5 off-shore islands and coastal cruises to enjoy this summer 3 weeks ago

5 off-shore islands and coastal cruises to enjoy this summer

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You need to add these to your summer bucket list...


With summer fast approaching, it's the perfect time of year to take advantage of Ireland's great outdoors.

And if you want to take in the sights from a new perspective, there's no shortage of exciting boat and ferry tours that explore some of Ireland's incredible off-shore islands and hidden gems.

With that in mind, here are some of the best ferry tours in Ireland's Ancient East to try this summer...

Spike Island, Co. Cork


Board a boat at Kennedy Pier in Cobh and set sail to Spike Island. Previously host to a seventh century monastery and the largest prison in the world during Victorian times, this island has a varied and unique history for you to discover.

You can stroll around the island at your own pace or book a guided tour, and it's recommended you allow up to three and a half hours for your visit.


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Carlingford Lough Cruise, Co. Louth

Explore Carlingford Lough and Haulbowline Lighthouse from its surrounding waters aboard a sunset cruise. Carlingford Lough Ferry's evening cruise takes you along the lough and lighthouse, with an audio guide to talk you through your amazing scenic surroundings.

During the two and a half hour cruise, you'll also be treated to some live music and there's an onboard café too.


Barrow Princess River Cruise, Co. Waterford and Co. Wexford

If you're exploring Wexford or Waterford on your next staycation, the Barrow Princess River Cruise is the perfect way to take in all the sights. Cruising along the rivers Barrow and Suir, you can enjoy incredible views of the stunning countryside and take in sights such as the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Bridge and Barrow Bridge.

Barrow Princess River Cruise runs return trips between New Ross and Waterford and the cruise takes approximately two hours.


Ballycotton Island Lighthouse Tours, Co. Cork

Sail out to Ballycotton Island and spend a day relaxing on sandy beaches, exploring the Ballycotton Cliff Walk and unwinding in one of the island's pubs or restaurants. Of course, no trip here is complete without visiting Ballycotton Lighthouse, which will be covered by your tour guide during the cruise.

Ballycotton Sea Adventures runs a ferry from Ballycotton Pier to the island and the tour takes about an hour and a half.

Saltee Islands, Co. Wexford

Located just five kilometres away from Kilmore Quay, the Saltee Islands are first and foremost a nature reserve, meaning there are no shops or restaurants there. But the secluded nature of the islands makes for a very peaceful and scenic day trip and, while they aren't inhabited by people, it is home to a variety of wildlife species and seabirds.

You can board a ferry for the Saltee Islands in Kilmore Quay and it runs from the beginning of April until the end of September.


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So, what are you waiting for? Now is the perfect time to Keep Discovering Ireland.

The Leave No Trace principles help us make as little an impact as possible on the incredible Irish landscape as we explore the outdoors this summer and beyond. Keep outdoor areas safe, clean and free from waste/hazards, and help protect the natural environment. Love this place, leave no trace.

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