Duration of the cruise: 45 – 90 minutes
Departing from Athlone Castle or the Hodson Bay, this cruise travels on the River Shannon to Lough Ree. During the sailing there is live commentary on local history, the religious settlements on the islands and tales of Viking treasure. Don a Viking helmet and prepare for battle or simply sit back with an Irish Coffee. Either way, you will enjoy the beauty of the Inland Waterways and witness everything Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands has to offer.
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.
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.
We recommend the tour group travels one-way: Athlone Castle to Hodson Bay or vice versa, with your coach meeting you in the opposite location. At the Hodson Bay there are large parking facilities and for Athlone you can make use of the coach bays at SS Peter & Paul Church.
If multiple cars are arriving, we recommend parking at O’Connell Street Car Park N37 XW58 @ €3 per day. If you are traveling by coach, we recommend using the coach bays beside SS Peter & Paul Church.
All the other Lough Ree departure/arrival points have parking facilities.
If you require a bus transfer, Viking Tours can recommend a local transport provider.
For Glasson Village please note: A bus transfer is required for part of this route because the village is not connected to the waterways. Again, Viking Tours can assist in this regard.
If there is a wheelchair user please contact us in advance
Tour of Ireland
“For the second time I included a trip on the Shannon with Viking Mike as part of the itinerary and I was glad to have done so. My group consisted of 48 persons of 17 nationalities. Everyone enjoyed the experience. On time, good commentary, excellent staff, overall a very pleasant experience and a definite inclusion next time.”
Rooskey Active Age
“Rooskey active Age on a recent tour of the midlands boarded the Viking Ship in Athlone and took a trip down the Shannon and into Lough Ree. The Crew were very attentive and looked after our every need. They know their geography and all the wild life visible on the day. The complementary coffee was a lovely surprise and dished out with a smile. A lovely way to see all that is hidden from view and we would recommend this trip if you are down “our way”.”