Dublin Bay, Ireland cruises
Dublin Bay port guide
With its unusual sand banks and 5 km long sandy beach, the Dublin Bay area has been designated a ‘biosphere reserve' by UNESCO, due to its biological diversity and the unique ecological habitats that can be found there. The bay is home to the world-famous city of Dublin and some of Ireland’s most stunning coastal landscapes. Your ship will dock in Dún Laoghaire, and from there you can hop onto ‘The Dart’. This rail route, which runs the length of the bay and connects Dublin to picturesque coastal towns like Dalkey and Howth, has been called ‘one of the most scenic commuter train journeys in the world’.
Top landmarks and sights in Dublin Bay
The jewel in Dublin Bay’s crown is of course Ireland’s capital city Dublin. However, should you wish to stay closer to your ship, there’s plenty to see and do in the lovely port town of Dún Laoghaire.
With its elegant architecture and well-kept formal gardens, it’s not hard to see why Dún Laoghaire was such a popular seaside resort in Victorian times, and it’s kept much of its genteel charm. Kick off your visit with a stroll by the waterside, where you can enjoy a warming cup of coffee as you walk, or even maybe an ice cream on any warm days you might be blessed with. Should you visit on a Sunday, the park hosts a market where you can pick up artisan crafts and gifts as charming mementos of your trip.
For rainier days, the National Maritime Museum makes for an ideal activity on a grey afternoon. Set inside the 180-year-old Mariners Church, this museum showcases a wide range of artefacts from Ireland’s maritime heritage, as well as plenty of hands-on exhibits to try.
Should you feel like exploring outside of Dún Laoghaire, but you’ve been to Dublin before and would like to visit somewhere new, the town of Howth is another charming spot. Set against a backdrop of amazing cliffs, from the high point of Howth Summit it’s possible to see down to County Wicklow on the southern edge of Dublin Bay. This picturesque village is also home to the National Transport Museum, which features displays that include a fire engine from 1883 and a replica Dublin tram.
Getting around: Dublin Bay transport
While there are local bus routes that can take you from Dún Laoghaire to Dublin, many claim that the best way to discover all that Dublin Bay has to offer is on the speedy yet scenic Dublin Area Rapid Transit train known as ‘The Dart,’ to locals. This handy rail service can zip you from Dún Laoghaire straight to central Dublin, or to many of the area’s charming villages.
Dublin Bay port facilities
When visiting Dublin Bay, your Cunard Queen will anchor offshore rather than alongside the dock or quay, and a tender boat will be used to take you ashore to Dún Laoghaire port. From there, it’s easy to get a bus or train into Dublin city center, or simply soak up the relaxing atmosphere of sleepy Dún Laoghaire.
Top tips for Dublin Bay
Like many EU member states, Ireland’s currency is the euro. Cards are widely accepted in Ireland, but it’s advisable to carry some cash for use in smaller establishments. You’ll find ATMs all over the city, but double check that your bank card can be used in Ireland if you wish to use them. Alternately, you can also purchase euros on board your ship.
Tipping is not mandatory in Ireland, however rounding up your bill or leaving some change is an appreciated reward for good service.
The weather in Ireland is known to be somewhat moody and grey. The summer months of July and August are the warmest, when temperatures reach around 20 degrees Celsius. Between December and February, on the other hand, expect highs of around 9 and lows of 2 degrees Celsius. The winter months see considerable rain, and June is the driest.