland on a series of “Loughs” or lakes. The lakes are connected by rivers and easy enough for mariners to traverse from one to the next. The landscape is an attractive bend of rolling hillsides, woodlands and farmland. Fun fact: Ireland has 1.5 million more cows than people! Swans abound, creating a picture perfect scene as the Shannon Princess plies the waterways. If birding is a pastime, these waterways will not disappoint, no wonder each cabin is supplied with a pair of binoculars!

I found the sightseeing diverse, with emphasis on introducing guests to the people in the villages, shops, farms, and even the pubs along the route! Our first guided tour was to “Craggaunowen, The Living Past”, a reenactment of a traditional Bronze Age Settlement, portraying everyday life of Pre-historic and early Christian Eras. Nestled within a beautiful pine forest the exhibition was very well-done. I had no idea so many artifacts have been preserved in the many bogs throughout Ireland, and many have only recently been excavated. A brief stop at a local weavers studio on the way back provided an intimate tour of the looms and the studio by owner, Eugene McKernan, who was working on some truly spectacular scarfs.

Tuesday, following a morning cruise to Terryglass, we were treated to lunch ashore at The Derg Inn, a traditional pub. I ordered my first Irish pub version of Fish and Chips – it was fresh, simple and scrumptious! After lunch we headed to Leap Castle, reputed to be the most haunted castle in Ireland – the crew forewarned me to take heaps of photos as some guests have had mysterious orbs appear. Ruairi is sure to let his guests know in advance not to expect a fancy or refined visit of Leap Castle and he was right! The castle is mostly in ruin but its owner, Sean Ryan is very much alive and a colorful character in his own right. Sean captivated us with ghostly tales, the gruesome history of the O’Carroll clan and his Irish Tin Whistle, the visit is such a treat!

A visit to Portumna Castle on Wednesday morning gave insight to an important role in our cruise, as Olivia’s delicious and creative cooking can be attributed to the herbs from the Kitchen Garden here. This property is dated from the early 1600’s and felt modern with a geometrically laid out ‘ladies garden’ in the front and a back lawn that led down to the lake. Lunch today was ashore at an authentic Guinness and Oyster bar in the bustling port city of Galway with time to explore on your own after, this was a pleasant contrast to the sleepy villages we had been mooring near. A hot pot of tea or cocktails were waiting on board for our late afternoon cruise as we took in the changing colors of the landscape on the Shannon River as the sun began to wane - exquisite!

Thursday's excursion brought us to Clonmacnoise, a 6th Century Monastic site that is situated on an esker ridge overlooking the bog, a definite highlight. In earlier times this was the crossroad for communication, religious learning, trade and politics. There are still pilgrimages that take place to this well-preserved site. To access the site from the docks and to maintain its authenticity one still needs to walk through the cow pasture! Wander through the graveyard, marvel at the towers, and be sure to try out the whispering wall (it really works!), a means of communication to avoid consumption. The government has outdone itself here and this tour should not be missed.

Our final cruise on Friday brought us past what seemed like hundreds of tiny uninhabited islands before arriving at our final mooring in Glasson. We devoured Olivia’s bountiful lunch spread and set off to Kilbeggan Distillery for a private tour and whiskey tasting. After all, you can’t come all this way and not sample the whiskey! On the way back, I asked Ruairi if we could stop in Glasson, which he happily accommodated. My peers popped into a pub for Irish coffees with Ruairi, while I visited the local art gallery, teeming with top quality local pottery, soaps, art, and textiles. Tonight was our final dinner which Captain Ruairi has joined us for. This was an extravaganza of the senses – once again Olivia has shone, every element of the meal was sheer perfection. Ruairi is a fine story-teller in his own rights and our hostesses made us all feel so special this final night with their own toast to our well-being!

Saturday was a sad farewell but I know I will return to the Shannon River Valley. It was a memorable week filled with laughter and learning and the hospitality of my hosts can’t be beat, they were extraordinary from start to finish. 


