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About Cork

Cork  is Irelands second largest city.

Here you can visit St Finbarrs Cathedral, Cork City Museum and the 19th Century Cork Jail. Dont miss your opportunity to visit Blarney Castle, a short ride away, to kiss the Blarney Stone!

 

Shore excursions in Cork

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

Blarney Castle and Irish Coffee

Activity mediumRefreshments includedShopping

Duration: 4 hours

Visit the historic Blarney Castle with its lovely grounds before indulging in an Irish coffee and browsing the craft centre.

The medieval Blarney Castle towers above the village of Blarney with its majestic oblong keep and battlements that are typically Irish in form. At the top of the Castle lies the legendary Stone of Eloquence, better known as the Blarney Stone. If you wish, you can hang upside-down over a sheer drop to kiss the stone, which is said to give the gift of eloquent speech. Surrounding the Castle are extensive gardens, with several paths leading off to some interesting natural rock formations, such as Druid's Circle, Witch's Cave and the Wishing Steps.

After the tour of the Castle, you’ll stop for a well-deserved Irish coffee, before visiting the Blarney Woollen Mills. This is one of the finest craft and gift centres in Ireland and you’ll have the chance to browse the high quality range of Waterford crystal, Irish linen, hand-loomed Donegal tweed, knitwear, bone china and Celtic jewellery.

Following your visit to Blarney Castle, you’ll travel to Cork, for a short panoramic drive around the main city sights. You’ll be able to see how this large city still manages to retain the pleasant charm of a country town. On the return journey, you will be able to see landscapes of rivers, fields and hedgerows as you travel along country roads to Cobh.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There is a narrow, spiral staircase with 108 steep steps to access the Blarney Stone, however the climb is optional. The kissing of the Blarney Stone is a popular activity and queues may be experienced. The terrain around the Castle is uneven and steep in places. Comfortable, non-slip shoes are recommended.

City Drive and Whiskey Experience

Activity mediumShopping

Duration: 4 hours

Enjoy a drive around Cork before visiting the ‘Jameson Experience Midleton’ to discover the traditions and taste of Irish whiskey.

Travel along the shores of Cork Harbour by coach to the charming university city of Cork. Your guide will provide an interesting commentary and point out the local landmarks as you drive past the French Quarter, English Market, Father Matthew's statue and Bishop Lucey Park. You’ll hear about the local history as you pass by the Old Courthouse, the impressive limestone City Hall, the renowned Bells of Shandon, and the magnificent Gothic style St. Fin Barre's Cathedral.

Leaving the city, travel to the village of Midleton, where the famous rare Irish whiskey gets its name. A visit to the Jameson Experience will take you right to the heart of the cherished whiskey making tradition. There will be an hour-long guided tour of this beautifully restored 18th century self-contained industrial complex, unique in Britain and Ireland. There is a fully operational water wheel and a 32,000 gallon copper pot still, which is the largest in the world. Enjoy an audio-visual presentation which will breathe life into the Irish whiskey legend.

After the tour there will be the opportunity to sample a glass of whiskey whilst you relax in the atmosphere of a traditional Irish pub.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There is approximately 1 hour of walking over pebbled walkways at the Distillery. There is a craft shop on site for those who wish to purchase souvenirs. Please remember to take local currency (Euros) or a credit card.

Cork Harbour by RIB and Irish Coffee

Activity highRefreshments included

Duration: 3 hours

Discover Cobh Harbour by RIB, combined with a stop to learn the art of making an Irish Coffee!

Hold on tight as your rigid inflatable boat whizzes you through the waters of Cobh Harbour. Admire the surrounding highlights such as coastal artillery forts, light houses and the Royal Cork Yacht Club, said to be one of the oldest clubs in the world. During your ride, keep an eye out for the local marine and birdlife, which you might be lucky enough to spot.

Next, a stop will be made at a harbour watering hole to enjoy an Irish Coffee, and to discover how to make one.

To round off your tour, you’ll re-board the RIB, taking in more of the harbour’s scenery, before returning to the pier.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by by rigid inflatable boat and on foot. Pregnant women and children may not participate. This tour is subject to weather conditions on the day. It is advisable to wear warm clothing. This tour is not suitable for those with injuries or conditions, which may be affected by the bumpy ride. A safety briefing will be given and lifejackets are compulsory. Wildlife sightings cannot be guaranteed.

Cork Walk

Activity high

Duration: 4 hours

Discover the rich historical past of this most vibrant of European cities on a guided walking tour of Cork.

Arriving by coach at the Imperial Hotel, you’ll commence your walk on South Mall, one of the most gracious streets in the city. A stop will be made on Parnell Bridge to absorb the panorama of the city, from the elegant, classical City Hall, the fluted columns of the Savings Bank to the modern lines of the College of Commerce and Morrison’s Island.

Continuing along the quays to the Parliament Bridge, you’ll see the slender spire of Holy Trinity Church rising up across the River. As you approach the South Gate Bridge, the 3 spires of St Fin Barre’s Cathedral suddenly appear on the skyline. A visit around this early French Gothic structure will reveal highly ornamented mosaic work and rich carvings.

Afterwards, stroll down Sharman-Crawford to the tranquil and quaint Clarkes Bridge, one of the most atmospheric places in the city, before moving on to the hustle and bustle of the main thoroughfares. Here, you’ll see the classical limestone façade of the Courthouse, located in a street full of red brick buildings, one of the most enduring sights of the city. As you walk on to North Main Street and through Castle Street, you’ll find yourself in a very cosmopolitan part of the city. At the end of the tour there will be some free time to explore the local shops, relax in a café or just soak up the atmosphere of this vibrant city.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. This tour is predominantly on foot, with around 2 hours of walking; however there are sections of the sightseeing that is undertaken by coach. Comfortable non-slip shoes and bottled water are recommended. Order of itinerary may vary.

Countryside and Kinsale

Activity lowShopping

Duration: 4 hours

Enjoy a scenic journey through County Cork’s charming countryside and visit the picturesque coastal town of Kinsale.

Cork has some of the finest scenery in Ireland, with its lush valleys and beautiful coastline. Your journey will take you past rolling landscapes of fields, flowers and hedgerows, through tunnels, over bridges, along rivers and by small villages. A brief stop will be made to photograph the views over the Bandon River, before arriving in Kinsale.

The pretty little town of Kinsale, believed to have been founded by the Anglo Normans around 1177, lies snug between hills and valley. It has won the European Prize for Tourism and the Environment, Entente Floreale, National Tidy Town and Gourmet Capital awards. Kinsale owes its unique character to the fact that it was an important naval base for over 300 years and this is reflected in the many 18th-century structures, which still stand alongside the more recent Georgian homes and Dutch influenced architecture. There will be free time to meander through the quaint streets and admire the varied architecture before indulging in a spot of shopping or relaxing with a drink in one of the cafés or pubs.

On the return journey, a stop will be made at Charles Fort located above Summer Cove, for views over Kinsale Harbour, before continuing along the country roads back to the port.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach. There will be approximately 1 hour of free time in Kinsale. The terrain is mostly flat. The amount of walking is at passengers’ own discretion. Please remember to carry local currency (Euros).

 

A selection of cruises to Cork

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