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Top boat tours and trips on the water in Ireland
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Whether you’re looking for a short trip or an all-day experience with refreshments and food, you’ll find all sorts of exciting options right on the water.

Here is a selection of some of the most popular cruises and day trips that can be enjoyed by all the family.

1Sliabh Liag Boat Tours, Donegal

Running trips to the magnificent Sliabh Liag Cliffs, Sliabh Liag Boat Tours take you to see one of the highest sea cliffs in Europe standing at 600m. Get close to the cliffs and appreciate this spectacular sight; visitors are sometimes joined by dolphins, seals, basking sharks and even whales.

Wetsuits are provided for those who wish to swim in the crystal-clear water of the secluded coves or you can brave the water without one. The tour lasts about one and a half hours or sometimes a bit longer as you take in many wonderful sights.

2Rose of Innisfree Boat Tour, Leitrim

No visit to the northwest is complete without a trip on the Rose of Innisfree. Sail around the famous isle with the Rose of Innisfree Boat Tour; it is situated on one of Ireland's most beautiful lakes, Lough Gill. Depart from the 17th-century Parkes Castle and take a leisurely cruise across the water all while surrounded by outstanding natural beauty steeped in myth and legend.

Tea, coffee, home baking, snacks, and a full bar service are available onboard while your skipper recites tales of folklore, history, and poetry associated with the area and one of Ireland’s most famous sons, W.B. Yeats.

3Doolin Ferry – Cliffs of Moher Cruise, Clare
Journey along the 6km of coastline from Doolin Pier on the Doolin Ferry.

This stunning one-hour journey along the 6km of coastline from Doolin Pier on the Doolin Ferry provides dramatic views of the Cliffs from the sea. With a height of over 214m, visitors are in awe of these natural creations with the nearby Great Sea Stack (Branaunmore) equally as exciting to see. 

The 67-metre high sea stack sees thousands of rare birds flock to it throughout the year. Between April and mid-July, you can see colourful puffins so don’t forget your camera to capture a shot of these beautiful birds.

4Killaloe River Cruises, Clare
Join Killaloe River Cruises and explore the River Shannon and Lough Derg.

Join Killaloe River Cruises and explore the River Shannon and Lough Derg. A commentary is provided as you gently cruise along the calm, sheltered waters of one of Ireland's finest waterways. Bar facilities are available onboard, so you can unwind and head to the open deck to deeply appreciate the magnificent scenery. 

If you would rather be inside, the lower deck is fully enclosed but just as comfortable. The boat is owner-operated with a very personal service.

5Corrib Tours on The Corrib Princess, Galway

Corrib Tours run daily sailings on The Corrib Princess from Woodquay and the 90-minute journey is a relaxing break from the bustle of the nearby city. See the majestic River Corrib as it flows into Ireland’s largest lake with unsurpassed views of this breathtaking waterway. 

Commentary is provided on all major points of interest along the way as you gently chug past castles and an abundance of wildlife in this scenic area.

6Killary Fjord Boat Tours, Galway

Take a 90-minute trip on a luxury boat with Killary Fjord Boat Tours for uninterrupted views of Killary Fjord. 

The inlet has some of the finest scenery in the West of Ireland and because of its sheltered nature, the waters are always calm. There’s a café and bar on board making it a highly enjoyable trip for all ages and interests.

7Seafari Fun Eco Nature & Seal Watching Cruises, Kerry

Book in with Seafari Fun for a wildlife experience aboard a comfortable passenger vessel. Join a friendly captain and guide to hear all all about the history and ecology of the area while taking in the dramatic scenery of Kenmare Bay. 

See mountains, islands, castles and discover the astonishing plant life and prolific birdlife of the area. Visit a large seal colony where over 300 seals play in the calm waters and then make your way home with a warm tipple in hand. An experience not to be missed.

8Cork Sea Safari

Learn all about the wonderful history and culture of Cork harbour through exciting tours from Cork Sea Safari. Enjoy the Grand Harbour Adventure with a trip around islands, coves and beaches or book in for the Dolphin Discovery to see bottlenose and common dolphins up close.

Other tours include a day out exploring Kinsale by sea safari and a BBQ experience that’s sure to line the stomach.

9Dublin Bay Cruises

Head out of the city with Dublin Bay Cruises on this 75-minute journey, taking in iconic landmarks like the James Joyce Tower, Martello Tower, and Dalkey island where you’ll find colonies of grey seals. See the gloriously untouched Ireland’s Eye and Howth Head on this chilled experience from an entirely new vantage point. 

Operated by the Garrihy family who have many decades of experience on the sea, enjoy a commentary on each attraction while you enjoy a beverage of your choice or just sit and gaze at the beautiful views on the bay in the shadow of the Dublin Mountains.

10Athy Boat Tours - The River Barrow Navigation, Meath

Experience freedom on the water as you float along the River Barrow. Whether you wish to enjoy a picnic on board with a trip to Levitstown or lunch on a riverbank on a day excursion to Maganey, Athy Boat Tours is happy to accommodate.  

See the sprawling landscapes unfold as you journey by boat as well as the diverse flora and fauna that the river showcases along the way. Experience the thrill of passing through Ardreigh Lock and watch the crew work the lock as their predecessors did hundreds of years ago. You have many photograph opportunities along the way as the crew gives you an insightful view into the life of the Barrow Navigation.

If you have never taken a cruise on these Irish waters before, why not get out on the water for an enjoyable break with friends and family? There are many options to choose from and it’s a great way to spend a day on your short break in Ireland.