Floor Plan:

Barge Cruise
2015 Value Season Rates

Whole Boat Charter of 10: $41,500
Whole Boat charter of 8: $39,300
Whole Boat charter of 6: $37,100
Individuals: $4,400 per person double occupancy
Single Supplement: $1,500

2015 Value Season dates
Aprill 12 - 18 April 26 - May 2
April 19 - 25  May 3 - 9

 

2015 regular Season rates

Whole-Boat Charter of 10: $47,000
Whole Boat Charter of 8: $44,200
Whole Boat Charter of 6: $41,400
Individuals: $5,050 per person double occupancy
Single Supplement: $1,700

2015 regular Season dates
May 10 - 16 June 21 - 27 August 2 - 8 September 13 - 19
May 17 - 23 June 28 - July 4 August 9 - 15 September 20 - 26
May 24 - 30 July 5 - 11 August 16 - 22 September 27 - October 3
May 31 - June 6 July 12 - 18 August 23 - 29 October 4 - 10
June 7 - 13 July 19 - 25 August 30 - September 5  
June 14 - 20 July 26 - August 1 September 6 - 12  

Floor Plan:

Barge Cruise

Shannon Princess Accomodations and Amenities

  • 107 Feet Long
  • Five cabins with tiled ensuite shower bath
  • All 101 square feet with picture windows
  • All with choice of one queen or two twin beds
  • Two bathrobes in each cabin
  • In the Public Areas
  • Wireless internet connection throughout
  • Panoramic windows in salon, dining room
  • Deck
  • Hot tub - New for the 2014 season!
  • Spacious deck
  • 4 Raleigh brand bicycles
  • Mountain bikes with pumps and helmets
  • Extra bikes of different types/sizes available on request









Shannon Princess cabin




 

Shannon Princess Ireland  Cruise Itinerary

"Authentic Bites & Sights of Ireland"
QUIGLEY'S MARINA TO KILLALOE On the Shannon Waterway

Sunday: Dublin to Quigley's Marina
Warm Irish Welcome Aboard
Guests will be met at 3:00pm at the Brooks Hotel, very centrally located in Dublin and transferred by coach to the Shannon Princess moored in Glasson. Family-owned and -managed, Shannon Princess delivers one of the warmest welcomes in European barging. We welcome you on board the elegant Shannon Princess with a Champagne Reception. There is time to relax on deck or to mingle and chat with fellow guests & local boat owners. Watch the world float by, as you enjoy your first gourmet dinner on board.

Monday: Glasson to Athlone Town
Whiskey Galore

There’s time for an early morning stroll through twisting country lanes, before we set out on our cruise on the River Shannon’s “Inner Lakes”. Soon after arriving in the lively bustling River Town of Athlone, an afternoon visit is made to a local whiskey distillery. Dating from 1757 the Kilbeggan Distillery is the oldest licensed whiskey distillery in the world. On the return journey there is time for a visit to the village of Ballinahown, an Artisan Craft Village. Explore at your leisure, time for shopping, antiquing or a visit to any of the towns impromptu traditional music pubs- don’t forget to return on board for gourmet dinner!
Tuesday: Athlone Town to Shannonbridge
Lands of Saints & Scholars
After breakfast, we sail through “The Callows”, lush grazing meadows that remain unchanged in over a 1000 years and are now a Wildfowl & Fauna Reserve. We moor below Clonmacnoise, pictured above, ruins for a visit to the ancient burial grounds of the High Kings of Tara & Connaught. We sail onwards to Shannonbridge and visit a local apiary, and sample some wild Irish honey and other fresh organic produce at “Meadowsweet Farm” hosted by the owner family. After dinner, join the Captain for a “pint” in Killeen’s pub for music and chat and pass some time with the locals


Wednesday: Shannonbridge to Terryglass

The Fighting Irish and Ghosts!
A cruise through ever-changing landscape, crumbling ivy covered ruins, medieval garrisons & sleepy market villages. Shannon Princess arrives at the quaint little village of Terryglass. We visit Mossfield Organic Farm to sample some of their award winning cheeses and then to neighbouring “Leap Castle”. Reputed to be Ireland’s most haunted house, Leap Castle, pictured above, was once home to one of America’s Founding Fathers- John Carroll. You will be hosted by Sean Ryan, a renowned musician and his family who will invites us in to their unusual home.

