Dublin Bay Cruises: 7 Boat Tours Worth Trying (Dalkey Island, Lambay + More)

Dublin Bay Cruises boat tours
Photo left: Peter Krocka. Photo right: Lukas Bischoff Photograph (Shutterstock)

If you’re in search of unique things to do in Dublin, look no further than Dublin Bay Cruises.

Operating from Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Howth and Dun Laoghaire, these Dublin boat tours take you everywhere from Dalkey Island to Ireland’s Eye.

They’ve several different tours to choose from and, price wise, they’re pretty reasonable (the reviews online are also excellent!).

Below, you’ll find info on each of the different Dublin Bay Cruises tours along with info on everything from prices to pick-up points.

Some Quick Need To Knows about Dublin Bay Cruises

 

Although a the Dublin Bay Cruises tours are fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.

1. Locations

There are three Dublin Bay Cruise offices – one in the city centre at Sir John Rogerson’s Quay (near The Ferryman). There’s another in Howth (opposite the Aqua restaurant). And there’s a third in Dun Laoghaire (on the East Pier).

2. Several different routes to try

Dublin Bay Cruises are billed as a way to enjoy Dublin from a truly unique perspective. You can travel from the city to Dun Laoghaire and vice versa, to Howth and back, or to some of the little islands. More info below.

3. Ticket prices

Ticket prices for the various Dublin Bay Cruises vary from €25 to €35, depending on which option you go for. More info on the different prices below.

The different Dublin Bay Cruises routes

Dublin Bay Cruises boat tours
Photo left: Peter Krocka. Photo right: Lukas Bischoff Photograph (Shutterstock)

So, there are several different boat trips in Dublin that you can head off on with these lads, and they vary in price, departure point and destination.

  • Dalkey Island from Dun Laoghaire
  • Howth to Ireland’s Eye
  • Howth to Dun Laoghaire
  • Dun Laoghaire to Howth
  • Dublin City to Dun Laoghaire
  • Dun Laoghaire to Dublin City
  • Dublin City to Howth via Dun Laoghaire

1. Dublin City to Howth via Dun Laoghaire

howth boat cruise
Photo by Peter Krocka (Shutterstock)
  • Departure point: Dublin city
  • Cost: €32 per seat
  • Length of time: 2 hours 10 minutes

This trip takes you from the city to Dun Laoghaire Harbour in the south and from there to the traditional fishing of Howth, where you’ll find some great places to walk and amazing fish restaurants.

What you’ll see on your way to both destinations are sights you wouldn’t otherwise see from such a great angle – the Poolbeg Lighthouse, Ireland Eye and the docklands.

Howth Harbour is known for its many seals so watch out for those grey heads bobbing up and down or basking in the sun.

2. Dun Laoghaire to Dublin City

boat tours dublin
Photo by Lukas Bischoff Photograph (Shutterstock)
  • Departure point: Dun Laoighre
  • Cost: €25 per seat
  • Length of time: 60-70 minutes

How about this for a commute to the city with a difference…? The Dun Laoghaire cruise to Dublin will take you the leisurely way to Dublin via the water.

Sights you will see on the way include the Convention Centre, which has hosted some 2,000 events since opening in 2010.

The stunning glass-fronted atrium gives viewers panoramic views of the River Liffey, and on the cruises you will get to see it from a different angle. It’s fantastic at night, thanks to the lighting at the front, making it a distinctive feature of the Dublin skyline.

3. Dublin City to Dun Laoghaire

dublin boat tours with Dublin Bay Cruises
Photo by Peter Krocka (Shutterstock)
  • Departure point: Dublin city
  • Cost: €25
  • Length of time: 60-70 minutes

Sail from the city to the beautiful harbour at Dun Laoghaire. This port town has been popular with visitors since Victorian times and here you will find brightly painted villas, palm trees and townland parks.

You could try sailing, take a dip in the waters, visit a museum and, of course, ensure it’s a proper seaside trip by eating a 99 ice cream cone on the pier.

All Dublin Bay Cruise participants can take advantage of the discount offered on the DART trains, entitling you to travel between any station on the Dun Laoghaire/Howth/Dun Laoghaire DART line on the same day of sailing for only €2.00.

4. Dun Laoghaire to Howth

howth pier
Photo by Peter Krocka (Shutterstock)
  • Departure point: Dun Laoighre
  • Cost: €25
  • Length of time: 60-70 minutes

Howth is one of Ireland’s most beautiful fishing villages, and a popular place for the seal population. It is also one of Dublin’s oldest working harbours and a busy fishing port.

There’s plenty of fresh fish available in the village’s restaurants and lovely niche shops you can visit.

The Waterside and McNeill’s of Howth specialise in fish and chips, while King Stiric offers Dublin Bay prawns and lobster that you can eat in view of the sea that they came from or why not try oysters at the East Café bar?

5. Howth to Dun Laoghaire

howth boat tours
Photo by Peter Krocka (Shutterstock)
  • Departure point: Howth
  • Cost: €25
  • Length of time: 60-70 minutes

Once you’ve finished your tour of Howth, why not visit Dun Laoghaire, where you can relax on board the ship with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine?

One the journey, you will pass the island of Irelands Eye and Lambay Island to the north, and you will also be able to see the wildlife sanctuary at Bull Island. The island has the most designations of any site in Ireland, including National Bird Sanctuary, National Nature Reserve and Special Protection Area.

Birds on the island include wading species such as Eurasian curlews and oystercatchers and redshanks, and others such as shelduck, teal and pale-bellied brent geese.

6. Howth to Ireland’s Eye

ireland's eye
Photo by Peter Krocka (Shutterstock)
  • Departure point: Howth
  • Cost: €25
  • Length of time: One hour

What could be more relaxing than an hour-long cruise on the St Bridget from Howth Harbour to Ireland’s Eye?

You can settle back in your seat on board with a cup of tea or coffee or even a glass of wine and enjoy the bird’s eye (boom, boom!) view of the bird and seal colony at Ireland’s Eye.

The island is also home to the remains of a former monastic settlement established there at the beginning of the 8th century, where the Garlands of Howth religious manuscript is thought to have been written. These days, large numbers of guillemots, terns, gannets, razorbills, cormorants and puffins nest there. 

7. Dalkey Island from Dun Laoghaire

dalkey island
Photos via Shutterstock
  • Departure point: Dun Laoghaire
  • Cost: €25
  • Length of time: 75 minutes

This is one of Dublin Bay Cruise’s most popular trips. It takes place in the evening and the sights you will see on your journey include the James Joyce Martello Tower, the Forty Foot and more.

You’ll also see Bullock harbour, Dalkey Island and Collimore Harbour, Sorrento point and Killiney Bay. One special highlight is that a pod of dolphins will often join you on the journey – a wonderful sight to behold. 

FAQs about Dublin Bay Cruises

We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from what are the best boats trips Dublin has to offer to which are the most unique tours Dublin Bay Cruises offer.

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.

What are the best boat tours Dublin has to offer?

In our opinion, the best boat tours Dublin has to offer are the Dalkey Island from Dun Laoghaire tour and the Howth to Ireland’s Eye tour.

Where do Dublin Bay Cruises take you?

These Dublin boat tours take you to Howth, Dun Laoghaire, Dalkey Island, Ireland’s Eye and Dublin City.

Emma Baird is a lifestyle editor and novelist. She has worked in the communications industry for more than 25 years, and loves animals, the countryside and lingering in a great pub for the food and the craic.

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