Cork (from Cobh) cruises

Cobh is a quaint seaside town built on a steep hill on Great Island in Cork’s natural harbour. The town (pronounced ‘cove’) features colourful houses and the impressive spire of St. Coleman’s Cathedral standing tall and proud in the distance.

Formally known as Queenstown, Cobh was the stepping-off point for almost half of the six million Irish people who emigrated to North America between 1848 and 1950.

Places to visit

When you cruise to Cobh you berth only 200 yards from the centre of town so it is a great place to step off the ship straight into the warm ambience of Ireland. There are countless sights of historical interest and importance, such as the Fota House, Arboretum and Gardens located nearby.

The magnificent Regency country house and hunting lodge gives a fascinating insight into the lives of masters and their servants. There are guided tours of both the house and the Frameyard gardens and arboretum.

The architecture of the town centre’s buildings is classically Victorian. St. Colman’s Cathedral in the heart of the town is home to the 49 bell Carillon – a set of bells played using a keyboard. It is the only instrument of its kind in the country and the largest in Great Britain and Ireland. There are regular free, hour-long demonstrations to entertain the entire town.

Cobh is only 20 minutes' drive from Cork city, the capital of Cork county. The city is built on an island on the River Lee and spanned by many bridges which create a glamorous continental feel, much like Venice. If shopping is a favourite pastime then the stylish boutiques and major department stores will keep you very busy.

Food and drink

The English market is indoors on Grand Parade and dates back to 1788. It is a foodie’s heaven with family-run stalls dating back through generations. The Irish love their visitors almost as much as their food and will gladly proffer samples such as Drisheen, a blood sausage and Battlebord, dried salted ling fish from the cod family.

In addition to this unique traditional fare there are quality meats, fish and speciality cheeses as well as delicious baked goods. For more formal dining there are some great traditional pubs serving the obligatory ‘black stuff,’ Guinness. There is also a host of international eateries that you would expect from a modern, cosmopolitan city.

Ireland is synonymous with its famous whiskey and Irish Distillers, the makers of Jameson Whiskey, have a great visitors’ centre in Cork. The Midleton Distillery is 10 minutes from Cork city, and is the largest in Ireland producing more than 33 million litres of whiskey each year. The museum tells the whiskey story from its early beginnings in the 1800s to its state-of-the-art production facility today. You can even take some home as a warming reminder of your Cobh cruise.

Before you leave Cork, try to get to Blarney Castle, site of the famous stone. To kiss the Blarney Stone is to receive the mythical gift of eloquence. The history of Ireland is steeped in myths and legend. You may not see a real-life leprechaun on your cruise to Cobh but you will leave with a magical feeling of warmth and heritage.

Excursions

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

  • Cork Countryside & Kinsale

    Enjoy a scenic journey through County Cork's charming countryside and visit the picturesque coastal town of Kinsale.

    Cork Countryside & Kinsale

    Cork has some of the finest scenery in Ireland, with its lush valleys and beautiful coastline. Your journey will take you past rolling landscapes of fields, flowers and hedgerows, through tunnels, over bridges, along rivers and by small villages. A brief stop will be made to photograph the views over the Bandon River, before arriving in Kinsale.

    The pretty little town of Kinsale, believed to have been founded by the Anglo Normans around 1177, lies snug between hills and valley. It has won the European Prize for Tourism and the Environment, Entente Floreale, National Tidy Town and Gourmet Capital awards. Kinsale owes its unique character to the fact that it was an important naval base for over 300 years and this is reflected in the many 18th-century structures, which still stand alongside the more recent Georgian homes and Dutch influenced architecture. There will be free time to meander through the quaint streets and admire the varied architecture before indulging in a spot of shopping or relaxing with a drink in one of the cafés or pubs.

    On the return journey, a stop will be made at Charles Fort located above Summer Cove, for views over Kinsale Harbour, before continuing along the country roads back to the port.


    This excursion will operate by coach. There will be approximately one hour of free time in Kinsale. The terrain is mostly flat. The amount of walking is at guests' own discretion. Please remember to carry local currency (Euros).

    Tour code

    ORK_011

    Features

    • Activity low

      Activity Level: Low

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    4 hours

  • Cork Countryside & Kinsale - Small Group Option

    Choose this option if you prefer to take this tour in a smaller group.

