Brian Morrison Failte Ireland and Tourism Ireland

Boat Trips

Boat Trips on Lough Derg

It would be an utter shame to travel to the Lough Derg region and stay on land. You simply have to get out on the water to experience it at its best! And if kayaking, stand up paddle boarding or fishing are not your cup of tea, then why not put your feet up with a beer or coffee in hand and enjoy a boat trip on Ireland’s largest lake? We’ve rounded up all of the options to suit everyone’s taste from the informative to the adrenaline-fuelled; these are the best boat trips on Lough Derg.

1. For those looking to relax: Killaloe River Cruises

If you would like nothing more than to step on board a boat and chill out, then the Killaloe River Cruises is the boat trip for you. They have two comfortable passenger boats, the Spirit of Killaloe and the Spirit of Lough Derg. Both provide sight-seeing tours on Ireland’s finest waterway, the River Shannon.

In operation since 1999, they know what they are doing. They sail every day over the summer and the tour lasts one hour. Grab a drink at the bar on board and recline on the top deck while you listen to the onboard commentary about the history of Lough Derg and bask in the beautiful views. Both boats depart from the quay on Lakeside Drive, Ballina Killaloe.

2. For a dose of adrenaline: Derg Boat Trips

The newest addition to Lough Derg’s boat trips is on the Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) called “Cealtra”. The fully guided, fact and fun-filled trip out onto Lough Derg is an ideal opportunity to experience the history, heritage, culture and amazing scenery of Ireland’s largest lake. The trip runs six days a week during the summer months from Scariff Harbour.

3. For a DIY trip: Boat Hire

If you’re up for the challenge, then why not do it yourself and hire a boat to tour the lake? Anna Carriga Marina and Lakeboat Hire have a fleet of Orkney Longliner lakeboats with everything you’ll need for a fishing trip on board. You can hire the boat from everything from a half day to an entire week.

Shannon Lakeboat and Mini Cruiser Hire is another option. Their Lake Star Cruiser has room for five, so it is perfect for a family staycation with a difference.

4. Visit Holy Island

For an escape from the mainland for a few blissful hours, take a step back in time and pay a visit to Holy Island on Lough Derg. The stunning monastic site includes a Round Tower, the ruins of six churches, a Holy Well, a graveyard, Bullaun Stones, a cell-like structure and a ‘bargaining’ stone. Its seclusion is the reason this stunning site remains so intact and safe from development. Hop on the boat out from Mountshannon with local historian Ger Madden and escape time itself.

5. Gin Cruise

If you are a fan of gin, then you’ve got to do the gin cruise! Improve your gin knowledge with the onboard masterclass while sipping on gin cocktails and sampling different brands of gins. The cruise lasts an hour and a half and is the brainchild of Colette Acton. So recline and relax on board with your tumbler of gin in hand and bask in your beautiful surroundings.

The Killaloe Hotel
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