Landing Tour to Skellig Michael

If you want to set foot on Skellig Michael island and explore its incredible scenery, history and wildlife, then book our Skellig Michael Landing Tour for a trip that will give you a lifetime of incredible memories. There is nowhere else on earth quite like Skellig Michael. Maybe nowhere in the universe, if you're a Star Wars fan. Landing tours are limited to 180 people per day so places are extremely limited. As demand to visit the island has strengthened hugely over the past few years, we recommend you book your trip well in advance to avoid disappointment.

LOCATION

The landing tour departs from Portmagee Pontoon, in the middle of the village.

DEPARTURES

Trips leave every day at 9:00 a.m., weather permitting, between May 15th and October 2nd. Tickets should be collected from The Moorings in Portmagee by 8:45 a.m. at the latest.

DURATION

The trip to Skellig Michael takes approximately 45 minute and boats depart from the rock about 2 ½ hours after landing.

Cost

The landing tour costs 85 euros per person and is payable in cash to our representative at our ticket collection point in the reception of The Moorings in Portmagee on the day of the trip between 8 a.m. and 8:45 a.m.

PREPARATIONS

Please bring proper attire for hiking - good shoes or boots and layered clothing - and your own food and drink as none is available on the island.

SAFETY

Your safety is our primary concern. All passengers are provided with personal life vests and general flotations aids are available at all times. All trips are weather-permitting and please be aware that weather can change from the start of the trip to the end.

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Skellig Cruise Around Skellig Michael, Small Skellig and the Skellig Coast

This is the perfect trip for anyone who's interested in just seeing the island up close, rather than landing, or who wants to take in the incredible wildlife and coastline around Portmagee and Skellig Michael.

LOCATIONS

Locations visited include: Skellig Michael, Small Skellig, Puffin Island, Kerry Cliffs base, Bray Head

DEPARTURES

Trips leave every day at 3:00 p.m., 5:30 p.m. between March 17th and October 15th and at 11:00 a.m. before May 15th. Private charters are also available.

DURATION

Trips last 2 and a half hours approximately and include sailing around both Skellig Michael, Small Skellig and Kerry Cliffs.

GUIDE

All trips are guided in clear, easy-to-understand English with lots of individual interaction.

WILDLIFE

Gannets, petrels and various other seabirds are always available. Puffins between April and July. Dolphins frequently escort the boat and we've even seen humpback whales.

FAMILY FRIENDLY

Children absolutely love being out in the boat and love when they get to see wildlife like dolphins up close. It's a memory that stays with them for a lifetime. Naturally, small children must also comply with the safety regulations while onboard.

CHARTERS

Individual and group charters are available on request. The boat accommodates up to 12 passengers at any one time. We frequently work with diving groups and sports fishermen. Family fishing experiences are also available.

ACTIVITIES

As well as viewing the sites, we encourage photography and videography.

SAFETY

Your safety is our primary concern. All passengers are provided with personal life vests and general flotations aids are available at all times. All trips are weather-permitting and please be aware that weather can change from the start of the trip to the end.

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Representative Itinerary for Skellig Cruise

  • 2:30 p.m.

    Leave Portmagee

    We depart from the first berth on the right of the pontoon.

  • 3:15

    Skellig Michael

    Arrive Skellig Michael. Circle the island and interact with any wildlife we find there.

  • 3:45

    Small Skellig

    Circumnavigate the Small Skelligs gannet sanctuary.

  • 4:30

    Puffin Island

    Arrive at the base of Puffin Island. Explore the area and the nearby Bray Head

  • 4:45

    Kerry Cliffs

    Explore the base of the Kerry Cliffs at Reencaheragh before returning home to the pontoon.

Make A Booking Enquiry About Your Trip

Landing on Skellig Michael is only permitted between May 15th and October 15th each year. Our landing trip departs the pontoon at 9 a.am. but tickets should be collected from The Moorings by 8:45 a.m. at the latest. Note: All Skellig boat tours are weather and sea-dependent and are subject to cancellation at short notice. Please phone the Moorings in advance on +353669477108 to confirm departure.