Thursday: Terryglass to Mountshannon
Lunch and shopping in Galway City
Today take a morning excursion to the Walled Kitchen Gardens of Portumna Castle, and onto Galway, pictured at right, a lively Anglo-Norman university town and cultural centre of Irish speaking regions in the west of Ireland. Lunch is at an authentic Guinness & Oyster Bar with time to browse and explore the colourful shops and streets. Return to “Shannon Princess’ for gourmet dinner as we meander through Lough Derg to Mountshannon – a lovely old estate village perched prettily above the Lough. After dinner enjoy a moonlit ramble around Mountshannon or dancing in the local hotel


Friday: Mountshannon to Killaloe
Slainte and Irish Farewell

A cruise through the charming lower stretches of Lough Derg and the River Shannon arriving into the pretty twin towns of Killaloe & Ballina, a prosperous town with art, history and foodie treats. A private tour of the Belfry of St. Flannan’s Anglican Cathedral will be hosted by the Choir Master. Then a visit to “Craganowen” a Celtic Bronze Age Settlement, pictured at left, where your guide will interpret and bring to life the “Living Past”. Later in the afternoon we drop in on a “Traditional Irish Hand Weavers” workshop and studio where guests will experience a step back in time while also learning how these thriving small cottage industries are dealing with technology and the future. Captains “Farewell” Gourmet Dinner showcasing local produce.

Saturday: Killaloe to Dublin

A Sad Farewell
Shannon Princess will be moored in Killaloe. You will depart after breakfast at 9:00am and chauffeured back to your transfer point in central Dublin. Estimated arrival in Dublin is 11:00am – 11:30 am. Upon request, you can be taken to Dublin airport. Estimated arrival time to Dublin airport is noon. Please make all onward travel plans the day of departure strictly on the basis of this timetable. Breakfast is your last on-board meal.

Please note: this is a sample itinerary which may be subject to change depending on local conditions. The route will run in reverse on alternate weeks. Contact Us for reservations and more information about barge cruise vacations on the rivers of Ireland Or call us toll free at (800) 880-0071.


"Family Adventure Cruises in Ireland "

QUIGLEY'S MARINA TO KILLALOE ON THE SHANNON WATERWAY

FAMILY ADVENTURE CRUISE HIGHLIGHTS

Fun Activities: Walking, Zorbing, Zip Lining, Canoeing, Water-skiing, Trekking, Fishing, Cycling, Horse Riding, Water Sports, Traditional Music, Pottery & Crafts, Go cart racing etc.
- Bespoke Cruise each day can be changed and arranged to your immediate requirements
- Culinary/ Gourmet dining or dining of your choice
- Wii and PS3 on board (we carry games for all age groups) as well as DVDs and Satellite TV
- Spectacular unspoiled landscape and atmospheric ancient settlements and ruins
- History, antiquity folklore and music

Sunday: Dublin to Quigley's Marina

Our Family Welcomes Your Family
The Barge Host will meet guests at 3:00pm at the designated meeting point. The transfer will be in the Barge’s private coach to the Shannon Princess moored in Glasson. Family-owned and -managed, Shannon Princess delivers one of the warmest welcomes in European Barging. We welcome you on board the elegant Shannon Princess with a Champagne Reception. There is time to relax on deck or to mingle and chat with fellow guests & local boat owners. Watch the world float by, as you enjoy your first family dinner on board. .

Monday: Glasson to Athlone Town
Cruising and Zorbing

There’s time for an early morning stroll through twisting country lanes, before we set out on our cruise on the River Shannon’s “Inner Lakes”. Soon after arriving in the lively bustling River Town of Athlone. After lunch, drive the short distance to the “UpRiver” activity centre and get strapped in for “ZORBING”. Participants are safely harnessed opposite each other before being launched down the Zorbing run. Revolving head over heels, gaining speed with every revolution. Land and sky merge into one as you feel almost weightless – the thrill is intoxicating and totally unique. Afternoon Cupcake & Brownie Cookery lesson in our Galley. Alternative activities today are Kayaking, Rafting and Zip Lining!

