Viking Boat Tours on the River Shannon
The River Shannon Viking Boat tours are truly a signature experience of the midlands region and a 'must do' on your visit to Athlone, in Westmeath. The River Shannon is the main artery through the country and as we know the Vikings arrived by river in Clonmacnoise in 842 which is 90 minutes downstream from Athlone and by ship is the perfect way to approach this famous monastic site.
The Lough Ree Cruise (approx 75 minutes) goes upstream to the lake calling en route to the Hodson Bay and returns. You can board the Viking Ship which departs from the quayside at Athlone Castle to Lough Ree the 'Lake of the Kings' or Clonmacnoise (see website for schedule).
The ship has great character, is registered with the Heritage Boat Association and because of the Viking History attached to this area, is a 'theme vessel'. It is a 21 metre long wooden replica of a Viking Knarr and is the longest serving timber passenger ship on the inland waterways in either Ireland or the UK. This National Historic Ship is a semi-open vessel with two thirds of it roofed and half of it side screened. In fine weather most of the vessel can be open so as to create a cooling breeze and a lovely atmosphere and experience of cruising on water.