Take in the sights along Ireland’s majestic coastline or captain your own cruiser for a holiday to remember

Image: Doolin Ferries

There really are endless options for fun days out and staycations around Ireland, but one way to make your getaway feel special is to set sail! Tour an islands, spot wildlife or simply enjoy a relaxing cruise. Here, check out some of the brilliant boat outings available around Ireland. Have a favourite that’s not mentioned here? Let us know!

The Saltee Islands

A boat trip to the Saltee will give you the chance to see the island’s puffins up close. Located 5km off the Wexford coastline, the islands are not only home to puffins but also razorbills, gannets, gulls and more. The island is covered in bluebells in the summer months, and you can see old stone walls dotted along the island, a nod to the inhabitants who once farmed the land. To book a trip, text Declan at 087 252 9736 or find out more at salteeferry.com. Adults €30 and children U12 €15.

Dun Laoghaire to Dalkey

See the beautiful coastline of Dublin from a whole new perspective. The boat leaves Dun Laoghaire and heads south past James Joyce Martello Tower, the famous Forty Foot, Bullock harbour, Dalkey Island and Collimore Harbour, Sorrento point, and Killiney Bay before arriving back at Dun Laoghaire. Keep your eyes peeled for sealife, as a pod of dolphins have occasionally been spotted swimming along with the boat. Tickets cost €25, and children under three go free.

Whale watch in Cork

See some of the world’s largest creatures in the flesh with this fun trip run by Cork Whale Watch. West Cork attracts minke whales, fin whales, and humpback whales to feed in its rich waters every year. Skipper Colin Barnes has added significantly to the body of knowledge of whale activity in this part Ireland with dilligent reporting of sightings. Find out more at corkwhalewatch.com. Due to the unpredictability of the weather and risk of cancellations, Colin asks that you pay at the end of your trip in cash. Trips cost €50 for adults and €40 for children.

Aran Islands & Cliffs of Moher

Sail to Inis Oirr and explore the island before cruising back by the breathtaking Cliffs of Moher with this fun day trip. You will have time to explore the island, including its beautiful beach and the charming cafés, before your return journey, where the cliffs will tower 700ft over you.

Skellig Michael

You can sail around the island and take in its incredible history, wildlife and scenery. This is a must for Star Wars fans, after the huge part the island played in the plot of the later movies. Landing tours, where you get to explore the island, are not currently available. Find out more at skelligmichaelboattrips.com. Eco tours cost €40pp

Sail the Shannon

Be the captain of your own boat for a holiday to remember, sailing along the Shannon. Discover all the wonderful town and villages along the way and explore completely at your leisure. Hiring a boat for a few days is a fantastic way to explore the region and make your own adventure. Pricing and boats vary, and you also have several route options. Try discovertheshannon.com.