Tuesday: Athlone Town to Shannonbridge
Lands of Saints and Racers
After breakfast, we sail through “The Callows”, lush grazing meadows that remain unchanged in over a 1000 years and are now a Wildfowl & Fauna Reserve. We moor below Clonmacnoise ruins for a visit to the ancient burial grounds of the High Kings of Tara & Connaught. We sail onwards to Shannonbridge and after lunch we depart for “Europes Largest GoKarting Track” www.pallaskarting.com. After dinner, join the Captain for a “Pint” in Killeen’s pub for music and chat and pass some time with the locals. Alternative activities today are Cheese Making & Horse Riding.

Wednesday: Shannonbridge to Terryglass

The Fighting Irish and Ghosts!
A cruise through ever-changing landscape, crumbling ivy covered ruins, medieval garrisons and sleepy market villages.Shannon Princess arrives at the quaint little village of Terryglass. After lunch, our coach takes to “Flower Hill” Equestrian Centre. www.flowerhill.net. This is probably Ireland’s prettiest and most exhilarating Horseback riding venue. It is suitable for all grades of riders and will stay in the memory for a long time to come. Alternative activity today is a visit to Leap Castle, Irelands most haunted house.

Thursday: Terryglass to Mountshannon
Explore in a Kitchen Garden
Today take a morning excursion to the Walled Kitchen Gardens of Portumna Castle, and onto Galway, a lively Anglo-Norman university town and cultural centre of Irish speaking regions in the west of Ireland. Lunch is at a quirky old fashioned Fish & Chip restaurant with time to shop and experience local street theatre. Return to “Shannon Princess’ for Cocktails & Alfresco Dinner as we meander through Lough Derg to Mountshannon – a lovely old estate village perched prettily above the Lough. After dinner enjoy a moonlit Treasure Hunt around Mountshannon or dancing in the local hotel.


Friday: Mountshannon to Killaloe
Activity Center on Shore - Boating Skills on Deck

A Cruise through the charming lower stretches of Lough Derg and the River Shannon arriving into the pretty twin towns of Killaloe & Ballina, a prosperous town with art, history and foodie treats. On Deck Knot and Boat Skills with the Captain. After lunch a short trip to the nearby “University of Limerick Activity Centre” Here Guests can choose from an endless list of activities including rope walking, sailing & archery. Capatin's Farewell Dinner.

Saturday: Killaloe to Dublin

Slainte - An Irish Farewell
Shannon Princess will be moored in Killaloe. You will depart after breakfast at 9:00am and chauffeured back to your transfer point in central Dublin. Estimated arrival in Dublin is 11:00am – 11:30 am. Upon request, you can be taken to Dublin airport. Estimated arrival time to Dublin airport is noon. Please make all onward travel plans the day of departure strictly on the basis of this timetable. Breakfast is your last on-board meal.


Walking Itinerary

Discovering the Treasures of a Fabled Waterway

Our Luxury bus driver is in attendance on all walks allowing walkers the freedom to extend walks or return to the barge at their wish.

Sunday: The Court of High Kings...the Twin Towns of Killaloe and Ballina
Guests shall be met by the Barge Guide at 3:00pm at the Brooks Hotel, very centrally located in Dublin, and transferred by luxury coach to the Shannon Princess in Killaloe. We are moored on the Tipperary side of these picturesque little Ecclesiastical towns. Killaloe was once home to the court of the last High King of Ireland. "Cead Mile Failte," (a hundred thousand welcomes!) Your Captain and his crew welcome you aboard the elegant Shannon Princess with a Champagne Reception. Time enough to meet new friends; relax on deck or explore this charming riverside town and local sites of interest. Watch the world float by, as you enjoy your first Gourmet dinner aboard.

