Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
Wild Atlantic Way | Itineraries
Ireland and the Wild Atlantic Way are impossible to sum up in just one or two paragraphs. To really explore this gorgeous part of the world might take more than one visit, but a sensible place to begin is by reading these Wild Atlantic Way Itineraries on Planet Patrick.
This Travel Guide details a short Cliffs of Moher Cruise provided by Doolin Ferry.
The Wild Atlantic Way is a 2,500km (>1,550 mile) tourist route along Ireland’s Western coastline, from Malin Head in the North to Kinsale in the South. It connects significant historic, cultural and geographic features into a manageable road trip, comprising staggering clifftop vistas to golden strands and stunning lighthouses.
Cliffs of Moher Cruise Guide | Inishmore Itinerary (One Day)
If you want to see how this fits in, click here for the overall Inishmore Itinerary.
Why this cruise?
Doolin Ferry runs the regular service from Doolin Harbour to the Aran Islands. The Cliffs of Moher Cruise gives passengers the opportunity to see the Cliffs of Moher from the sea. This can be a standalone cruise, or purchased as an add-on to a return trip from one of the islands.
Is this a cruise?
I think it's ambitious to call this journey a cruise, if ‘cruise' creates a notion of comfort, slow speed and add-ons like drinks or snacks. To be fair, nobody is promising you that, but be quite clear about what is on offer here. This is a (quite fast) journey out to Hag's Head (at the end of the cliff formation), turnaround and journey back.
What to expect
I was returning to Doolin from Kilronan on Inishmore (see more about that trip here). It was announced that this boat would become the cruise vessel and for people who had purchased both tickets to stay on board. I did this. Once everyone else had gotten off, the boat filled up quickly with Cruise Passengers. I found it hard to find a spot with a *perfectly* clear view (there are various necessary pieces of equipment that get in the way for a seated passenger).
Where to sit
Because most views are slightly blocked when sitting down, choose your seat wisely! There will be chances to stand up to take a photograph and get a clear view, don't worry, but the journey was extremely bumpy and standing up has its own risks! The view above was the best that I could find (and I did check with a staff member on board). He also advised me to sit on the RIGHT of the vessel as, when we reached the farthest point near Hag's Head, the boat would turn and passengers on the right would have the clearest view as the boat returned more slowly along the Cliffs.
What IS good is that there is a guide who points out the main features. This is given ONLY in English.
Harry Potter Connection
If you've seen the Harry Potter movies, you might recall one of the later films, Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince. In it, Harry and Dumbledore travel to a wild seascape and enter a cave in search of horcruxes. The Cliffs of Moher provide that backdrop and this very section of the Cliffs (see below) is the part in question. Next time you watch that movie, keep an eye out for it!
Birds & Wildlife
I think there is a lot of natural bird and wildlife along the cliffs that we didn't quite get to the bottom of on the cruise. The weather was so rough that I suspect the guide had to quickly go over as much detail as he could in a short time.
Tickets can be booked as a standalone Cruise, or as an add-on to a same-day Islands Ticket.
Standalone tickets cost €25 per adult, €23 for seniors/students and €13 for children.
To give you an idea, a standard adult Inishmore + Cliffs Combo ticket costs €55. The standard Inishmore ticket is €39, so you get the Cliffs as an add-on for €16. I thought this was good value and this is what I booked. For your group or family, look at the Doolin Ferry website for special prices for families. [Prices are current for 2022].
Bikes on Board
As this was the same boat as I'd taken from Inishmore to Doolin, my bike was still on board (and this was no problem during the Cliffs cruise). It was all over very quickly as the crew wanted to get us back safely to shore due to the swell.
To check out facilities on board and what I think you should wear, this is the exact same boat as my Inishmore trip, and I provide lots of extra details over on this post about Doolin Ferries.
Back at the Campsite
My entire day getting to the Aran Islands, exploring Inishmore and returning to Doolin only to leave immediately on a cruise meant that I was just exhausted! In the picture below, you can see that the light is just about still there but the clouds were muscling in and preparing to dump a ton of water on the campers!
I made some dinner in the campervan and enjoyed the big droplets of water bouncing off the roof! It makes a great way to sleep.
NOTE: Doolin Ferries are not the only provider who run tours to the Cliffs of Moher. You CAN travel from Galway. Check out the affiliate excursions options at the bottom of this page.
Find the accompanying video for this article below:
Excursions to the Cliffs of Moher
Discover new journeys, destinations and ways to travel with Planet Patrick