Today you’ll be sitting cosily inside our barge or relaxing on deck, as we wind through the County Kildare countryside from Sallins to Digby Lock. But experiences on the Grand Canal varied greatly in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Early passenger services in and out of Dublin were certainly the luxury option for the landed gentry compared with horse and carriage on bumpy roads. And there are many other tales to tell about how the great local estates benefited from the arrival of the canal, completed to Sallins in 1779.
Skipper Ger Loughlin also points out landmarks to another side of the story, including Soldier’s Island and tales of rebels raiding barges during the 1798 disturbances. Hear too how poor folk escaping the Great Famine hitched a lift on top of cargoes, on their way west to emigrate to America.
Over Leinster Aqueduct and onwards, you get to admire the workings of 222-year-old Digby Lock (the Digby family was among the landed gentry), learn of the hard lives of the navvies who built the canal, of the heavy horses that ruled the towpaths – and discover the Leonardo da Vinci connection!
Duration: 2.5 hours
Departs: 10 am
Price: Adults: €24 – Children: €17 (Under 16 yrs.)
Family Ticket (2 adults, 2 children) – €74
Children: A barge trip is fun for all ages. Small children will be given a life-jacket on boarding and children must be supervised at all times by a parent/guardian.
Get the entire barge exclusive for your group for € 265. Please contact us with your preferred date for exclusive private charter.
MV Amo is a restored traditional canal barge and is licensed by the Department of Transport and Tourism for 12 passengers. There are outdoor seats on the open decks at the bow and stern and it has a very comfortable interior with ample seating, toilet facilities, wood burning stove and a bar severing a selection of local craft beers and wines. Scheduled Cruises operate from March to October and advance booking is essential.