Discover more of what Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands has to offer this Summer on a boating holiday with Silver Line Cruisers. Experience the perfect calm of this truly un-spoilt part of the world with its gorgeous countryside, heritage sites, wonderful waterways, forest treks and trails, kayak paddles and more on your River Shannon adventure.
Meander along past riverside towns and soak up the peaceful ambiance on your luxurious Silver Line Cruisers boat as you take life at your own pace.
We have over 50 years in the business, and as one of the premium Shannon cruising companies providing boat rental in Ireland, we are delighted to assist you in creating the perfect itinerary with adventures for all. We look forward to welcoming new sailors (and those returning) and their guests on board our fleet for a fabulous Summer of sailing.
About Silver Line Cruisers
Centrally located in Banagher, County Offaly, we are a local, family run business with huge attention to detail and friendly hospitality. We offer a luxurious, new fleet of boats for every size catered for – from 2 up to 12 berths. All of the boats have their own galley Kitchen fully fitted out, WC and showers, inside seating and outside sun deck area. Our fleet are carefully chosen for their ease in maneuverability, cosy interior living spaces in contemporary hues. It’s safe to say that many decide not to leave their boat and prefer to relax in luxury onboard, as they float past the green lush countryside, towns and villages, historic landmarks, hiking trails and other attractions on the shores of Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands.
Depending on the size of your group – whether you are a couple or a larger group – we will assist in advising you on the most appropriate size of boat so that you have the best possible experience.
Beginner Sailors – we’ll show you the ropes
We are well used to beginners on the water here at Silver Line Cruisers in Banagher Marina and our Expert Instructors are highly trained in orientating you on the rules of the waterways and how to manage a boat. We will train you up so you will feel confident in all aspects of water safety.
For more on what to expect, read ‘Our Guide To Cruising The River Shannon’. We’ll supply you with life jackets (correctly sized and fitted). Our luxurious fleet of boats are fully fitted and your Cruiser will be freshly cleaned, santised and ready for you when you arrive.
Decide Your Length of Stay & Choose Your Route
As Captain of your own adventure you have the freedom to decide what to see and when. Ahead of leaving Banagher Marina, we will help you plan a route based on your length of stay and your interests. We offer bicycles to rent, for ease of getting around off shore, and will even fill you fridge with food so that you are totally catered for when you arrive to take to the wheelhouse.
4 Day Itinerary Suggestion – Mini Break
Banagher to Lough Derg Return
Motoring off to Lough Derg
This is the largest lake on the River Shannon and the third biggest lake in Ireland. It is one of the easiest options for a boating holiday to explore as it only has 7 locks along its entire 500 kilometres. It covers 24 miles between Portumna and Killaloe and is 9 miles across as its widest point. Killaloe is one of the main crossing points of the Shannon and the town has some excellent pubs and restaurants.
This particular area is great for those that like hiking, biking, trail or SUP boards or simply want to relax. The area is rich in history and heritage hotspots.
Explore Portumna – (2-3 hours)
Stop off at Portumna and tour Portumna Castle and Gardens which date from 1550 to the stunning 450 hectares Portumna Forest Park. The park features a number of all-level cycling trails, hikes and ziplines ..and take in the scenic views at Bonaveen Point. Look out for the white tailed sea eagle that have been spotted on an island close to the park! Silver Lines Cruisers can rent you bikes which are handy to make the most of your stopovers.
Off to Terryglass now and enjoy lunch (2 hours)
Back on your cruiser, make the relaxing 30 minute crossing along Lough Derg’s northern shores to the gorgeous Tipperary village of Terryglass. After mooring up, enjoy lunch at one of Ireland’s finest gastropubs, The Derg Inn, where specialty dishes like seafood mussels with garlic & white wine sauce offer the perfect boating fare! Or dine alfresco and relax on your luxury cruiser.
Afternoon & Overnight at Garrykennedy
After lunch, start the motor on your cruiser and journey south to your base for the evening, Garrykennedy, where you will moor under the shade of the village’s 15th century castle, Garry Kennedy Castle built in the late 15th century. For a pre-dinner preamble, stroll along the village’s beautiful forest and wetlands trails which can be enjoyed by heading either north or south along the stunning Lough Derg Way. Your food journey continues with a visit to Larkins, a 300 year old tavern which serves up favourites from wild mushroom bruschetta to ruby ale battered fish & chips.
Day 2 – Killaloe – Ballina (morning)
After breakfast on board, navigate your way south to Killaloe-Ballina, the charming twin town flanking the Clare and Tipp border. You’ll probably be ready to stretch your legs when you arrive and there’s no better hiking destination than Tountinna, one of the highest points over Lough Derg.
The 457m hilltop sits 7km from Ballina marina and those lakeland views, stretching from Kerry to Galway on a clear day, are well worth the step count! Any hike is only as good as its snacks, of course. To stock up on trekking treats, head to the gorgeous Wooden Spoon café in Ballina. Menu options here feature superfood salads, raspberry and apple scones and great coffee – they’re very child-friendly too!