    Cork Countryside & Kinsale - Small Group Option

    Cork has some of the finest scenery in Ireland, with its lush valleys and beautiful coastline. Your journey will take you past rolling landscapes of fields, flowers and hedgerows, through tunnels, over bridges, along rivers and by small villages. A brief stop will be made to photograph the views over the Bandon River, before arriving in Kinsale.

    The pretty little town of Kinsale, believed to have been founded by the Anglo Normans around 1177, lies snug between hills and valley. It has won the European Prize for Tourism and the Environment, Entente Floreale, National Tidy Town and Gourmet Capital awards. Kinsale owes its unique character to the fact that it was an important naval base for over 300 years and this is reflected in the many 18th-century structures, which still stand alongside the more recent Georgian homes and Dutch influenced architecture. There will be free time to meander through the quaint streets and admire the varied architecture before indulging in a spot of shopping or relaxing with a drink in one of the cafés or pubs.

    On the return journey, a stop will be made at Charles Fort located above Summer Cove, for views over Kinsale Harbour, before continuing along the country roads back to the port.

    This excursion will operate by minibus. Group size is up to 25 guests. There will be approximately one hour of free time in Kinsale. The terrain is mostly flat. The amount of walking is at guests’ own discretion. Please remember to carry local currency (Euros).

    Tour code

    ORK_026

    Features

    • Activity low

      Activity Level: Low

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    4 hours

  • Cork Walk

    Discover the rich historical past of this most vibrant of European cities on a guided walking tour of Cork.

    Cork Walk

    Arriving by coach at the Imperial Hotel, you’ll commence your walk on South Mall, one of the most gracious streets in the city. A stop will be made on Parnell Bridge to absorb the panorama of the city, from the elegant, classical City Hall, the fluted columns of the Savings Bank to the modern lines of the College of Commerce and Morrison’s Island.

    Continuing along the quays to the Parliament Bridge, you’ll see the slender spire of Holy Trinity Church rising up across the River. As you approach the South Gate Bridge, the three spires of St Fin Barre’s Cathedral suddenly appear on the skyline. A visit around this early French Gothic structure will reveal highly ornamented mosaic work and rich carvings.

    Afterwards, stroll down Sharman-Crawford to the tranquil and quaint Clarkes Bridge, one of the most atmospheric places in the city, before moving on to the hustle and bustle of the main thoroughfares. Here, you’ll see the classical limestone façade of the Courthouse, located in a street full of red brick buildings, one of the most enduring sights of the city. As you walk on to North Main Street and through Castle Street, you’ll find yourself in a very cosmopolitan part of the city. At the end of the tour there will be some free time to explore the local shops, relax in a café or just soak up the atmosphere of this vibrant city.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. This tour is predominantly on foot, with around two hours of walking; however there are sections of the sightseeing that is undertaken by coach. Comfortable non-slip shoes and bottled water are recommended. Order of itinerary may vary.

    Tour code

    ORK_009

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    Duration

    4 hours

  • Scenic Countryside

    This panoramic drive takes you on a scenic discovery to the coastal resort of Youghal and the historic town of Lismore.

    Scenic Countryside

    As your panoramic drive passes Cork Harbour, you’ll see the fine residences that dot the banks where it becomes the River Lee. You’ll then travel eastwards through the fertile farmlands to reach Youghal (pronounced Yawl), a seaport with medieval origins. A stop will be made for photographs at this pretty coastal resort, which was chosen as the setting for the film ‘Moby Dick’ in the 1950’s due to its resemblance of a New England fishing port.

    Continuing northwards through the Blackwater Valley and West Waterford, you’ll arrive in the heritage town of Lismore. There will be the opportunity to photograph the magnificent Lismore Castle, temporary residence of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, which towers over the Blackwater River. There will be free time in Lismore to shop for souvenirs, relax with a drink or simply absorb the atmosphere of this historic little town.

    This excursion will operate by coach. Most of the sightseeing will be conducted from the coach. There will be approximately 30 minutes of free time in Lismore, however the amount of walking is at guests' own discretion.

    Tour code

    ORK_002

    Features

    • Activity low

      Activity Level: Low

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    4 hours

  • West Cork Panorama

    Enjoy a leisurely drive through the spectacular and unspoilt scenery of West Cork before visiting a quaint town for refreshments.

