To get the full benefit of a visit to Donegal Town, a trip on the Waterbus is a “must”. The 75 minute cruise explores the history, environment and wildlife of this unique estuary, which is renowned for its vistas of mountains and sea.
The boat is weatherproof, comfortable and completely safe. The trip costs €15 for adults, €10 for students with valid student ID, €5 for children between 5 and 17 years and children under 5 years travel free.
From the helm there is a entertaining yet informative commentary on the sights of special interest, which include:
Burial place of the great Gaelic Chieftain Red Hugh O’Donnell the first and his wife Nuala. A seven foot high, bronze statue commemorating this chieftain can be seen on the quayside as the waterbus sets sail.
The Old Abbey, where the Annals of the Four Masters were compiled between 1632 and 1636 AD.
Ballyboyle Island gets its name from the Clan of the O’Boyles who were sub-chieftains of the O’Donnell Clan from Donegal Castle.
The Hassans, the embarkation point of emigrants to Canada and North-America during Famine years. The departure point of the large ships, known as Coffin Ships. The single fare to America was £2.
The old booking office of the White Star Line (Titanic) who ran the ships.
The Coastguard Station: This was used as a lookout tower of the British forces during WWII. After the war it was bought by An Oige for use as a hostel.
Donegal Golf Club at Murvagh is an outstanding par 73 links golf course. Designed by the legendary course architect, Eddie Hackett, it is continually featured in Golf World’s Top 100 courses in Ireland and Great Britain.
Rooneys Island: This Island was once inhabited by the O’ Maoldory Clan who were Kings of Tir Conaill prior to the O’Donnells.
Belles Isle with the ruins of an old Castle which was the home of Arthur Foster and his wife Annabelle. They were extensive local farmers.
Oyster and mussel farms run by local farmers
Wild life in view includes; cormorants, cranes, ducks, swans, and oyster catchers. As can be seen from our lastest news Dolphins are also known to visit the bay.
A natural seal colony of approx. 200 seals can be seen. There are two species of seal – Harbour and Atlantic seals. Last year was the first time on record that twins have been born in the wild. (Seal viewing is tide dependant)
The Island of St. Ernans and its famine causeway. This was the home of John Hamilton, famous landlord, who was a ’Ward’ of the Duke of Wellington. He controlled no less than 45,000 acres at one time.
Views of the wind farm on Barnesmore Mountain.
Rossylongan Estate, which was owned by Mr Patrick McManus in 1915, who contributed to the foundation of the Irish State. This was the first house in the area to produce its own electricity.
The Abbot Ireland factory produces goods for the medical industry, the most commonly known items being intravenous drips associated with pre- and post-care surgery.
Magherabeg Abbey at point of Tullycullion Hill. This was a Franciscian Friary. The monks were both spiritual and political advisors to the O’Donnell
This map should give you an idea of the geography of the tour. The trip lasts 80 minutes and in that time you travel about 10 miles.
Group Bookings are available and special rates are available for larger partys. Tea\Coffee and beer\spirits are available from the bar.
On the return leg of your trip an onboard sing-a-long music caberet will keep you entertained as the waterbus glides back to the harbour.
We also cater for parties, wedding anniversaries, day-after-wedding parties, corporate events, educational groups, bus tours and all other types of parties.