Shannon Culture - Route entlang des Flusses Shannon
Most of our customers are weekly bookings. With 386km of waterways it is very difficult to do it all in one week. We want our customers to sit back, relax, and enjoy the holiday. Ireland's history and culture is what most visitors want to experience on their cruise. To take full advantage of your time travelling along the River Shannon, Shannon Culture would suggest an itinerary similar to the following:
Arriving at our base you will have a number of tasks to complete before you can get on your way down the Shannon. You will first be given a demonstration by a qualified instructor. We recommend you then take a quick spin down the innerlakes to familiarise yourself with the boat and its controls. Athlone is 45 minutes cruising from our base. A nice short cruise for your first day on the Shannon. Our instructor will have pointed out the correct path to Athlone which will be on the south route. You will venture across the southern part of Lough Ree where you will find yourself in a lot of open water. Passing islands the lake will narrow into the river. On your port side you will be passing Lough Ree Yacht Club. From here the map is very easy to read as the markers are very visible. Your first destination is Athlone Town. We would suggest to park your cruiser outside the Radisson Blu hotel. This is parking open to the public with security, toilets, showers and shore power. This is a great opportunity to see Athlone Town. Learn about the history of the town and Lough Ree by visiting the castle. There are plenty of shops and restaurants in the town to visit at your own pleasure. Don't forget to finish of your evening enjoying a relaxing pint in the oldest pub in Ireland, Sean's Bar.
Sunday morning hopefully you are rested from all of the travelling the day before and ready to cruise down river. We have an exciting day planned ahead for you. Before we start undoing the ropes we would like you to open your map on page 10. You will immediately see a map of Athlone. Just south of the town bridge you will see a lock. Depending on what season you visit the River Shannon the locks will have different opening times. If you turn to page 32 on your map you will find a list of all the locks, bridges and opening times along the Shannon. Once all this is planned out you can proceed to turn on your engine before you undo the ropes. Be aware of the water current in Athlone. The water flows from North to South. All locks down river from Athlone have lock keepers, do not panic it is not complicated! Once the gates are open let any cruisers inside the lock out first. The lock keeper will probably wave you in. Once you drive into the lock, the lock keeper will take the rope off you, put it around a cleat and hand it back to you. Remember do not tie the rope onto anything!! Hold onto the rope when the gates are closed the water will drop slowly. All you have to do is feed the rope out slowly. The lock keeper will give you instructions when to leave the lock. The lock will cost you €1.50. Moving down river you will experience nature at its best. The first location you will come upon is Clonmacnoise. This is an old monastery which was run by the monks. Definitely stop here during your trip. Customers usually decide when to stop by looking at the weather forecast. Our next location is Shannonbridge which is approximately 1 hour cruising. Athlone to Shannonbridge will take you about 2 hours cruising (We will stop here on Wednesday night). We will be continuing down to Banagher for the night. From Athlone to Banagher it will take you around 5 hours cruising. In Banagher the public harbour is free to stay but there is no shore power available. Just north of this harbour you can stay at Silverlines harbour and get shore power, but it will cost you €15. Banagher is a small village and is a quiet location for a night stay.
Leaving Banagher on Monday morning our next location will be Portumna. Banagher to Portumna will take about 3 hours cruising. Before Portumna you will pass through Meelick Lock. Arriving in Portumna you will have to wait for the bridge to lift. All information on the lock and lifting bridge will be found on page 32 of your map. Past the bridge there is a newly renovated marina around the corner called Castle Harbour. The marina is in walking distance of the town and Portumna Castle. We would recommend you visit the 'Irish Work House' in the area. It is a big part of Irish history.
Our next village to visit is Terryglass. Terryglass is on the north side of Lough Derg and will only take 30 minutes from Castle Harbour. Weather permitting you could cruise down Lough Derg and take in the scenic views of this beautiful lake. Lough Derg is the largest lake on the River Shannon. It's length from Killaloe, in the south of the lake to Portumna which is in the north of the lake ranges 40km. Terryglass is known for its cleanliness and charm. Along with Irish music in the pubs.
Today we will make our way back up river. Our destination will be Shannonbridge. This will take you about 6 hours cruising depending on the flow of water. Remember you will have to pass through Portumna Bridge and Meelick Lock so make sure you check the opening times (page 32). After 6 hours of cruising Shannonbridge will be a treat. The bridge itself is one of the oldest on the Shannon. There is an old fort on the west side of the bridge, where food is served in the building. Shannonbridge is a very historical village. Anybody can take a tour of the old fort itself with signs directing you around it. There is also a 5km loop which brings you down by the River Suck through the meadows and around by a bog where Irish people cut their turf for the fire. Don't forget to visit Lukers and Killeens pubs while visiting this village. Both these pubs serve food and have live traditional music on certain nights.
Cruising through Athlone and venturing back onto Lough Ree, travelling up north past Hudson Bay Hotel. On your port side you will have your red markers which have clear numbers written on their top side. There are 9 red markers with large numbers from 1 - 9 so you know exactly where you are. Between markers 4 and 5 you will see St John's Castle on your port side. There is a small pontoon out from the shore. You have the option of stopping off at our base at Quigley's Marina to collect a rowing dinghy. You could use this dinghy to get into the shore and walk around the castle.
Your other option is to keep traveling up to Lecarrow Village which has a wonderful canal into the village. The canal will usually spoil you with nature. The local shop will provide you with bike hire information if needed. This would make it possible to visit St Johns Castle and Warren Point. Coffeys and Kellys are the two pubs located in Lecarrow village, while The Yew Tree is the local restaurant.
Friday morning we are cruising back down Lough Ree and back to our base in Quigley's Marina. Most people will do the check out on the Friday. This consists of marina staff filling the boat with diesel and pumping out your waste tank. One of our staff will then drive the cruiser to make sure everything is in working order. They will then park you up safely for the night. All this means is you do not drive the cruiser anymore and you will not need to do it the next morning before you leave. Portlick Castle and forest trails are near by which is approximately a 5 minute drive from the Marina. Glasson village 'The Village of Roses' is 5km away. In the evening our local restaurant The Killinure Chalets is open to serve food from 6 o' clock in the evening. It is about a 10 minute walk from the harbour. This is a lovely way to spend your last evening of your holiday. Sleeping on your cruiser over night we would expect the cruiser to be handed back at 9am Saturday morning so we can get it ready for our next customers.