Sometimes, the best holiday spots are right on your doorstep. One of the best ways to explore all that your country has to offer is to take a staycation, and one of the most exciting ways to explore Ireland is on a Carrick Craft cruising holiday on the River Shannon. Not only do you get to travel in style, but a river boat cruise takes you places that the roads just don’t go. You really are taking the route less travelled, getting off the tourist trail and seeing Ireland from a more unique perspective.
Have we piqued your interest in a staycation in Ireland? Great! Keep reading to find out more about holidaying at home and how you can plan a great trip.
So, let’s dive in and answer some of the common questions about Irish staycations.
What is a staycation?
A Staycation is a domestic holiday in your own home country. As you probably guessed, it’s just a combination of the words stay and vacation! Some people choose to staycation close to their home while the more adventurous staycationers will go a little further afield to explore more of their home country. Staycations can be like a weekend away, a mini-break or a longer getaway. They really can be whatever you want or need. Staycations are more popular than ever right now, for obvious reasons, and are popular with all types of holidaymakers of all ages.
Why are staycations so popular?
The main appeal of staycations is convenience. It’s everything like a foreign holiday just a lot more relaxed, a lot less hassle, and you will be saving money. No baggage restrictions. No visas needed. No waiting in an airport for hours and delayed flights. It’s closer to home. And you can bring your furry family members too. Holidaying at home is ideal. And let’s face it when the sun shines in Ireland, there really is nowhere better.
A fun staycation in Ireland and a truly unique way to soak up the great outdoors is a boating holiday rental. The River Shannon, Ireland’s longest river and one of Europe’s premier inland cruising spots, is one of the best staycations Ireland has to offer. What’s more, a River Shannon boating staycation is suitable for people of all ages. You don’t need a licence, but the person hiring the cruiser does have to be 21 years or older.
How to plan the perfect Irish getaway on the River Shannon
A vacation on the River Shannon is perfect for those with no boating experience whatsoever, as well as those with seasoned sea legs with plenty of boating and cruising experience.
When you rent a boat from one of our three marinas (Banagher, Carrick-on-Shannon and Bellanaleck), we will help you choose the perfect craft for your staycation and we’ll help you plan every little detail. Not only that, but we will show you how to navigate the waters like a pro. You’ll be ship shape and cruising off into the sunset in no time full of confidence and ready for an Irish staycation to remember.
Doing what you love and going where you’ve always wanted to go is the key to having a good staycation. Creating your own bespoke itinerary and to-do list are all part of the fun.
The River Shannon as a holiday destination offers a unique experience, which is second to none. With over 480 km of interconnecting rivers and lakes, you are spoilt for choice and you can even cruise into Northern Ireland. We have some suggested itineraries on our website to help inspire your staycation route but we can also help you plan your own.
What to do on a staycation
You can choose to stop off in beautiful riverside towns to explore the sights and history and heritage as well as eat, drink and be merry in some award-winning restaurants and welcoming pubs. There’s something very special about settling into a snug, ordering a drink and some comfort food and tapping your feet along to live traditional music.
After stretching your sea legs, you can stretch your land legs by mooring up and tackling the local walking trails and hikes or take a bike and explore more of the countryside or saddle up and see the sights on horseback. You can get up close and personal with the wildlife on the lakes by going for a paddle in a canoe or kayak or just find a sheltered spot and go for a swim and have a picnic. If all that sounds too much like hard work, then just grab that book, put on some tunes and chill out on the deck. Bliss.
As you can see, a boating holiday rental really is a bespoke staycation – you make it your ideal getaway. If you are looking for a little more inspiration, check out our Shannon River Cruise Guide.
An ideal family holiday in Ireland
With so much to do, it is no wonder that boating holidays on the River Shannon are perfect family holidays. Children will love the novelty of staying on a boat and opening the locks. With onboard and onshore activities you won’t once hear ‘I’m bored’. It’s also quite an educational experience, but we’ll keep that between ourselves. Check out more of our suggestions for fun things to do with the kids whilst on a boating staycation.
A Pet Friendly Holiday Rental on the River Shannon
As mentioned, you can also bring your pets along, so no more heartbreaking goodbyes at the kennels. Pets are allowed on our Waveline Boats, Clare, Kilkenny and Carlow class cruisers.
The perfect Irish getaway for couples
If you are a couple, cruising is a very romantic getaway and a great way to bond over the daily rituals of life on a cruiser. The sundowners on the deck looking over the still water, the seclusion, the idyllic countryside setting – it’s all wildly intimate and very relaxing and the perfect mini-break or even a mini-moon or baby-moon. Cruising the River Shannon is a perfect option for a couple’s staycation in Ireland.
An anglers paradise of a fishing holiday
Of course, if you are into angling you already know how great the River Shannon is for fishing. Now, imagine being able to indulge your love of angling every day on your holiday! With a staycation on the River Shannon, you can do just that. Think of all the bragging and how all the fish you caught were ‘this big’!
An Unrivalled Irish Holiday Rental for Groups on the Shannon
Holidaying on the River Shannon is a great way to get the gang back together. Our flagship boat has 10 berths with five double/twin cabins and a convertible double in the saloon. There’s also a huge sundeck with seating for you and all your friends. It really is a great way to catch up with mates, forge new friendships and have a laugh whilst enjoying a memorable staycation seeing the sights of Ireland on a boat. You’ll be recalling and telling stories about this holiday for decades to come.
An idyllic last-minute holiday in the heart of Ireland
If you suddenly find yourself with a few days off and nothing planned, a boating holiday on the River Shannon is a great last-minute staycation idea. We have an extensive fleet of two to ten berth cruisers and our minimum hire period is just three nights. We also have marinas in Bellanaleck, Carrick-on-Shannon and Banagher, which are easily accessible from most parts of Ireland. So come on, book that last-minute staycation and make the most of your time off.
Top tips for a good, and dare we say, great staycation
Our top staycation tip is to try and make your trip as fun and special as a holiday abroad. Do something exciting and different so it really feels like you are on holiday. Some examples are trying a new sport or doing something adventurous. Take a local cookery class or learn a new skill like painting or pottery.
Coincide your trip with one of the many festivals that take place throughout the year around the country. Some of our favourites are Festival Lough Erne and the Fermanagh Lakelands Festival of Golf both of which take place in September. Riverfest in Limerick takes place in May and the Carrick Water Music Festival takes place in July. But those are just a few, there are many more festivals taking place every month.
Plan ahead and save money. Check out the great sales and deals available in January for travel later in the year or better yet, try and book something off-season to beat the crowds and nab a bargain. Starting your trip on a Monday for a midweek break might also save you some money.
Let us help you plan your unique Ireland staycation
As you can see, there are many reasons why a boating holiday rental should be on your Irish getaways list and here at Cruise-Ireland we have everything you need for your River Shannon staycation. We can help you choose your ideal craft and route and we also have some great staycation deals and special offers on our website. We would love to help you make the most of your River Shannon boating staycation and uncover this wonderful country of ours.
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