Ireland's trademark greenery, cosmopolitan cities and historic castles and monasteries give it all the ingredients of a great river cruise destination. Multi-day cruises can focus on a theme, such as golf, castles, fishing or bicycle treks. Renting your own boat, complete with overnight cabin, is also a possibility.
Despite being ideal for river vacations, cruising happens on a very small scale in Ireland. The largest cruiser that plies the Shannon regularly is the Shannon Princess, which only has five suites. Still, cruises like this are the perfect antidote for people who want to avoid the larger hotel boats that are so common on the continent. Companies like Viking do offer cruises on larger ships that circle around Ireland and the UK, but do not enter the riverways.