School Tours


Approximate journey time: 45 minutes

School Tours Cruises

Argh! Travel back 1,200 years to the time of the Vikings and join us on a fun and educational journey to Lough Ree “Where the Three Counties Meet”. During the sailing there is live commentary on local history, the religious settlements on the islands and tales of Viking treasure.

sailboats on lough ree
historic image of viking ships

Viking history

The fiercest Viking to visit Lough Ree is Olaf Scabbyhead and his daring fleet of Viking longships. In 933 Scabbyhead and his crew plundered and looted the midlands for precious metals and valuable artifacts. This angered the Viking King Olaf Guthfrithsson who sent his men to defeat and imprison Scabbyhead in 937. Olaf succeeded but he unknowingly left treasure behind. Where do you think the treasure is buried?

Nature and wildlife

Lough Ree is famous for its meadows and nesting birds. Under an EU directive, the lake has been designated a special area of protection and conservation. This is particularly important due to the many wildlife species in the region. Recorded are, amongst others, the great crested grebe, cormorant, lapwing, and heron. Mammals recorded include mink, fox and otter.

wildlife on lough ree
toy viking helmet

Galley Shop

There is a galley shop onboard with snacks, sweets, drinks, and Viking merchandise for sale. There is complimentary tea and coffee for the teachers and staff.

Health and Safety

At Viking Tours safety is our number one priority. The ship is a registered passenger vessel with Waterways Ireland and licensed by the Department of Marine. It carries all the necessary safety features and equipment onboard. At the beginning of every cruise there is a ‘safety talk’ and we ask the students to please listen attentively. For more information on the Healthy and Safety onboard please see our Health & Safety page.

Planning your Adventure

Departing from Athlone Castle or the Hodson Bay, the cruise is a one-way journey, with your coach meeting you at the opposite end. Even though the cruise is 45 minutes, we recommend you allow 1 hour for embarkation and disembarkation of your group. At Hodson Bay there are large parking facilities and in Athlone you can make use of the coach bays beside SS Peter & Paul Church.

Athlone Castle – N37 V593      Hodson Bay – N37 XR82

If there is a wheelchair user please contact us in advance

Restroom onboard

Testimonial from the Centre of English Studies

“CES has been working with Michael and the fantastic Viking River Cruise for longer than I care to remember. Our foreign English language students have always really enjoyed the experience and the chance to see a different Ireland. The tranquil trip really stirs the emotions and Mike’s knowledge of the river, the fauna, the birdlife and history or the area make this an unforgettable experience. Whether you are going from Athlone up to the Hodson Bay or down to Clonmacnoise, beauty and history are never far away. I would consider Mike one of our top partners for this area of our business and he is always happy to help and facilitate. A true gentleman to deal with.”

5 Star Rating

Sailing Route

gif map of Lough Ree cruise

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