    West Cork Panorama

    The West Cork shoreline twists and darts in and out of creeks, bays and coves, whilst inland is a tranquil pastureland of soft green hills where fat milking cows graze. Enjoy the beautiful and diverse panorama of West Cork before stopping at the lively market town of Clonakilty.

    Clonakilty has been designated as West Cork's Heritage Town by the Irish Tourist Board. The attractive traditional shop fronts have hand-painted signs in English and Irish. The Post Office is housed in an old Presbyterian church and the Town Council and Library in a converted Corn Mill with the river flowing beneath. Narrow streets and lanes open into elegant squares. It is a town of tall spires, towers and historic buildings - the brewery buildings, the mills and the quayside warehouses, telling of the town's busy trading and industrial past. Clonakilty is the gateway to West Cork, a region blessed with some of Ireland's most spectacular and unspoiled scenery.

    Refreshments of tea, coffee and scones will be served in a local hotel, after which you will have some free time to browse the shops of this pretty town.


    This excursion will operate by coach. There will be approximately 30 minutes of free time in Clonakilty. Any walking is at the guests' own discretion.

    Tour code

    ORK_022

    Features

    • Activity low

      Activity Level: Low

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    Duration

    4½ hours

  • Panoramic Cork & Whiskey

    Enjoy a drive around Cork before visiting the 'Jameson Experience Midleton' to discover the traditions and taste of Irish whiskey.

    Panoramic Cork & Whiskey

    Travel along the shores of Cork Harbour by coach to the charming university city of Cork. Your guide will provide an interesting commentary and point out the local landmarks as you drive past the French Quarter, English Market, Father Matthew's statue and Bishop Lucey Park. You’ll hear about the local history as you pass by the Old Courthouse, the impressive limestone City Hall, the renowned Bells of Shandon, and the magnificent Gothic style St. Fin Barre's Cathedral.

    Leaving the city, travel to the village of Midleton, where the famous rare Irish whiskey gets its name. A visit to the Jameson Experience will take you right to the heart of the cherished whiskey making tradition. There will be an hour-long guided tour of this beautifully restored 18th century self-contained industrial complex, unique in Britain and Ireland. There is a fully operational water wheel and a 32,000 gallon copper pot still, which is the largest in the world. Enjoy an audio-visual presentation which will breathe life into the Irish whiskey legend.

    After the tour there will be the opportunity to sample a glass of whiskey whilst you relax in the atmosphere of a traditional Irish pub.

    This excursion will operate by coach. There is approximately one hour of walking over pebbled walkways at the Distillery. There is a craft shop on site for those who wish to purchase souvenirs. Please remember to take local currency (Euros) or a credit card.

    Tour code

    ORK_016

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    4 hours

  • Cork Harbour by RIB & Irish Coffee

    Discover Cobh Harbour by RIB, combined with a stop to learn the art of making an Irish Coffee!

    Cork Harbour by RIB & Irish Coffee

    Hold on tight as your rigid inflatable boat whizzes you through the waters of Cobh Harbour. Admire the surrounding highlights such as coastal artillery forts, light houses and the Royal Cork Yacht Club, said to be one of the oldest clubs in the world. During your ride, keep an eye out for the local marine and birdlife, which you might be lucky enough to spot.

    Next, a stop will be made at a harbour watering hole to enjoy an Irish Coffee, and to discover how to make one.

    To round off your tour, you’ll re-board the RIB, taking in more of the harbour’s scenery, before returning to the pier.

    ACTIVITY EXCURSIONS
    You and all those in your party should be aware that, in undertaking activity excursions, you will be involved in a degree of physical exertion and/or activity such as hiking, biking, snorkelling, kayaking, diving etc. By booking the excursion you confirm that you and all those in your party are in good physical and mental condition, with no history of conditions such as seizures, dizziness, fainting, heart condition, respiratory problems or back/neck problems (by way of example only). You should also ensure that no one in your party is taking medicine that carries a warning about impairment of physical or mental abilities. If you are pregnant this type of excursion may not be appropriate for you. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are fit and well enough to take part in the activities booked and you are reminded to take care for your own safety. Because of the risks associated with activity excursions, you may be asked by the excursion provider to sign a document which may affect or limit the excursion provider’s liability. Comfortable flat walking shoes are recommended.

