Ireland 1996: Cruiser along the Shannon-Erne Waterway

Written before the trip

  1. We usually go to France, but this year we thought we would try Ireland.
  2. We had read about the joint project the Shannon-Erne Waterway [Between The Republic of and Northern Ireland and supported with European Community Money] and thought we would give it a go.
  3. I wrote/sent Faxes to: Borde Fáilte - Irish Tourist Board
  • Baggot Street Bridge, Dublin 2 and also 
  • The Northern Ireland Tourist Board, St. Anne's Court, 59 North Street, Belfast BT1 1NB

Both sent much the same material, and from these I sent faxes to several hire companies in Northern Ireland and the Republic.

  1. Several do traditional Barge style craft with tiller steering right aft in the open, but because we plan to go in October - when the weather might be bad - we have chosen a boat which has steering inside and is heated; because they also sent us a Video we have chosen:

And so our daughter can spend the weekend with us if she wants we have selected a Town Star - a boat advertised as sleeping three (1976: 5/6 berth, see pictures below). Emerald Star have three bases but the one we have chosen is at Belturbet so that we can see Enniskillen which is where some of my wife's family came from!

Emerald Star Line are also one of the few Cruiser Hire Companies with an Internet site. There is also an Irish Inland Waterways Association site at the internet.

The basic cost for a week at that time of year is IR£380 which came through on my credit card as £404. We have been sent good documentation - a Captain's Handbook and a Cruise Planner, a form to order provisions which they say they will put on board, and confirmation of the booking.

  1. Most of the companies seem to run pick up services from the airports or ferry terminals, but we decided to go by car, and, because as P&O Stockholders we get a reduction of 25% on Cairnryan-Larne fares. Our daughter is working in Belfast so this seemed convenient too ...
The Town Star Class ...

From CompuServe European Forum, Pictures: Emerald Star Line 1976