Looking for an Irish staycation where you can escape the crowds and reconnect with loved ones? Hiring a cruiser is one of the safest ways to travel right now because of how self-contained you are onboard and semi-isolated on the water. On top of that, with the Government’s Stay and Spend scheme, you can claim back up to 20% of the cost of your Carrickcraft cruising holiday. So now is the perfect time to discover the beauty of Ireland with a River Shannon cruise.
On top of that, we are also running our Annual Early Booking Discount promotion. So join in on the massive savings and find out why the River Shannon is a perfect holiday destination for you.
What is the Stay and Spend Scheme
To help boost the hospitality and tourism sectors in Ireland, the Government has introduced the Stay and Spend scheme.
Running from 1st October 2020 to 30th April 2021, the scheme allows taxpayers to earn a tax credit equal to 20% of qualifying expenditure on accommodation, eat-in food and non-alcoholic drinks in participating businesses.
For individuals, spending is capped at €625. The maximum you can claim back is €125.
For those jointly assessed, the cap is €1,250. The maximum you can claim back is €250.
Carrickcraft is just one of over 1,600 businesses that have signed up to the scheme. You’ll find a full list of participating establishments on the Revenue website.
You claim your Stay and Spend tax credit when completing your annual tax return. You just need to submit a copy of the receipt for any qualifying expenditure. You can do this online, by post or using the Revenue Receipts Tracker App.
More information can be found on the Revenue Spend and Save scheme website.
Apart from the tax credits, there are plenty of other reasons to take a River Shannon cruise during the Stay and Spend period.
Carrickcraft – Annual Early Booking Discount
Booking your Carrickcraft staycation before 31st January 2021 saves you 10% with our early booking discount. What’s more, this offer can be used in conjunction with the Stay and Spend scheme (to receive the Stay and Spend tax credit, you must take your holiday before the 30th April 2021). As you can see, if you book with Carrickcraft you’ll save a lot on your 2021 River Shannon boating holiday, especially if you take to the water before the busy summer season.
Check out our special offers for more details.
Catch up with friends and family somewhere quiet
Surrounded by nature, away from the crowds, cruising the Shannon-Erne waterways is a safe and serene way to travel. Out on the water, the soundtrack to your getaway is birdsong, and the only other chatter you’ll hear is from the accompanying wildlife. It really is an ideal way to catch up with friends and family that you haven’t seen due to the restrictions of 2020. Cruising is also perfect for those with large families as you can all holiday safely together — the Carrickcraft fleet has cruisers for two up to 12 people.
Your own personal space
Your cruiser is your own personal space, a sanctuary where you can chill out and relax with your chosen companions — no time limits, no restrictions, no worries. Even getting to your boat is safe and secure as all Carrickcraft marinas are accessible by car — no need for public transport.
Once on the water, you can cruise, self-contained from one spot to the next on your fully equipped boat. Onboard, you have everything you need so that you don’t have to leave your boat unless you want to. It really is an ideal setup for those wanting to avoid the crowds — reducing the number of people we interact with is at the heart of social distancing measures.
Domestic holidays one sure thing for next year
Looking to travel? A holiday in Ireland is the best way to protect yourself and others, for the next few months at least. With airline disruptions still ongoing and some travel insurance not being valid for international travel, an Irish staycation is the least risky and probably the most guaranteed way to get away next year. Whilst many countries still have tourist restrictions in place, the Shannon-Erne waterways are open and awaiting your arrival. Nervous about travelling? A cruise holiday in Ireland is a great way to test the waters, so to speak.
Great deal for couples
Historic castles, verdant countryside and pretty villages create an idyllic landscape for boating on the River Shannon. Unwind and delight in the beautiful scenery as you cruise the calm waters with your loved one by your side. Revel in the romance of it all and enjoy magic moments and sensational sunrises and sunsets with no interruptions.
Psst – don’t forget, tax relief is double for couples. Those who are jointly assessed can claim back up to €250. Hardly romantic, but really handy.
