Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Cruising On The Shannon
Just back from a great week cruising on the River Shannon. I must say we all really enjoyed it. It was our first time starting so far up on the river - at Athlone and we went north through Lough Ree and up as far as Rooskey in County Leitrim. Weather surprisingly was fine with a few exceptions. We visited Quigleys Marina in Glasson, Coosan Point, Manfreds (what a steak!), Tarmonbarry, Lanesborough and Rooskey. It's a really relaxing holiday.
Our lakes and waterways are a fantastic asset that probably should be exploited more by our own population. There is no shortage of Dutch and German people holidaying on the Shannon but comparatively few Irish people. Although I think -despite prices having come down - it is still pretty overpriced.
Unless we had borrowed a boat (thanks Matt & Carrie!) we probably couldn't have managed it this year.
Checking out the websites (just Google Shannon cruising) and it seems to be an average of €1,500 to €2,700 to hire a good sized boat (sleeping 6-8) for a week. You could take the whole family to a guaranteed sun location with flights, accommodation and full board for that - for a fortnight! Also remember that that doesn't include either insurance, or breakages deposit (around €800!!!!) or diesel, or berthage in commercial marinas, or any meals, or food, or transfers (if you need them) - not so much as a pint of milk on board for you.
This pricing puts it beyond the range or interest of most people despite it being a really enjoyable holiday, with the additional benefits to the economy of our money staying at home and the additional spend in the shops, pubs and restaurants in small towns along the river bank.
Anyway, all that aside; we really enjoyed it. We left a few tourist euros along the way and we will be back to explore even further north sometime.
Photo shows Cillian (my middle one!) in the orange lifejacket feeding the ducks at Athlone Marina - an activity of which he never tired. We didn't tell him, poor soul, about the duck on the menu in all the restaurants every evening! LOL