Insider Tips

Dublin: An Aquatic Adventure

By Visit Dublin

18th May 2021

There’s a whole host of fun ways to explore Dublin, but did you know that one option is to take to its crystal-blue waters? But how best to go about making a splash? There are many excellent specialist operators available to ensure that your seafaring experience is special and safe…

During your thrilling adventure on a boat, board, raft or kayak, you can wind your way along the Liffey (the river that runs through the centre of the city), enjoy a spot of water sports on the Grand Canal, or even take in glorious views of Dublin Bay from the high sea. It’s a unique way to get to know our incredibly accessible capital, and what’s more, you’ll see Dublin from a whole new angle! 

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Dublin Discovered Boat Tour

At just 45 minutes long, the Dublin Discovered Boat Tour is a real breeze. Departing from Bachelor’s Walk just off the main city thoroughfare, O’Connell Street, the ‘big red boat’ serves up terrific vantage points of O’Connell Bridge, Liberty Hall, Custom House and numerous Georgian signposts of Ireland’s past. Fun and informative, the tour is packed with great storytelling, while a glass roof ensures that you won’t miss a thing.


Big Style Paddle-Boarding

A one-stop shop for robust outdoors adventure, the team at Big Style offer a variety of ways to navigate the capital, including stand-up paddle-boarding (SUP). Based out of gorgeous Seapoint Beach, the Big Style SUP School offers equipment hire and two-hour instructional lessons. Once you’re set up, you’ll explore the coastline while riding gentle waves at a leisurely place – an excellent way to take in the surroundings.

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City Kayaking

A small but dedicated crew, City Kayaking favour sturdy, purpose-built kayaks that are ideal for beginners and just as suitable for those who enjoy powering their way through the water. A four-kilometre cruise down the majestic River Liffey takes about two hours to complete. Daily trips run from April to September at different times in order to accommodate a necessary high tide.


Dublin Bay Cruises

A series of relaxed cruises run along pretty Dublin Bay, during which you’ll get to visit some of the city’s charming coastal villages; Howth, Dún Laoghaire, Malahide and Dalkey. Dublin Bay Cruises is a definitely highlight; it’s peppered with Dublin’s most colourful landmarks, vistas and wildlife. During a picturesque 75-minute glide, you’ll encounter the James Joyce Tower, the unspoilt beauty of Ireland’s Eye and impressive Howth Head. Keep an eye out for some friendly seals too...

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Having started out as something of a hobby for a group of rafting experts and enthusiasts, has developed into a thriving community of thrill-seekers who believe that the Liffey is just as intriguing as any storied stretch of water that the world has to offer. Over two-and-a-half bracing hours, you’ll head downriver through the lovely Strawberry Beds, taking in the native wildlife and history along the way. Upstream, an urban paradise awaits, as contemporary Dublin and its wild, bustling environs come into view.

The Old Liffey Ferry

Lucky Dubliners can once again commute in style thanks to the return of the The Old Liffey Ferry service to Dublin's Docklands. From 7am–7pm, Monday to Friday, the Old Liffey Ferry service will run between the Cill Airne and Sir John Rogerson's Quay and The Point Depot (3Arena) pontoons, all year round. First granted a charter in 1665 by King Charles II, it was discontinued in 1984 with the opening of the East Link toll bridge. We're very glad to have it back.

Now that you’ve got an overview of the fantastic aquatic experiences on offer, it’s time to make it happen! You can find more details of providers and activities in our see & do section.

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