For more details on the Stay and Spend Tax Credit, take a look at the Citizens Information website.
Indulge in outdoor activities with the family
Carrickcraft cruising holidays have become very popular with families due to the fun activities and adventures you can have on the Shannon and Erne waterways and surrounding areas. Whether you like your holiday wet and wild or dry and mild, you will find it all on offer within Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands.
Love to splash around? Try all manner of water sports — kayaking, windsurfing, sailing, stand-up paddle boarding, snorkeling, and, of course, swimming. On terra firma, lace-up those boots and hike the hills or explore the many tracks and trails by foot, peddle-power or horsepower. There are also plenty of opportunities to enjoy a round of golf, take up archery or join the global treasure hunt that is geocaching.
With so many outdoor activities (many free) to keep you busy, you won’t have to worry about any possible restrictions on indoor entertainment. Also, cruising during the Stay and Spend scheme period means fewer crowds, so less queuing and more choice when it comes to activities on offer.
Give back to local communities
The Stay and Spend scheme encourages people to holiday in Ireland, which helps Irish businesses and gives back to the local communities. When you cruise the Shannon-Erne waterways, you can moor up in many small towns and villages along the way. Here you can help the community by spending in the local establishments. Stock up on groceries in the newsagents, take guided tours of historic attractions or rent some fishing tackle or water sports equipment. Even buying an ice-cream or coffee will help. Every little bit counts.
Have a stress-free holiday
A self-catering cruise along the calm Shannon-Erne waterways is an incredibly relaxing and stress-free holiday. With no set itinerary or timetable, the leisurely pace gives you plenty of time to reconnect with loved ones and nature. Just sit back and let the calmness of your surroundings wash over you. The tranquility of a river cruise is a much-needed tonic. As for being able to stop where you want, when you want? That freedom is something we are all craving right now.
If Carrickcraft is closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, you will be given the options to a full refund or a reschedule of the booking for a later date in the year.
Click here to read more about our free holiday cancellations.
Spend and save in restaurants and pubs
When you book with Carrickcraft, you can enjoy the benefits of the Stay and Spend scheme, but you can also take advantage of the scheme in many of the pubs and restaurants along the River Shannon. Let’s face it, knowing that we are saving a bit of money and not blowing the budget, is a great feeling — one less stress to worry about.
Fancy a delicious meal in Carrick-on-Shannon? Di Vino Italian restaurant and The Oarsman are taking part in the Stay and Spend scheme. So too is The Copper Still Bar and Restaurant in Dromod, the Bailey Bar & Lounge in Athlone and Lough Key Forest Park in Roscommon. So, when you are taking photos of your food, just take an extra photograph of your receipt and upload it to the Receipt Tracker App, or hold onto it until you file your tax return.
The minimum spend is €25, so if you are splitting the bill with a friend, make sure the total is more than €50. If it is less than €50, perhaps you get this one and they can get the next. That way, you can both claim the Stay and Spend tax credits. It’s a win-win situation.
So what are you waiting for?
As you can see, there are plenty of benefits to taking a holiday on the River Shannon with Carrickcraft during the Stay and Spend period. Not only is it good for your wallet, but it is also good for reconnecting and relaxing after what has been a difficult year for many.
Ready to plan your 2021 River Shannon staycation? Give us a call or fill out the online booking form. We’ll help you plan your ideal itinerary and answer any questions you may have.
We look forward to welcoming you on the waterways soon.
Carrickcraft Cruise Fleet
Melanie May spent five years backpacking solo around the world and turned her wanderlust into a career when she became a freelance writer and photographer. She won the ‘Best Newcomer’ award at the Travel Extra Travel Journalist of the Year Awards 2018 and is a member of the British Guild of Travel Writers. She runs her own blog, Travel Eat Write Repeat (www.melaniemay.com) and you can follow her travels over on Instagram @_maymelanie