European Waterways' Irish Cruise a sell out ·

European Waterways’ Irish Cruise a sell out

European Waterways has announced a sellout 2019 season for luxury hotel barge Shannon Princess with its 2020 bookings already more than 50% full.

Featuring an itinerary that offers a “deep dive” into Irish history, culture and gastronomic offerings, European Waterways is among the beneficiaries of the recent tourism boom in Ireland. Its excursions include tours of magnificent estates, castles, and medieval architecture, as well as samplings of traditional Irish fare, such as Guinness, whiskey and oysters, and even a private display of Ireland’s ancient art of falconry.

“The classic Shannon Princess cruise is a veritable immersion into Irish history and gastronomy,” said Derek Banks, managing director for European Waterways.  “From the moment you come aboard, you’re greeted with Irish coffee and ‘black velvets’ – a traditional Irish cocktail of stout beer and champagne – and are instantly transported into a world of ancient customs and lore.”

With bookings for 2020 quickly selling out, European Waterways is advising clients to book their cruises as early as possible to avoid disappointment. Rates for 2020 start at €4,050 per person (approx. AU$6,500), based on double occupancy.

A River Runs Through It

Among the Shannon Princess’ itinerary is a tour of the Clonmacnoise ruins, a famed 6th-century university and early monastic settlement that is still haunted by the ghosts of saints and scholars from Ireland’s Golden Age of learning.  Guests will tour the crumbling remains of its cathedral, churches, towers and high crosses, as well as the large collection of early Christian gravestones. The itinerary also includes a visit to Leap Castle, considered one of Ireland’s most haunted establishments. Guests will be treated to a private tour by its eccentric owner, who will relate the castle’s chilling history of murderous greed and suicide – all while Irish musicians serenade them.  After dinner onboard the boat that evening, guests can join the captain for a pint with the friendly locals at nearby Killeen’s pub.

Other itinerary highlights include a visit to Birr Castle, where the Earl of Rosse and his family still reside.  Guests can stroll through its lavish gardens and tour the science centre, which houses the Great Telescope. Designed by the Third Earl of Rosse in the 1840s, it was the largest in the world for more than 70 years and is the largest historic scientific instrument still working today. Another fascinating excursion is the visit to Kilbeggan Whiskey Distillery, the oldest licensed whiskey distillery in the world, dating back to 1757, where guests can tour the ancient stills and sample some of the ‘Uisce beatha’ (water of life).

The Shannon Princess will also sail across Lough Derg, one of Ireland’s most beautiful lakes and Christianity’s oldest pilgrimage site, passing one of the country’s rare forest parks.  Guest will enjoy dinner onboard and watch the sunset on their way to the picturesque lakeside village of Mountshannon.  One of the cruise’s most memorable experiences is a “birds of prey” demonstration featuring owls, falcons and eagles, held within the walled garden of the Adare Manor estate, located on the banks of the River Maigue.  The demonstration includes an opportunity for guests to take pictures with a bird safely perched on their arms.

“Ireland’s extraordinary landscape of rolling green hills and lush green vales have justly helped the country earn its title as the ‘Emerald Isle’,” said Banks.  “The Shannon Princess’ cruise through the heart of Ireland offers a truly memorable immersion into one of the world’s most captivating destinations.”

To book the last remaining cabins in 2020, please call 1800 828 050 or visit europeanwaterways.com

About European Waterways

Hotel Barging is a boutique, unique experience which offers an immersive, all-inclusive “gentle voyage of discovery” that focuses upon the culture, history, fine wine and gourmet cuisine of the region. With a 6 to 20 person capacity and 1:2 crew ratio, European Waterways are able to provide an impeccable level of on board service and can transport their guests on the intimate inland waterways that are inaccessible to larger vessels. This fascinating network of smaller canals allows for flexibility, spontaneity and ample opportunity to hop off and explore the beautiful surroundings via bicycle, or on foot. In addition to this there are daily, chauffeured excursions “off the beaten track” to a wide variety of enthralling locations, from exquisite wine tastings to private tours of stately homes. With over 40 years’ experience and a fleet that spans nine countries it is the largest luxury hotel barging company in Europe. For more information, call toll free from Australia 1800 828 050 or visit europeanwaterways.com

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