Monday: Morning Walk, the Graves of the Leinstermen
We take a hike into the Arra Mountains from our mooring in Killaloe. At the summit of Toutinna is the "Graves of the Leinstermen", today one stone is standing, the rest are covered in undergrowth. The site may have originally been a stone circle or a Meolithic Tomb. Keep a look out for evidence of the area's great slate quarrying tradition. Magnificent views can be had from these parts, and blanket bog and several varieties of heather add to the allure of the landscape. This is an excellent walk and can take between 3 to 5 hours to walk. We are walking on natural terrain with moderate gradients. We slip our moorings at Killaloe, and start our journey up river. This afternoon we literally go with the flow, up through Lough Derg with its many Islands and Medieval strongholds. Here the Shannon Princess follows a dramatic route carved through the hills and valleys of Munster's North Riding. The River sweeps past banks charmingly dotted with wild horses and crumbling castles. We moor at the lovely old estate village of Mountshannon, perched prettily about the Lough. After a gourmet dinner aboard, enjoy a moonlit ramble around Mountshannon.

Tuesday: Morning Walk, the East Clare Hills
The East Clare Way walk starts from overnight mooring in Mountshannon. This is a 127km route of marked Highways and Byways. You will be guided through what is considered the most beautiful section. A gentle climb up through riverside villages and into the Slieve Bernagh hills until we overlook some of the most spectacular scenery in the whole of Munster with Lough Derg and its many islands at our feet creating a landscape rich in beauty, color and variety. This is a 3 to 4 hour walk on natural terrain and trails with moderate gradients.

This afternoon, Shannon Princess meanders effortlessly north through Lough Derg. We moor waterside at the foot of a hill that slopes gently up to Terryglass village. Lunch in the village at the Derg Inn before an afternoon guided visit to the grounds of Birr Castle, family seat of the Earl and Countess of Rosse. Besides enjoying glorious castle gardens and parkland, the Castle is home to Ireland's Historic Centre. At Terryglass take time to explore this rural Hamlet - walk, cycle, swim or make a wish in any of the villages' 'Holy (fairy) Wells'! Gourmet dinner onboard.

Wednesday: Morning Walk, the Slieve Bloom Way - Cadens Town and Kinnity
We travel by luxury coach to the nearby Slieve Bloom Mountains. Steeped in history and folklore, the Slieve Blooms dominate the landscape as it straddles the boarder of counties Offaly and Laois. It's the highest peak, 529m Arderin, translates from Irish as the height of Ireland. Connections with the past are everywhere as the area is dusted with monuments dating back as far as 4,500 years. This is a 3 to 4 hour walk along riverside paths and bog tracks and through woodland trails. Refreshment at Leap Castle hosted by owner and Traditional Musician Sean Ryan.

Return to Shannon Princess for gourmet dinner as we cruise an evocative stretch of the River Shannon. Onwards we head, in the wake of time, floating by dappled woodlands and ancient highways. The ever-changing landscape slipping by, pausing as Portumna Swing Bridge is opened to allow the Shannon Princess pass on by, upwards through Meelick Lock to moor overnight at the village of Shannonbridge.

Thursday: Morning Walk, the Pilgrim's Path
After a short cruise, we moor at Clonmacnoise ruins - an atmospheric and spiritual 6th Century monastic settlement soaked in history and myth. Clonmacnoise was the ancient burial grounds of the High Kings of Tara and Connaught and quickly became a popular place of pilgrimage. Here on the Shannon Riverbanks we start our walking trail on THE PILGRIM's PATH. This ancient walking route crossed early historic Ireland from east to west and was known in Gaelic as An tSli Mor, the Great Road. The modern Pilgrim Path covers an intact stretch of that ancient route which winds along the Esker Riada and provides the alker with an elevated view of the bog and river Shannon rich in wildlife and flowers. We follow the trail for 3 to 4 hours, over gently undulating and natural terrain.

The Shannon Princess continues its meander up the Shannon River towards Athlone, cruising through lush grazing meadows and floodplains. These meadows are considered Ireland's premier wildfowl and flora reserves, and excellent examples of "Callows" landscape. We moor in the heart of the bustling town of Athlone with time to visit some of the many charming craft, antique shops or a visit to any of the town's impromptu traditional music pub. Dinner on-board.

