New to cruising

More Boating-guide

No experience necessary.

In Ireland and Northern Ireland there is no licence requirement for cruising, and anyone 21 years or over can hire a cruiser. The rivers and lakes of the Shannon and Erne are a wonderful area for quiet relaxation. The real enjoyment of the holiday is in gently exploring this unique waterway, watching the wildlife and the endlessly changing river and landscapes. For those who are new to cruising, it is certainly an experience you won't want to miss.

Is it right for me?

Although cruising is extremely relaxing, it is essentially an activity holiday, which assumes a small but reasonable level of fitness from at least two crew members. Navigation and routine maintenance are two essential areas where responsibility must be assigned.

Where should I go?

There is a lot of variety on the two rivers so use our helpful Route Finder.

What boat should I book?

This is a question we are asked a lot. Use our Boat Finder to answer a few simple questions and we will recommend the ideal boat for you and your friends and family.

How will I navigate?

Our bespoke Navigation Guide makes navigation easy if you follow our simple rules.

Navigation on the Shannon, Erne and Shannon / Erne Waterway is very simple. Prior to your arrival, you will be given a Holiday Planner containing essential information on cruising the waterways and on arrival at the marina you will be given a detailed Navigation Chart of the Shannon and Erne Waterways. So long as you learn the simple rules of navigation and follow our charts and maps you will find the rivers and lakes perfectly safe for people who have not experienced a cruising holiday before.

You should also complete the Boat Craft Tutorials on this site before arriving at the marina. They contain a lot of very useful information on navigation and boat maintenance and are great fun too!

If you haven't completed the Tutorials, you will be asked to join a classroom instruction in the marina when you arrive.

How will I control the boat?

You will receive a demonstration by an instructor on your own craft and you will be shown the controls and how they work. The instructor will demonstrate how you leave a mooring (and return) and then you will be able to do some manoeuvres yourself. This is the time to ask the instructor any questions you may have.

Check out our FAQ Section for more information.