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Self guided boat tour - Ireland?

Old 02-07-2018, 08:40 AM
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Default Self guided boat tour - Ireland?

Has anyone ever done one?

I'm looking at taking my wife and family to Ireland next year and to do something different that lets us see a lot of the country, I'm thinking about doing the self guided boat tour.

There are a couple of different ones, river cruises, lake cruises etc, all basically done within a week or so.

First company I pulled up online was "le boat" . Different size boats available.

Thoughts, experiences?
Old 02-07-2018, 09:42 AM
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I can't help with any of your questions but I've been to Ireland and we've always thought we'd go again. I'll definitely be looking into this for the next trip. Never knew it was an option.
Old 02-07-2018, 09:55 AM
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There seems to be several companies that do it. Prices actually seem pretty good depending on when you go.

Just seems like a really cool way to see different parts of the country.
Old 02-07-2018, 10:02 AM
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I did Le Boat in France a few months ago for two weeks. It was a great experience and a great way to see a country as the canal systems had many villages on them. The best thing about it was we got to see a lot of the country taking our hotel room with us along the way. What do you want to know?









[QUOTE=Strike1;11099464]
Old 02-07-2018, 11:54 AM
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That's awesome! Le Boat was one of the two companies that came up. Enchanted Ireland was another.

Any problems getting from one place to the next? Docking, eating, etc? I read one article about having some difficulties with locks and lift bridges, uncooperative lock operators, people having to hop on & off the boat and pull on ropes along the way. That wouldn't work for me since I will be with my wife (she could drive... and no...I'm not including a picture!) and two kids who will be 12 & 8.

Any problems with the boat? What would you do if you DID have a problem? Any safety concerns? Theft from the boat etc?
Old 02-07-2018, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Strike1 View Post
That's awesome! Le Boat was one of the two companies that came up. Enchanted Ireland was another.

Any problems getting from one place to the next? Docking, eating, etc? I read one article about having some difficulties with locks and lift bridges, uncooperative lock operators, people having to hop on & off the boat and pull on ropes along the way. That wouldn't work for me since I will be with my wife (she could drive... and no...I'm not including a picture!) and two kids who will be 12 & 8.

Any problems with the boat? What would you do if you DID have a problem? Any safety concerns? Theft from the boat etc?
Hi Strike1,

Ok, So Le Boat. They were a good company to rent from but remember they are all rental boats and they tell people that you don't need any experience so it can be quite entertaining watching someone who has never driven a boat trying to back a single screw with a rudder and no thruster into a space two feet wider than the boat. The boat had its share of dings and dents on it but nothing I would consider too bad.

We took the early check-in option as it takes a few hours to go through orientation which is a sit down with someone from the company than a short trip between some markers and backing into a space with a captain. If you don;'t take the early check-in by the time you go through all of that stuff you will be lucky to make it through the first lock.

As for getting from one space to the next, we did not have any issues. The locks will have times that they open and close and there will be a queue at a few of them as the locks are old (like 1700s) and can only fit 3-4 boats at a time. Get someone at the helm and one at bow and stern for lines and you will be fine. DO NOT get off the boat in the lock, throw the line over the mushroom and you will be fine.

As for boat issues, you will have a few. Ours were minor and other boats in our group had more severe issues but none of them were show stoppers. We had issues with the upper helm ignition key. We called the depot, told them what mile marker we were at and they sent someone down. In our case, he told us to just start the engine from the lower helm. I would rate the boats on par with a clean three-star hotel.

Most of the locks will have a small store run by the keeper or a restaurant. Some locks will have nothing but as the canals were the main channel of commerce in the country most of them are at or within walking distance to a village. It is truly a great way to see a country as it is and not get pulled into the tourist traps.

As for safety concerns, we did not have any at all, wherever you dock there will be other boats even if you drive stakes into the side of the canal and set up shop for the night.

I would highly reccomend going for it. It is a trip you and your family will always remember.
















Old 02-07-2018, 06:57 PM
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Nice pictures.

Excluding airfare what did the trip run you?

How many people on you boat?

What time of year did you go?

Did you go through Paris?

What airport did you fly in and out of?

Other than the website, any books or tour company's websites with tips and suggestions?

I go to Paris about twice a year. I might want to try this.

Thanks for your responses.
Old 02-08-2018, 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Bayou Dularge View Post
Nice pictures.

Excluding airfare what did the trip run you?

How many people on you boat?

What time of year did you go?

Did you go through Paris?

What airport did you fly in and out of?

Other than the website, any books or tour company's websites with tips and suggestions?

I go to Paris about twice a year. I might want to try this.

Thanks for your responses.

Excluding airfare what did the trip run you? - I think we were about $2200 for our share of the boat as we shared with other couples but our boat had three rooms and two bathrooms. Le Boat has the rates on their site.

How many people on you boat? We had 6 people, three couples.

What time of year did you go? - September

Did you go through Paris? - No, we did Canal Du Midi

What airport did you fly in and out of? - CDG, spent some time in Paris then flew down to Toulouse.

Other than the website, any books or tour company's websites with tips and suggestions?

My advice would be to just go for it in Ireland. From speaking with people in ports all the boat rental companies are about the same. Just go for it, you won't regret it. If you want to chat on the phone about it PM me your number.
Old 02-08-2018, 06:18 AM
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I never knew such a thing existed.

Looks AWESOME.
Old 02-08-2018, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by NCSUboater View Post
I never knew such a thing existed.

Looks AWESOME.
Next time you go to WB101 hit me up. I’ll walk down and tell you all about it.
Old 02-08-2018, 08:20 AM
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Friends of friends have done this and it does sound incredible. Off to do some research...
Old 02-08-2018, 08:25 AM
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Also as most of the boats do not have AC and if they do you need shore power which is not always available do it in the fall or spring.
Old 02-08-2018, 09:03 AM
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Just make sure you start and end the journey here :-)


Old 02-08-2018, 09:22 AM
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I'd love to do France or Germany by barge; didn't think there were so many rivers or canals in Ireland. I can see there is a lake / canal system up through the middle. Many popular towns are coastal or near-coastal. I've even looked at shipping my boat to Belgium to do a summer there.

I did Ireland by self-guided motorcycle tour and it was AWESOME. celticrider.com , highly recommended. Not so family-friendly.

Another boating-related adventure was a bicycle ride over the gap of dunloe, including a boat tour around the surrounding lakes. The boating part of that was family-friendly, and the biking could be too if you are reasonably fit. It was a ton of fun, took most of a day. Boats start around Ross Castle by Killarney.
Old 02-08-2018, 10:35 AM
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I haven't done it but did dream about it:

www.shannon-river.com

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