Afternoon (Relax and soak up the views)
Discover more about the quaint town of Killaloe, the birthplace of Brian Boru, High King of Ireland and and follow the 4.5KM of Historic Town Trail on foot or cycle and find out more about this historic, once ‘royal’ town.
Evening – Dinner & Relax
Tuscany Bistro. fusing the best of local Irish ingredients with authentic Italian cuisine, this restaurant is a real regional favourite for both couples and families (so be sure to book ahead!). Dishes include goats cheese bruschetta, seafood risotto and home-made lasagna emiliana — along with a great cocktail menu too.
Day 3 – Killaloe to Mountshannon
After overnighting in Killaloe-Ballina, the next morning make your way northwest across the lake to the postcard village of Mountshannon. En-route, keep an eye out for Lough Derg’s spectacular white-tailed sea eagles who have made their home in the region since their successful reintroduction to Ireland. The birds can be best spotted soaring the skies in search of prey and are usually identifiable by their huge wing-span of up to 2.4m!
Afternoon – Beach Day!
Soak up Lough Derg life, enjoy a beach day at Mountshannon’s glorious blue flag strand. The beach, which sits just adjacent to the village marina, offers the pleasure of pristine lakeland swimming and bathing. If you’d like to get more active, My Next Adventure also operates guided water activities out of Mountshannon. For another blue flag beach option, Ballycuggeran is a lakeside bathing area, nestled in a designated conservation area, 4km north of Killaloe.
After a stroll around scenic Mountshannon, enjoy a relaxing meal at The Snug, the restaurant, best known for its delicious homemade pizzas, is also popular for wine and tapas if you fancy smaller bites. Keep an eye out for their movie showings to wrap-up your all-star day!
(Allow 2 hours to motor back to Portumna)
Day 4 – Back to Banagher Marina
The next morning after breakfast on board, head north at your leisure to return your Silver Line Cruisers vessel. Don’t forget to factor in a little additional time in case of a wait at Portumna bridge.
7 Day Itinerary Suggestion:
Banagher to Shannonbridge / Clonmacnoise / Athlone / Hodson Bay / Wineport or Glasson Lake House
Day 1 : Pick up your boat and head to Shannonbridge
Pick up your boat from Silver Line Cruisers at Banagher Marina and after your instruction, head off towards the picture postcard village of Shannonbridge. Once there, moor up and enjoy a walk across the river to the Shannonbridge Fortifications which were built by the British in the 18th century to guard the region against Napoleonic attack. They also feature a gift shop and charming riverside café. Stop off and enjoy a coffee. We also recommend the historic Luker’s Bar – it makes an idyllic spot to enjoy your fist night on the Shannon with their panoramic riverside restaurant offering a delicious menu of locally sourced fare. And don’t forget to visit Fallon’s Bar too a traditional Irish pub dating back to 1846.
Continue your journey towards Athlone Lock and towards one of the true highlights of Ireland’s waterways: the ancient wonder of Clonmacnoise. The site is one of the best preserved monastic settlements in Europe and features nine churches and two stunning round towers dramatically set along the winding river. Step back in time at the excellent interactive visitor centre before wandering amid the awe-inspiring ruins.
With Clonmacnoise in your wake, cruise towards the town of Athlone and visit Sean’s Bar for a pint , (which lays claim to being the oldest pub in the world!) and we recommend the Organic Kitchen for a spot of dinner or dine alfresco on your boat with a sundowner at Fallon’s Bar next door.
DAY 2 – Watersports and Five Star Dining
Once you’ve navigated your way to the southern shores of Lough Ree, either head for some adventure at Baysports, located at the Hodson Bay Hotel, or treat yourself to a blissful day of pampering at the renowned Wineport Lodge. Baysports is Ireland’s largest inflatable waterpark featuring a trove of medieval-themed slides which celebrate the region’s rich history.
While kids make a splash at the waterpark, adults can grab a paddle and explore Lough Ree by kayak. For lunch, visit either the on-site Bay Café or the Waterfront Bar located in the Hodson Bay Hotel, just next door. At Wineport Lodge, you can enjoy a luxury treatment at the hotel’s lakeside spa — perhaps a hot stone massage or a Voya seaweed bath with bubbly to really soothe the soul? Afterwards, enjoy lunch on the terrace of their famous restaurant.
DAY 3 – Hodson Bay to Athlone Castle
Leisurely power sail back to Banagher Marina with a stop-over at Athlone. On arrival, moor up and enjoy a wander around Athlone’s charming old town and pay a visit to Athlone Castle, dating back to the Napoleonic period. Afterwards, with one of the most vibrant dining scenes in the Midlands, Athlone enjoys a bounty of excellent restaurants. Book a table at Thyme Restaurant for its delicious seasonal menu before chasing your night with a visit to Sean’s Bar.
Day 4 – Back to Banagher Marina
The next morning after breakfast on board, head north at your leisure to return your Silver Line Cruisers vessel.