Enjoy a 3-Hour tour with a professional guide onboard an eco-cruise around the Skellig Islands from Portmagee. They offer the traveler everything they could wish for, wildlife, ancient history and Starwars.You may also see whales, dolphins, sunfish and even basking sharks roaming the surrounding waters. Tour is limited to a maximum of 12 travelers, this is not a landing tour. Choose from one of the four departure times when you book.
Sailing from Portmagee on your port side you will see Illaunloughin, the island was home to a monastery, dating back to between the 7th and 9th Century. On your starboard side, you will see the Coastguard Cottages which were built in the mid-19th Century.
Next, you will sail past Foilhummeron Cliffs where 1866 after five attempts, the Transatlantic Cable finally came ashore. This was the silicone valley of the world in the 1850’s. Then on past Bray Head built around 1815 by the British as a signal station, following the failed invasion of the French in 1796. Leaving Bray Head astern, you sail into the Atlantic Ocean. Next land – North America – 2,000 miles (3,000 km) away.
On your port side, you will see Puffin Island a bird sanctuary and home to thousands of Puffins along with various other seabirds. Further out to the west is Lemon Rock made famous by “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” movie. In the distance lies The Blasket Islands – which famously features in Irish literature. Here three great Irish writers recorded their daily life and struggles – Tomás Ó Criomhthain, Peig Sayers and Muiris Ó Súilleabháin.
Before you realize it you have arrived at the Small Skelligs – this is a truly amazing sight to behold – 75,000 gannets nesting on every piece of rock available. Sailing onwards you’ll approach Skellig Micheal – this magical view is impossible to describe. No words can do justice, you just have to experience this incredible moment for yourself. Rising from the ocean floor 100ft (30 meters) below, Skellig Michael shoots up almost vertically to a height of 700ft (213 meters).
At 600ft (182 meters) these incredible monks built their monastery, inhabited from the 6th until the 12th Century. They built 3 sets of steps from the waters edge to their monastery. This in itself was an arduous task, and a mesmerizing sight to behold. At 700ft (213 meters) on the precipice that is the south peak, they decided to built the Hermitage. The island also features two fascinating lighthouses and the roadway servicing them, built between 1821 and 1826.
The birdlife on this island is so varied and noisy, puffins, guillemots, razorbills, kittiwakes, shearwaters, storm petrels and the many species of gulls, all appear here in abundance.
For Star Wars fans, you can see the many locations which have been used in Episode VII and Episode VIII of the film franchise. The Star Wars production team were so enthralled with the location that they kept coming back.
Dolphins, sunfish, basking sharks, Risso dolphins, fin, humpback and minke whales are all spotted inhabiting these surrounding waters. Be prepared to be enthralled on a once in a lifetime journey, that you will remember and cherish forever more.