About the Cruise
Our unique trip is an opportunity to view Kinsale from the water. A perfect combination of culture, information, relaxation and stunning scenery. Kinsale has a wealth of historic sites and our tour gives you a birds eye view and an opportunity to appreciate them in context. Jerome’s commentary gives a brief history with anecdotal legends and an insight into how the town has developed over the centuries.
Leaving the quay, the boat passes the yacht marina and on by the picturesque former fishing village of Scilly. The boat goes close to the shore to allow passengers a chance to glimpse seals, otters, herons, shags cormorants, terns and other flora and fauna.
Further on the boat passes by Charles Fort, which was built in the late 1600’s to reinforce the defences of the harbour. The view is breath taking, especially when you imagine the toil of it being built, stone by stone without the mechanical and technological advances of today. It had a garrison up until 1920. After the War of Independence it was surrendered to the Free State Government and is now an OPW (Office of Public Works) heritage site with daily guided tours. Well worth a visit, especially if you have had the chance to view this impressive fort from the water, its history and stature will have greater impact.
There are clear views of The Old Head of Kinsale before we turn at the mouth of the harbour.
On the opposite side of the harbour mouth is James Fort, built in 1603 as a consequence of the Battle of Kinsale to prevent any further invasion. The image of the two forts opposite each other is a stark reminder of former times.
Further along is the Block House built in 1549. Used to store gun powder and ammunitions. A creative method of protecting the harbour was a chain pulled across from the block house to the opposite side supported by wooden kegs to prevent ships invading the inner harbour.
We also pass by the Dock beach and on towards Ringrone Castle. Built in the late 13th century, it fell into disuse in the late 17th century; a castle of the Anglo-Norman DeCourcey family, whose descendants have one of the longest lineages’ in Western Europe. The present Lord Kingsale (the old Anglo spelling of Kinsale) is the 36th Baron of Kingsale, presently residing in New Zealand.
Before returning to the quay, the boat cruises up the Bandon River, passing three marinas; private marina, fisherman’s marina and the yacht marina. Peaceful images of a wide variety of boats and yachts bobbing in the water with the back drop of this picturesque town completing a trip that possibly represents the best value in every sense in Kinsale.
Jump aboard the 'The Spirit of Kinsale' and see all the sights of one of the most beautiful natural harbours in Europe.