In today's podcast Jody's guest Joan Hamilton of Doolin2Aran Ferries takes you across the Atlantic waves to the Aran Islands, three islands off the coast of counties Galway and Clare where the old Irish ways are still very much in evidence.
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Cruising with Doolin2Aran Ferries
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Designed with my driver guide partner Ireland Chauffeur Travel, A Celtic Experience visits some of Ireland’s best know sites- including the Rock of Cashel, Cliffs of Moher, and Hill of Tara, while taking you ‘off the tourist trail’ to some of my favorite places in Ireland.
This 8 night tour includes luxury transportation, 4 and 5 star accommodations, including 2 nights in a castle!, daily breakfast, 5 group meals, and entrance into all listed attractions and tours.
Tour dates are September 14-22, 2019, and cost is €2500 per person.
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Recorded live at the Doolin Inn
(1:27) About Doolin2Aran Ferries
Joan Hamilton, marketing manager of Doolin2Aran Ferries joins me on the podcast.
Doolin2Aran Ferries is the company I recommend for Cliffs of Moher tours and Aran Islands transportation.
Doolin2Aran Ferries is a family business owned by the Garrihy family.
Their father Jack developed a relationship with the Aran Islanders, exporting their products and delivering what they needed.
Jack's son PJ was a fisherman below the Cliffs of Moher where there was an abundance of salmon, crab, and lobster. Many of his brothers joined him on the sea.
It was PJ that realized that tourists were looking at the Cliffs of Moher from the wrong angle. From that idea Cliffs of Moher Cruises was developed around 2000.
The tour evolved over the years to include the Aran Islands.
(7:30) The Aran Islands with Doolin2Aran Ferries
Doolin2Aran Ferries sails from Doolin to the Cliffs of Moher and Aran Islands
Inis Oírr (inisheer) directly translates to ‘eastern island'. Inis means island, Oirr is east. This is the closest island to Doolin, at only 15 minutes with the new Star of Doolin ship.
Inis Meáin (inishmaan) translates to ‘middle island'; meain means middle.
Inis Mór (inishmore) translates to ‘big island'; mor means big. This is the farthest island from Doolin at about 1 hour 20 minutes sailing.
(9:19) The Star of Doolin
Built specifically for the Wild Atlantic Way and the ocean swells. The boat has electronic stabilizers so feels smoother and is twice as big as previous boats, holding 200 passengers.
(10:00) Sailing Experience with Doolin2Aran Ferries
Most passengers purchase tickets in advance, online. Recommended especially during the busy summer season.
Plan to arrive at the pier 30 minutes before sailing.
Vessels are boarded by gangway with plenty of assistance from the crew. Star of Doolin is wheelchair accessible.
There are life jackets for each passenger but you are not required to wear them.
As you disembark on the island you are reminded of your return time.
You can choose to do a Cliffs of Moher cruise on your return from all the islands.
(14:20) The Cliffs of Moher Cruise
Cliffs of Moher 360 Tour– walk along the top of the cliffs then sail along the bottom.
The Cliffs of Moher cruise is one hour long, with at least 3 cruises each day.
Takes about 20 minutes to reach the sea stack beneath the highest point of the cliffs where O'Brien's Tower stands.
The boat will get as close as legally possible to the cliffs.
Puffins at the cliffs from March thru mid-July.
20 minutes around the area, and 20 minutes return.
(19:50) Doolin2Aran Cruise Season
Sailings take place from March, usually around St. Patrick's Day, through October.
Tours are always weather permitting.
Spend a few days in the Burren– tips for things to do.
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(23:20) 3 Places to Visit- Aran Islands Edition
There are 1000 miles of stone walls across the three Aran Islands.
Inis Mór- Gabriel Flaherty's Aran Islands Goats' Cheese
Inis Meáin – Inis Meáin Knitting Factory & shop
Inis Oírr – Stephan Joyce Wanderly Wagon tour
(30:47) Thanks for Listening!
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