Public Sailings - Cruise to Clonmacnoise


Approximate one-way journey time: 90 minutes

Cruise to Clonmacnoise

“A place where time stands still”

Departing from Athlone Castle, the cruise travels downstream on the River Shannon to the famous 6th Century monastery of Clonmacnoise. During this meandering voyage there is live commentary on local history, monastic life, and the surrounding flora & fauna. This cruise is for culture seekers, history buffs and outdoor enthusiasts.

a view of Clonmacnoise from the river Shannon
historic image of viking ships

Viking history

Clonmacnoise sits on the banks of the River Shannon and we will approach the monastery by water, just like the Vikings did in 842. It was a renowned centre for Christianity, learning, trade and craftmanship. As a result, it became an idle target for the sea faring Vikings. Today only the ruins of the stone monastery remain: a cathedral, several churches, two round towers, three high crosses and many more.

The Meandering Shannon

The one-way journey sails 15km through the meandering Shannon and surrounding bogland.

wildlife on lough ree
wildlife on the river shannon

Nature and wildlife

Protection of the Callows is particularly important due to its many species of birds. Recorded are, amongst others, curlew, whooper swan and common buzzard. Grazing of cattle keeps alder and willow from spreading, where sections at higher elevation have a great diversity of plants, in particular meadowsweet, purple loosestrife and bog cotton.

Planning your Clonmacnoise Adventure

Passengers wanting to visit Clonmacnoise are allowed approximately 90 minutes at the site before getting the Viking Tours bus transfer back to Athlone. The return bus journey is included in your ticket and will take approximately 30 minutes. Please note: The vessel immediately returns to Athlone after disembarking the passengers wishing to go ashore.

Our fare does not include admission to the monastic settlement. For more information on Clonmacnoise opening hours and admission rates please visit OPW Clonmacnoise.

Athlone Castle – N37 V593

If there is a wheelchair user please contact us in advance

Restroom onboard

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