    LIABILITY
    Cunard will arrange for the excursions to be performed by the relevant excursion provider. Cunard does not provide or supply the excursion services. Cunard will exercise reasonable care and skill in the selection of the excursion provider, but will not in any circumstances have a greater liability than the excursion supplier and Cunard shall not be responsible for the negligent acts/omissions of the excursion supplier. Please note that in relation to all excursions Cunard is not responsible or liable for any loss, damage, or injury sustained by you unless such loss, damage or injury arises out of a breach of legal duty of Cunard.

    TRAVEL INSURANCE
    Before booking any activity excursions it is essential that you ensure your travel insurance extends to cover the specified activity. It is your responsibility to obtain adequate insurance.

    This excursion will operate by by rigid inflatable boat and on foot. Pregnant women and children may not participate. This tour is subject to weather conditions on the day. It is advisable to wear warm clothing. This tour is not suitable for those with injuries or conditions, which may be affected by the bumpy ride. A safety briefing will be given and lifejackets are compulsory. Wildlife sightings cannot be guaranteed.

    Tour code

    ORK_027

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    Duration

    3 hours

  • Blarney Castle & Irish Coffee - Small Group Option

    Choose this option if you prefer to take this tour in a smaller group.

    Blarney Castle & Irish Coffee - Small Group Option

    The medieval Blarney Castle towers above the village of Blarney with its majestic oblong keep and battlements that are typically Irish in form. At the top of the Castle lies the legendary Stone of Eloquence, better known as the Blarney Stone. If you wish, you can hang upside-down over a sheer drop to kiss the stone, which is said to give the gift of eloquent speech. Surrounding the Castle are extensive gardens, with several paths leading off to some interesting natural rock formations, such as Druid's Circle, Witch's Cave and the Wishing Steps.

    After a visit of the Castle, you’ll stop for a well-deserved Irish coffee, before visiting the Blarney Woollen Mills. This is one of the finest craft and gift centres in Ireland and you’ll have the chance to browse the high quality range of Waterford Crystal, Irish linen, hand-loomed Donegal tweed, knitwear, bone china and Celtic jewellery.

    Following your visit to Blarney Castle, you’ll travel to Cork, for a short panoramic drive around the main city sights. You’ll be able to see how this large city still manages to retain the pleasant charm of a country town. On the return journey, you will be able to see landscapes of rivers, fields and hedgerows as you travel along country roads to Cobh.

    This excursion will operate by minibus and on foot.Group size is up to 25 passengers. There is a narrow, spiral staircase with 108 steep steps to access the Blarney Stone, however the climb is optional. The kissing of the Blarney Stone is a popular activity and queues may be experienced. The terrain around the Castle is uneven and steep in places. Comfortable, non-slip shoes are recommended.

    Tour code

    ORK_025

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    4 hours

  • Blarney Castle & Irish Coffee

    Visit the historic Blarney Castle with its lovely grounds before indulging in an Irish coffee and browsing the craft centre.

    Blarney Castle & Irish Coffee

    The medieval Blarney Castle towers above the village of Blarney with its majestic oblong keep and battlements that are typically Irish in form. At the top of the Castle lies the legendary Stone of Eloquence, better known as the Blarney Stone. If you wish, you can hang upside-down over a sheer drop to kiss the stone, which is said to give the gift of eloquent speech. Surrounding the Castle are extensive gardens, with several paths leading off to some interesting natural rock formations, such as Druid's Circle, Witch's Cave and the Wishing Steps.

    After the tour of the Castle, you will stop for a well-deserved Irish coffee, before visiting the Blarney Woollen Mills. This is one of the finest craft and gift centres in Ireland and you will have the chance to browse the high quality range of Waterford crystal, Irish linen, hand-loomed Donegal tweed, knitwear, bone china and Celtic jewellery.

    Following your visit to Blarney Castle, you’ll travel to Cork, for a short panoramic drive around the main city sights. You’ll be able to see how this large city still manages to retain the pleasant charm of a country town. On the return journey, you will be able to see landscapes of rivers, fields and hedgerows as you travel along country roads to Cobh.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There is a narrow, spiral staircase with 108 steep steps to access the Blarney Stone, however the climb is optional. The kissing of the Blarney Stone is a popular activity and queues may be experienced. The terrain around the Castle is uneven and steep in places. Comfortable, non-slip shoes are recommended.

    Tour code

    ORK_001

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    4 hours