When most people think of island life, Ireland is not the first place that comes to mind. However, this island has several things to do on the water while traveling through the energetic city of Dublin. Visitors will be pleased to find active rafting and kayaking tours to the relaxing boat tour and the canal restaurant tour.
Rafting on the River Liffey
Just 20 minutes from the city center you feel like you are a world away from the bustling city of Dublin. The tranquility of the river, the wildlife, and the smells of fresh flowers and wild garlic await you. Slowly floating down river in a raft with a maximum of eight people, including your guide, you will see the beauty of the river and surrounding area only available from the water itself.
On the 2.5-hour journey down the River Liffey, you will hear about some of the important local history that is hidden within the few buildings along the river bank. Navigating the slow-moving river and the four ‘falls’ down the weirs does require a moderate amount of physical activity. However, the tour is excellent for those who love being out in nature, are unsure if they would like the rafting experience or have never rafted before. It is very popular with stag and hen parties as well. Individual bookings cost 59 EUR (68.75 USD) and full rafts of 3 to 7 people cost 299 EUR (348.50 USD). Contact Rafting for more information.
Kayaking on the River Liffey
A great activity in Dublin is traveling through the city center via kayaking. This active sport is very safe and a great way to spend a couple of hours. The kayaks can accommodate from one to three people each. They are almost impossible to tip over, so they are excellent for beginner kayakers as well as experienced ones.
The 90-minute journey on the water will take you through 4 km (2.5 miles) of the city on the River Liffey. If you get tired from the paddling, you can grab hold of the motorized safety boat that your guide will be in and take a little break. Throughout the tour, you will bypass some of Dublin’s most recognized landmarks and travel under some of its famous bridges. Daily trips vary in time because you want to be on the river during high tide.
The company also offers special events like “music under the bridges.” They also have combo deals available. Try Kayak & Tapas, Paddle & Pedal, or Kayak & Church (The Church is a very popular restaurant and bar). The two-hour kayaking tour cost 29 EUR (34 USD) per adult and 25 EUR (29 USD) per child 8 – 15 years of age. Contact City Kayaking for more information.
Dublin Discovered Boat Tours
Departing Bachelors Walk, next to O’Connell Bridge, the Dublin Discovered boat tour starts in the city center. The 45-minute tour allows you to view some of the best landmarks and famous bridges in the city center. After viewing the Ha’penny Bridge, the boat will turn around and travel towards the sea. Floating under O’Connell Bridge, passing by Liberty Hall, and Custom House built in the 18th-century, you will hear about the history behind them. Further along you will view the Docklands, Georgian warehouses, some of Ireland’s memorials, and the modern architecture being developed in Dublin. Turning around near the Samuel Beckett (Calatrava) Bridge, your guides will share interesting and informative facts about Dublin, from past to present day.
The well-known red boat accommodates up to 48 people per trip and with six trips per day, there is a time to suit everyone. The all glass roof makes every seat a good seat to view the city. Prices range from 9 EUR (10.50 USD) to 15 EUR (17.50 USD) per person. For more information on tickets and tour times, contact Dublin Discovered Boat Tours.
The Canal Boat Restaurant
The Canal Boat Restaurant allows you to enjoy a relaxing dinner on Dublin’s Grand Canal. Upon arrival, you will be brought down to your table in the cozy dining area where you can enjoy a pre-dinner drink. You have a variety of wines, beers, spirits, and non-alcohol drinks that are available at an additional and reasonable charge. If the weather is good, you will want to enjoy some time on the top outside deck of the boat before diner or in between the courses. From the top deck of the boat you can enjoy sights of the canal, the city, and watch the locks be manually opened and closed by the crew.
During the two-hour cruise, departing at 8:00 pm, the chefs onboard will prepare your selected starter, main course, and dessert. The boat will depart and return to the same location. The cost for the cruise with dinner is 47.50 EUR (55.50 USD). For more information, contact Canal Boat Restaurant.
Life on the water
There are several things to do in Dublin year-round. Take some time to enjoy some of the island life off the land and on the water. It is a great way to escape the busy daily life of the city, yet still be in the city.
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