Even the dolphins like Killary's cruise vessel

 

If you are looking for a different way of celebrating the national holiday next weekend, you could do a lot worse than try a new £1 million cruise boat which is proving to be a big hit with both local people and visitors in north-west Connemara.

The Connemara Lady will be launched officially on Killary Harbour, between counties Galway and Mayo, on April 19th. But the owners, Sea Cruise Connemara, have decided to organise three days of cruises over the St Patrick's Weekend.

The 72-foot vessel attracted much attention when it was launched for one week at the New Year, when the tendency to ignore the millennium celebrations was very much in evidence at Killary.

"A lot of people stayed in the area as everyone seemed to want to get out of the cities over the New Year period," said Mr Micheal O Cionna of Sea Cruise Connemara.

"It is an ideal way of spending a day out in Connemara, and we also had a host of visitors from Galway, Clifden, and Westport."

Killary is Ireland's only fjord, a nine-mile stretch of water with guaranteed smooth sailing through out the year.

As well as enjoying spectacular scenery, visitors can see the local school of dolphins, seals, and even sharks, at the mouth of the fjord.

Sea Cruise Connemara intends to run four cruises a day next weekend, each one lasting 90 minutes. The boat will also be available for private and corporate hire during the peak season from April to October.

The boat, which is wheelchair accessible, was specially designed for the Connemara company in Portland, England, and its comfortable facilities should ensure smooth sailing no matter what the conditions.

"There is plenty of room inside the boat, we can provide a corporate meeting room, and we have a full bar and hot food service," said Mr O Cionna.

"We hope that the boat will become an ideal way for people to spend a day out in Connemara with their friends and work mates."

Local dolphins have already begun to follow the boat. Cruises can be booked by telephoning (091) 566736. They will depart from Nancy's Point, about 2km west of Leenane, from 10.30 a.m. on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Contact number

Readers who wish to contact Lorna Siggins can leave messages by dialling (01) 670-7711, extension 6299