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Best companies for Ireland cruises

Discover what the craic is with these top cruises around Ireland.

Updated

View of a lighthouse on the Ireland Coast at sunset

Ireland may look like a small country, but it sure does pack a punch.

From the freshest pint of Guinness in the world to its proudly celebrated Gaelic heritage and spectacular coastal landscapes, there is nowhere else like it. If none of that sways you to take a visit, maybe the incredibly friendly Irish folk will.

Best cruises to Ireland

Best for British Isles cruises: Princess

Combine your visit to Ireland with a cruise around Scotland too, discovering the best of Gaelic culture. Princess offers a range of 12- to 14-day cruises that sail from London or Paris, include an overnight stay in Dublin or Edinburgh and stops at key ports along the way.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Discover Card, JCB
Price ($-$$$):

Best for a quintessentially British cruise: Cruise & Maritime

Operated by Cruise & Maritime Voyages, this well-known cruise line differs from the rest in that it boasts a more traditional feel. From the good old English pub onboard to the fully-stocked library, there are no modern gimmicks here.
  • No free room service
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express
Price ($-$$$):

Best for couples: Celebrity

Not sure what to do on date night? Celebrity’s ships have so many options that you’ll find it hard to choose. Catch a film showing in the rooftop movie theatre, indulge in an alfresco, candlelit dinner, enjoy a broadway theatre show or perhaps plan a full-scale wedding onboard … the possibilities are endless.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for seniors: Oceania

Pandering its cruises towards older folk and retirees, Oceania creates a homey feel for seniors on its ships. Along with a well-designed fleet to make the ship accessible for all, lectures, cooking classes and language workshops are all ideal for an afternoon of adult enrichment.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Cheque
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for early booking discounts: Viking Ocean Cruises

Viking Ocean has always offered fantastic savings when you book a cruise well in advance. However, it’s recently extended its offers even further with a range of discounts including free or heavily discounted airfares, 2-for-1 cruise deposits and plenty of savings on board when you book early.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover Card, Cheque
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

How we picked the best cruises.

Along with the essentials, we single out cruise operators that take itinerary-planning seriously and stop off at a variety of key ports along the way. Onboard, your comfort is our number one priority. So, cruise liners with high-value cabins, all-encompassing dining options and diverse entertainment are key.

We’ve sailed with many of these cruise liners ourselves. So we use these first-hand experiences, along with current blogs, travel websites and honest review sites to bring you the most honest and up-to-date information.

When is the best time to cruise to Ireland?

Ireland is best experienced from May to August when sunny days are more likely and grey clouds less frequent. But Irish weather is notoriously unpredictable, so you’ll want to pack a few extra layers and a waterproof jacket for those unexpected rainy days.

At this time of year, Ireland is also at its most picturesque thanks to a smattering of vibrant wildflowers across many of the country’s valleys. Of course, this brings with it plenty of crowds and higher prices.

If you want to bag a bargain cruise deal and avoid the crowds, plan your cruise to Ireland during fall. Temperatures in September and October still average between 50-60°F, but showery spells are inevitable too.

What are the must-do cruise excursions in Ireland?

Choose between a range of shore excursions that allow you to experience the best of Ireland’s culture, landscapes and gastronomy.

  • Dublin. If you’re short on time when you visit Dublin, opt for a whirlwind tour on a hop-on-hop-off bus to visit some of the city’s most iconic and historic sites.
  • Glendalough. Nestled into the scenic hills of County Wicklow are some of Ireland’s most important monastery ruins that date back to the 6th century.
  • Galway. Home to some spectacular stretches of sand, feel the wind in your hair with a horseback ride along Connemara’s golden beaches.
  • Belfast. Visit the 40,000 basalt columns of the Giants Causeway in an easy day trip from Belfast.
  • Dublin. No trip to Ireland would be complete without a visit to the one and only St. James Gate Brewery to find out how this unique beverage is brewed and sample a fresh batch.

Bottom Line

Capture the true essence of the Emerald Isle with a hassle-free cruise around Ireland and its top destinations. Do it all for less with one of these great deals.

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