Boating Holidays from Blue Water Holidays

Boating Holidays in Ireland

Boating in Ireland is a unique experience as you cruise through lush green countryside along the majestic River Shannon, the Shannon-Erne waterway canal, or the scenic cliffs of Lower Lough Erne on the River Erne.

Between Belleek at the northern end of Lough Erne to Killaloe at the southern end of the River Shannon there are 300 miles of rivers and lakes to explore on your Ireland boating holiday. We offer a superb range of cruiser boats and Penichette boats on the Irish rivers and canals.

On an Irish boating holiday you can experience the legendary Irish hospitality and enjoy the 'craich' in the local hostelries - some reputed never to close during the summer months!

You are free to stop where the mood takes you, to walk, sightsee or bicycle ride. Perhaps enjoy a round on some 300 of the world's finest golf courses. Maybe try fishing on the superb waters of Upper and Lower Lough Erne - we can usually supply fishing dinghies with boats, perhaps fishing equipment as well.

In Ireland, a friendly welcome at all times more than compensates for the climate which makes Ireland such a green country!

Boat Hire Bases

We offer boats from 4 boat bases in Ireland:
Upper Shannon River: Carrick on Shannon
Lower Shannon River:Portumna and Banagher

Different types of boat are available from the various bases. Check out the types offered in our Choosing your Boat guide.

Boat hire is normally on an out-and-back basis. In addition we offer one-way trips between Carrick and Portumna. Your car is normally transferred to the return base at a small supplementary charge. Tariffs are normally on a weekly basis with longer cruises of 10/11 days or 2/3 weeks also available. Short breaks may sometimes be possible. Use our Boat Holiday Search to find the boats available from your preferred base.

Penichette Boat Base

The Penichette boat base at Banagher is the ideal base to explore the lower Shannon and Lough Derg, the largest lake on the waterway system.

For all boating holidays in Ireland let us know your requirements and preferences and we'll advise and do the rest!

Read a customer's Diary of a week's cruise on the River Shannon

Area Highlights

Highlights of Ireland

  • Ruins of Clonmacnois
  • Portumna Castle
  • Golf at Slieve Russell Hotel in Ballyconnell
  • Belleek’s pottery
  • Cycle Kingfisher Trail
  • Horseback riding in Banagher
  • Shannon Harbour fishing
  • Carrick’s Dock Arts Centre
  • Swan Island Open Farm in Ballinamore
  • Mountshannon’s Holy Island.
Ireland Boating Holidays

Useful Information:

  • To cruise on the Shannon-Erne waterway, you will need to buy a smart card to operate the locks, these are available from all bases at a cost of approxomately €13 for 20 units. Locks and bridges onthe River Shannon cost approx €1.50 each.

Customer Reviews

The excellent weather made the holiday so we were able to cruise as far as Killaloe and we taxied into Limerick. Another good route was up the River Suck to Ballinasloe from where we had a day trip by train to Galway city. DH – Portumna and back in Ireland
Perfect service after a simple call. Friendly personnel. We started in Portumna,went to Athlone, then back to Killaloe, and return to Portumna. We found this route perfect. LC - Portumna out and back in Ireland

Suggested cruises from our bases in Ireland

Ireland Boating Map

One way cruises are available between bases of the same colour.

View Routes from:


In County Fermanagh the base at Bellanaleck is just 8km from lovely Enniskillen and is ideally located for exploring upper and lower Lough Erne, and the traditional villages of Northern Ireland. It’s also a paradise for bird watching and fishing.

Boat Search by Start Base

Start Base: Bellanaleck

Out and Back Routes

Bellanaleck - Belleek - Bellanaleck

2 Day Weekend • 10hrs

Bellanaleck - Belturbet - Bellanaleck

2 Day Weekend • 10hrs

Bellanaleck - Belleek - Crom Castle - Bellanaleck

Short Break Return • 16hrs

Bellanaleck - Belturbet - Killadeas - Bellanaleck

Short Break Return • 16hrs

Bellanaleck - Enniskillen - Belleek - Ballyconnell - Bellanaleck

1 Week • 20hrs

Bellanaleck - Leitrim - Bellanaleck

1 Week • 32 Locks • 34 hrs

Carrick on Shannon

Boat Search by Start Base

Start Base: Carrick

One Way Routes

Carrick-on-Shannon - Banagher

1 Weeks One-Way • 140km • 6 Locks • 20 hrs

Out and Back Routes

Carrick-on-Shannon - Keshkerrigan - Ballinamore - Lough Key - Boyle - Carrick-on-Shannon

1 Week Return • 208km • 24 Locks • 24 hrs

Carrick-on-Shannon - Athlone - Carrick-on-Shannon

1 Week Return • 176km • 6 Locks • 22 hrs

Carrick-on-Shannon - Boyle - Athlone - Portumna - Carrick-on-Shannon

2 Weeks Return • 415km • 22 Locks • 52 hrs


Boat Search by Start Base

Start Base: Banagher

One Way Routes

Banagher - Carrick-on-Shannon

1 Week • 165km • 6 Locks • 20 hrs

Out and Back Routes

Banagher - Terryglass - Killaloe - Shannonbridge - Banagher

1 Week • 165km • 2 Locks • 22 hrs

Banagher - Athlone - Killinure - Banagher

1 Week • 112km • 2 Locks • 16 hrs

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