Tour Groups - Lough Ree & Hodson Bay Cruise


Duration of the cruise: 45 – 90 minutes

Lough Ree & Hodson Bay Cruise

“Where the Three Counties Meet”

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.

boats 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.

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

Planning your Lough Ree & Hodson Bay Adventure

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.


Athlone Castle – N37 V593       Hodson Bay – N37 XR82

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.

Bus Transfers

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

Restroom onboard

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