Boat and Ferry Travel

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Boat and Ferry Travel

From Kerry to Clare

The Tarbert–Killimer Ferry leaves every hour on the half hour and takes 20 minutes to cross the Shannon Estuary from North County Kerry to West County Clare; this saves you a 137-km (85-mile) drive through Limerick City. It is very handy if you are heading from the Ring of Kerry or Dingle area to the Cliffs of Moher. The ferry runs every day of the year except Christmas and costs €18 one-way, €28 round-trip. (Ferries return from Killimer every hour on the hour.)

Boat Companies

Shannon Ferries (065/905–3124. www.shannonferries.com.)

To the Aran Islands

The spell of the famed Oileáin Árainn (Aran Islands) is such that many travelers can't resist their siren call and make for the first ferry leaving from Doolin, which offers rates of €10 one-way. However, locals will tell you to hedge your bets and wait until you are in Galway City to make arrangements; that way, you can postpone your trip if the weather looks bad. You can do a day trip, leaving the city at 9:30 or noon and returning by 6:30, but staying overnight is more rewarding. Everyone wants to go to the islands, and it is made as easy as possible to organize by the various transport companies. They are all genuine and licensed: no one is going to rip you off. Book at the Galway Tourist Information Office in Forster Place, where the ferry companies and Aer Arann Islands have concessions.

The standard ferry deal on offer in Galway City is €25 round-trip and €7 for bus transfer to the ferry port at Ros an Mhil (Rossaveal). Look out for money-saving offers that may include bed-and-breakfast accommodations, free transfers to Ros an Mhill or Connemara Airport (both 40 minutes away), bicycle rental on the islands, or a ferry-out, flight-back plan. There are three different ferry operators, and tickets are not transferable, so check the return sailing times of your operator when you get on board. If you opt for the five-minute flight, for safety reasons, you (yes, you, not your bags!) will be weighed at check-in, and allocated an appropriate seat.

Boat Companies

Doolin Ferries (Doolin Pier. 065/707–4455. www.doolinferries.com. €10.)

Aran Island Ferries (Tourist Information Office, Forster St., Eyre Sq., Center, Galway City. 091/568–903. www.aranislandferries.com.)

O'Brien Line (Doolin Pier, Co. Clare. 065/707–5555. www.obrienline.com.)

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