Friday: Lough Ree and Westmeath, Afternoon Walk
This morning the barge slips through countryside little changed through the centuries. Relax and unwind as we float along the Shannon's beautiful "Inner Lakes", passing stately riverside homes and some of its reputed 365 wooded islands. We moor at Quigley's Marina near Glasson Village. This afternoon we visit TAIN BO CULAINE - the legendary route taken across Ireland by Queen Maedbh of Connacht in her attempts at the theft of her husband's riches and his prized Brown Bull of Cooley. The Tain Trail is steeped in mythology and history as it retraces the journey and battles between Maeve and her armies and the Warrior hero Cuchulainn. We join the Tain Trail along the Shores of Lough Ree where Maeve met a bloody end. We follow the trail for 3 to 4 hours. This is a charming lakeshore byway on natural surfaces with only slight gradients. Farewell "Slainte" Gourmet Dinner.

Saturday: Athlone to Dublin
Shannon Princess will be moored at Quigley's Marina, near to Athlone. You will depart at 9:00am and chauffeured back to your transfer point in central Dublin. Estimated arrival in Dublin is 11:00am – 11:30 am. Upon request, you can be taken to Dublin airport. Estimated arrival time to Dublin airport is noon. Please make all onward travel plans the day of departure strictly on the basis of this timetable. Breakfast is your last on-board meal.


Please note:
This is a sample itinerary which may be subject to change depending on local conditions. The route will run in reverse on alternate weeks. Contact Us for reservations and more information about barge cruise vacations on the rivers of Ireland Or call us toll free at (800) 880-0071.



+ - Menu

Shannon Princess Sample Menus

Chef Olivia's New Irish Cuisine

Breakfast
Fresh Berries Raspberries, Loganberries, Strawberries, Blueberries and Cherries
From the Kitchen Garden Portumna Castle
* * *
Irish Farmhouse Cheeses
Carrigburn, Carrigaline, Cashel Blue
* * *
Eggs Any Style
* * *
Irish Porridge splashed with Bailey's Irish Cream
* * *
Buttermilk Scones, Coconut and Bran Muffins, Honey and Oak Biscuits
* * *
Lemon Curd
* * *
Smoked Fish, Tomato Relish
* * * * *

Lunch
Cold Poached Wild Salmon on Rocket Leaves with Salsa Verde
* * *
Confit Rabbit Legs
Bean and Sour Tomato Cassoulet
* * *
Muscle and Artichoke Risotto
* * *
Nanny Goats Cheese and Honeyed Onion Tartlettes
* * *
Sweet Chili and Roast Pepper Salad
* * *
Braised Fennel and Cos Salad
* * *
Basil and Aubergine Salad
* * *
Irish Cheese Platter
Summer Puddings
* * * * *

Dinner
Salted Organic Salmon, Dill, Wasabi and Cucumbers
* * *
Strawberry and Cracked Pepper Sorbet

* * *
Wild Sea Bream, and Tarragon Dumplings
* * *
Leaf Salad
* * *
Farmers Market Cheeses served with Oatcakes, Membrillo and Vintage Port
* * *
Chocolate and Apricot Tart Buttermilk Ice Cream
* * * * *

Shannon Princess offers an interesting Old and New world wine list!

~ White Wines ~
Julio Bouchon,  Sauvingnon Blanc, 2007 Chile
Grave del Friuli DOC bidoli,  Pinot Grigio,  2007 Italy
Alkoomi Riesling,  2006 Austrialia
Weingut Steininger Kabinette,  2007 Austria
* * * * *

~ Red Wines ~
Coriole Diva,  Sangiovese Shiraz,  2005 Australia
Montepulciano D’abruzzo DOC,  Fattoria la Valentia,  2006 Italy
Toro DO Bodegas Dos Victorias,  Elias Mora Semicrianza,  2006 Spain
Haut Medoc AC,  Chateau Puy Castera Merlot,  2002 France
Paddy Borthwick,  Pinot Noir,  2005 New Zealand
* * * * *

Picture a Cruise in Ireland on Shannon Princess

A river cruise in Ireland on barge Shannon Princess

Shannon Princess Guest Book

"We had a wonderful time on the Shannon Princess. It was even better than any of us dreamed it could be. Everything runs like clockwork on the barge due to Ruairi and Olivia. They are so amazing and a truly wonderful couple. And the other crew assisting them were the best. They took such good care of us and made us feel so special.

