Boating Holidays Masthead
Boating Holidays Masthead

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!

Cruiser Boat Bases

We offer boats from 3 boat bases in Ireland:
Upper Shannon River: Carrick on Shannon
Lower Shannon River:Portumna and Killinure Point

Different types of boat are available from the various bases. Check out the types offered in our Cruiser Boat Holidays 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

Our base at Killinure Point is on the Shannon-Erne waterway connecting the River Shannon and the Erne. It is convenient for trips south down the River Shannon or north to the Loughs and mountains of the Erne waterway system.

Please Note: from 2020 the Penichette boat base will be moving to Banagher - 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

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Ireland Boating Map

View Routes from:

Carrick on Shannon

Carrick-On-Shannon is the largest town in County Leitrim. The ruins of the old Carrick Castle can be glimpsed on the Carrick Bridge. Stop in this pretty town and visit the great Saint-Mary's Church. Learn its history and discover its culture in the art centre.


One Way Routes

Carrick-on-Shannon - Portumna (or vice versa)

1 Week • 160km • 5 Locks • 2 Lift Bridges • 19hrs

You pull up to the ancient monastic site at Clonmacnoise, truly an impressive remnant of the Shannon’s storied past and a highlight of barge holidays in Ireland. The stones seem to speak to you, sending a message through time. From your sundeck, you admire Birr Castle Demesne, and you cruise into Lough Derg and stop for a picnic at Portumna Forest Park.

Out and Back Routes

Carrick-on-Shannon - Lanesborough - Carrick-on-Shannon

3 - 4 Days • 104km • 6 Locks • 14hrs

The River Shannon marks a swath of blue through emerald-green hills dotted with Celtic ruins and postcard-perfect villages, entrancing you with every mile you make south toward Lanesborough at the head of Lough Ree. A boat hire in Ireland immerses you in the Irish way of life, slow and easy as you cycle the towpaths or play a round of golf.

Carrick-on-Shannon - Belturbet - Carrick-on-Shannon

1 Week Return • 150km • 34 Locks • 29hrs

You head out on your barge holiday in Ireland through lakes, the Shannon-Erne Waterway and the River Shannon. You feel relaxed as the scenery slowly passes by, and you see friendly people wave at you from the towpath. Along the way, you enjoy the waterfront bistro in Leitrim, fishing at Drumshanbo and playing the 18-hole championship golf course at Ballyconnell.

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

1 Week Return • 200km • 6 Locks • 4 Lift Bridges • 22hrs

You’ve revelled in the friendly pubs and tried the Guinness and Jameson whisky, Calcannon (potato and cabbage) and Boxty (fried potato cakes). Now you’re up for golf — even more natural on barge holidays in Ireland than neighbourhood leprechauns and four-leaf clovers! At Glasson and Hodson Bay, you hit the greens with gusto and the luck of the Irish!

Carrick-on-Shannon - Enniskillen - Carrick-on-Shannon

2 Weeks Return • 220km • 34 Locks • 36hrs

Carrick-on-Shannon - Belleek - Carrick-on-Shannon

2 Weeks Return • 280km • 46 Locks • 36hrs


Carrick-on-Shannon - Keshcarrigan - Ballinamore - Leitrim - Lough Key - Forest Park - Boyle - Carrick-on-Shannon

1 Week Return • 208km • 22 Locks • 3 / 45 hr day

Carrick-on-Shannon - Dromod - Rooskey - Killinure - Athlone - Lanesborough - Carrick-on-Shannon

1 Week Return • 176km • 6 Locks • 3 / 15 hr day

Carrick-on-Shannon - Enniskillen - Devenish Island - Kesh - Belleek - Tully Castle - Enniskillen - Carrick-on-Shannon

1 Week Return • 119km • 0 Locks • 2 / 45 hr day

Carrick-on-Shannon - Boyle - Dromod - Portunny - Athlone - Clonmacnoise - Killnure - Lanesborough - Carrick-on-Shannon

10/11 Days Return • 260km • 10 Locks • 3 / 45 hr day

Carrick-on-Shannon - Boyle - Dromod - Tarmonbarry - Killnure - Athlone - Banagher - Terryglass - Garrykennedy - Killaloe - Portumna - Athlone - Lanesborough - Carrick-on-Shannon

2 Weeks Return • 415km • 12 Locks • 3 / 45 hr day

Portumna

Situated at the head of Lough Derg, Portumna is one of Galway's most attractive towns and is famous for Portumna Castle which both King James I and Queen Elizabeth I of England visited.


One Way Routes

Portumna - Carrick-on-Shannon (or vice versa)

1 Week • 160km • 5 Locks • 2 Lift Bridges • 19hrs

You pull up to the ancient monastic site at Clonmacnoise, truly an impressive remnant of the Shannon’s storied past and a highlight of barge holidays in Ireland. The stones seem to speak to you, sending a message through time. From your sundeck, you admire Birr Castle Demesne, and you cruise into Lough Derg and stop for a picnic at Portumna Forest Park.

Out and Back Routes

Portumna - Shannonbridge - Athlone - Terryglass - Portumna

3 - 4 Days • 128km • 4 Locks • 17hrs

Portumna - Mountshannon - Scarriff - Killaloe - Portumna

1 Week • 128km • 0 Locks • 17hrs

Portumna - Athlone - Portumna - Mountshannon - Killaloe - Portumna

1 Week • 128km • 4 Locks • 27hrs

Portumna - Killaloe - Portumna

Short Break Return • 106km • 0 Locks • 14hrs

Bellanaleck

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.


One Way Routes

Bellanaleck - Enniskillen - Ballconnell - Carrick-on-Shannon

1 Week • 168km • 16 Locks • 3 / 45 hr day

Out and Back Routes

Bellanaleck - Enniskillen - Belleek - Tully Castle - Bellanaleck

1 week • 119km • 0 Locks • 2 / 45 hr day

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