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A Guide To The Carlingford Lough Ferry (Prices, Times + Views Galore)

A Guide To The Carlingford Lough Ferry (Prices, Times + Views Galore)

A cruise with the Carlingford Lough Ferry is one of the more unique things to do in Louth.

With terminals at Greenore and Greencastle, you can enjoy two cruises, or just cross the lough with your car and explore.

With several different cruises to choose from, each of which offers stunning views of the Cooley Peninsula, Carlingford Lough and the Mournes, there’s plenty to look forward to.

In the guide below, you’ll find info on everything from where the Carlingford Lough Ferry leaves from to how much it costs.

Some quick need-to-knows about the Carlingford Ferry

greencastle ferry

Photos via Shutterstock

Although a spin on the Carlingford Lough Ferry is pretty straightforward, there are a handful of need-to-knows that’ll get you up to speed.

1. There are 4 types of trips

During the summer, there’s the Sunset Lough and Lighthouse Cruises, the brand new Carlingford Lough Gin Cruise or the Specialty Cruises (Private Charter). Throughout the year you can take the car ferry which leaves from Greenore or Greencastle – it offers stunning views!

2. How long they take

The car ferry crossings run hourly and take approximately 20-minutes each way. The summer cruises run for the same approximate duration; 2-2.5 hours. It’s the ideal length for you to be able to sit back, relax, and enjoy both the theme of the cruise, but also the incredible scenery from the vessel.

3. Where they leave from

All the cruises leave from the two dedicated ferry terminals, Greenore in Louth (Rep. of Ireland), or Greencastle in Down (Northern Ireland). You’ll be able to check-in and wait comfortably at either port of origin, and you’ll be returned there when the cruise is over too.

4. Why they’re well worth doing

The Carlingford Lough Ferry is the perfect way to explore the stunning scenery of the Cooley Peninsula; renowned as one of Ireland’s most scenic loughs with the majestic Mourne Mountains meeting the lough-side. You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to the views, and easy access makes it worry-free and affordable indulgence.

5. How much they cost

Prices vary quite a bit. If you’re in a car, a single journey is €20 and a return is €30. If you’re on foot, an adult single is €6 and a return is €7. More on prices below.

6. When they leave

The Greencastle Ferry leaves on the hour ,every hour from the terminal in Greencastle in Down. The Greenore Ferry leaves on the hour, every half hour from the terminal in Greenore in Louth. There’s additional sailings during the summer, too!

About the Carlingford Ferry

Carlingford Ferry

Photos via Shutterstock

Renowned as one of Ireland’s most scenic loughs, the Carlingford Lough Ferry crosses the strait between Greenore and Greencastle. The two peninsulas help to form the lough and create a devastatingly beautiful landscape.

Cruising the lough will afford views of the Mourne Mountains, King John’s Castle at Carlingford and Greencastle Royal Castle that sits imposingly above the village of Greencastle. Pleasure cruises operate during the summer months, with themes of ‘Lough & Lighthouse’ or ‘Carlingford Lough Gin Cruise’.

The ferry runs two vessels, a larger vehicle ferry, and a smaller vehicle/passenger ferry. Both ferries criss-cross the waterway and are used for evening pleasure cruises.

The Carlingford Ferry route

greenore ferry

Photos via Shutterstock

The shortest duration of all the trips, the standard Carlingford Lough Ferry crossing between Greenore and Greencastle, takes approximately 20-minutes each way.

Both vehicles and passengers travel on the same vessel, loaded separately, and pets are welcome to travel with vehicles (but must be left in the vehicle).

During the crossing, you’ll be treated to dramatic views of Carlingford Lough, and take in the long and sweeping views of the beaches that guard both the Greenore and Greencastle approaches.

In the distance, you’ll be able to spy the Mourne Mountains, and potentially castles just outside both Greencastle and Greenore.

Things to do in Carlingford after

One of the beauties of the Carlingford Lough Ferry is that it’s a short spin away from many of the best things to do in Carlingford.

Below, you’ll find a handful of things to see and do a stone’s throw from the Greenore Ferry (plus places to eat and where to grab a post-adventure pint!).

1. A post cruise feed in the town

carlingford restaurants

Photos via Schooners Restaurant on FB

Only a 10-minute drive from the ferry terminal, Carlingford hosts a wide range of eateries where you can refresh and refuel. Choose from Kingfisher Bistro (contemporary cuisine), Fishy Dishy (amazing seafood!), Schooners Restaurant (classic dishes), or PJ O Hare’s for a pint. See our Carlingford restaurants guide or our Carlingford pubs guide for more.

2. Climb Slieve Foy

slieve foye hike

Photos by Sarah McAdam (Shutterstock)

Directly west from Carlingford, the majestic Slieve Foye casts its shadow on the surrounding landscape. A part of a national walking series, these loop walks offer explorers a choice of four main suggested routes to navigate, so lace up your boots and choose from routes that wind through forests, over streams and along roads and tracks, skirt the edge or climb along the embankments of Slieve Foye, and always give explorers breath-taking views.

3. Cycle the Carlingford Greenway

carlingford greenway guide

Photos by Tony Pleavin via Ireland’s Content Pool

Whether you choose to head from Carlingford to Omeath, Omeath to Carlingford, or to complete the journey both ways, the Carlingford Greenway runs along the edge of some of Ireland’s most stunning scenery. From the harbour and the Newry Canal, along the peninsula to Carlingford and on to Greenore, the 20km route winds its way along shoreline and disused railway lines.

4. Visit Skypark Carlingford

Skypark Carlingford

Photos via Skypark Carlingford on FB

Feeling adventurous, or feeling the need to test your mental and physical prowess? Then a trip to Skypark may be exactly what you’re looking for. With activities to suit younger and mature adventurers alike, you’ll be able to climb, scramble, and explore a huge range of courses, including axe throwing, base-jumping, rock walls, archery, and even an accessible zipline!

FAQs about the Greenore and Greencastle Ferry

We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘Is the Greenore Ferry worth taking?’ to ‘How long does the Greencastle Ferry take?’.

In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.

Is the Carlingford Lough Ferry worth doing?

Yes! The Greenore or Greencastle Ferry is a brilliant addition to any visit to Carlingford and the views you’re treated to are stunning.

How long does the Greenore Ferry to Carlingford take?

The Greenore Ferry takes around 20 minutes in total. Keep in mind that the Carlingford Lough Ferry offer other, longer cruises too.

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