And then the food. I can’t begin to describe the wonderful meals that we had. Olivia is an amazing chef and the food was so delicious. We couldn’t wait for each meal. I ate so much and didn’t gain an ounce which is amazing. I took so many pictures of the food , that my daughter finally asked if I could send her a picture with people in it…

The barge itself is like a floating Irish country house. We were so comfortable even in the cabins...which look small but seem to work very well and my husband is 6’5’. The shower was great and the water hot the minute you got in it. We slept so well in the bed…very comfortable.

There isn’t any complaints that any of us had regarding any part of the trip. The only thing I can say is that I wish more people knew about this gem and I will definitely try to put the word out. I don’t think I have ever been so relaxed…sitting outside on the top deck, sailing along looking at the beautiful scenery and drinking an Irish Coffee. You couldn’t ask for anything better than that. Again thank you for allowing us to experience the Shannon Princess and meet the wonderful people who run it."

- Kathi Sheridan, cruised May, 2014

"Shannon Princess was the vacation of a lifetime! Fantastic cuisine, fabulous host, and an insight into the real Ireland! The crew was were wonderful and catered to every need. The food review: Nothing but accolades! Five stars for every meal!! Olivia was magnificent!!! Visiting ClonMacNoise was an awesome experience. The services of The Barge Lady were very good - you covered everything we needed to know- your tip about attire for the cruise was particularly helpful!! The pre-trip information was quite adequate and presented an accurate overview of what to expect. Thank you for everything!"

- Moira and Kevin Laughlin, cruised May, 2014

"We received excellent service from the entire crew. Captain Ruairi was very accommodating and welcomed anyone to the wheelhouse. He is a master boat-handler and great travel guide. The cuisine was SPECTACULAR! Olivia's cuisine was incredible—best we've ever had on ANY vacation! Amazing, varied menus worthy of photos taken at the table. Fresh, delicious, nutritious, creative, beautifully presented. We wonder how she did it all in such a small galley. For our daily excursions were had a wonderful guide, and we enjoyed every minute. The guide was engaged, informative, fun. The daily excursions were easily the second highlight of our trip (after the cuisine). The cabin was very comfortable for the size, well-maintained, and great housekeeping twice (!) a day. This was our first barge trip, and we have now been exposed to a new and interesting method of travel. It was a great experience. The Barge Lady team handled everything beautifully."

- Chirs and Leo Stern, cruised May, 2014

"Our experience was OUTSTANDING. I highly recommend the Shannon Princess and it’s voyage through the heart of Ireland. Be prepared to be spoiled by the crew, the food, and the experience. We can’t say enough about Ruairi and Olivia and crew. They are the epitome of an excellent team. Olivia created flavorful, beautiful food. Her breakfast pastries were absolutely the freshest and most tasty I’ve had, ever! It was remarkable how she created, seemingly effortlessly, the gourmet meals we enjoyed. We enjoyed the daily excursion, especially the gardens at Birr Castle, including the enormous telescope from 1840. The cabins were nicely laid out with a sizable bathroom and plenty of storage space. Thank you for everything."

- Kathy Ealand, cruised May, 2014

"This was not my first barge trip but would come in first place for crew care and concern and cuisine. The crew was incredibly cheerful and helpful and anticipated our needs. From the first day, they knew what I liked (grapefruit juice and black coffee) and had it waiting for me every morning. I had requested two pillows as personal preferences for my wife and me. As it turns out, the barge normally provides two pillows - we received three! The cabin was actually larger than anticipated. The furnishings pack a lot into a little space, and the bathrooms were well stocked. Overall, my experience on the Shannon Princess far exceeded expectations. On a scale of 10, they get a 15. We'll do it agai.n"

- John Savage, cruised May, 2014

 "We just left Shannon Princess; a sad morning - we will miss our new friends Ruairi and Olivia and the fabulous crew!!!!! The food and service were ‘world class.’ “

- Al and Margaret Giuliani, cruised May, 2014

"The crew were all delightful, attentive and friendly. I loved the variety in the daily excursions, we felt that we saw the "real Ireland". The cuisine was better than excellent...it was superb! Shannon Princess was truly a wonderful experience. Olivia and Rauri were the perfect hosts, attending to every need."

- Bud Tanis, Cruised September, 2012


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