Outside of those dates, our Skellig Eco Tours run from the 1st of April until the 2nd of October. Tours run at 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. and at 10 a.m. in April and May before the landing season starts. Individual or group Charter trips are also available at any time.

Make A Booking Enquiry Now!
Make A Booking Enquiry Now

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some answers to some frequently asked questions by passengers.

Do we land on Skellig Michael?

Yes! We are one of only 15 licensed boats that are allowed to ferry passengers to Skellig Michael. Landing tours are restricted to 12 persons per boat and depart every day that the weather permits. Landings are only allowed on the island from May 15th to October 2nd each year. Booking ahead is essential due to the massively increased popularity of visits to the island over the past number of years and the limited number of visitors allowed each day.

For those who do not wish to land or are unable to do so because of unavailability, we also run a Skellig Cruise at 2pm and 5:30pm each day. This trip circumnavigates the island from the water and covers a lot more of the coastline and local attractions than the standard boats that ferry passengers onto the island. These trips also typically can be done on days that boats are not landing on the island. If you can’t get a landing trip for the date of your visit or the weather doesn’t permit a landing or you just want to see the islands up close and the rest of the harbour and wildlife, then this is the trip for you.

What times do the boat trips to Skellig Michael depart from Portmagee?

The boats depart from Portmagee visitor pontoons in the centre of the village at 9am. The trips are sea and weather dependent so subject to cancellation at short notice. Please check with reception staff at The Moorings at 8 a.m. on the morning of departure or phone +353669477108. Please be aware that the boat will not wait for late arrivals, so it is advisable to stay in Portmagee the night before your trip

How much does the trip cost?

€85 per person, payable in cash to our representative at our ticket collection point in the reception of The Moorings Guesthouse. Tickets must be collected and paid for at reception between 8 a.m. and 8.45 a.m. Due to the extraordinary demand for access to the island, pre-reserved tickets not collected by this time will be released and the seats will be resold. Please note: There is no ATM in Portmagee

The trip around the island costs 40 euros per person, payable at the Moorings Guesthouse.

How long is the landing trip?

The boat trip out to the rock takes approximately 45mins. Boats generally depart from the rock about 2 and a half hours after landing, arriving back in Portmagee by 2 p.m. / 2:30 p.m.

Is there anything I should be aware of prior to departure?

There are no toilet facilities available on the island. Our boat, the Lady Clare has toilet facilities, if needed. Please be aware there is no food or drinks available to buy on the rock so if you would like us to provide you with a packed lunch, please order one from The Moorings Guesthouse, +353 66 9477108, the evening before your trip.

What should I bring with me?

You’ll need warm and comfortable clothing worn in layers and it would be wise to bring rain gear to protect you on the open boat. Bring water and a sandwich or snack to have on the island. Footwear appropriate to climbing 660 stone steps would also be recommended.

When is the best time to see the puffins?

The puffins nest on the rock between early April and the end of July.

How long does the Skellig Cruise trip take?

In general, about 2 and a half hours. We’ve provided a representative itinerary above. If fishing or wildlife is particularly good we may prolong the trip by a few minutes, provided everyone is happy to continue.

What types of wildlife will we see?

The types of wildlife we see are broken down in to guaranteed, usual and wonderful surprises.

Large numbers of birds are always available. Gannets, in particular, are hugely plentiful in the area as they breed in their thousands on Small Skellig. Gannets dive bomb their prey so, on occasion, you can see flocks of gannets dive bombing a patch of sea containing fish that are close to the surface.

Puffins are visible between the months of April and late July. After that, they migrate to the middle of the ocean.

Dolphins are not guaranteed but are an increasingly common sight recently. Especially since a mother and calf have made Skellig Michael their home in the past few years. There are also large pods of dolphins in the area who often escort the boat part of the journey out or back.

Basking sharks can sometimes be seen in late April or early May as they migrate up the coastline. Though monstrously large, they are entirely harmless as they only eat plankton.

In the past year, we have had one incredible new addition to the local fauna. A school of humpback whales have migrated through the area last September and were observed feeding and breaching in the area. A rare and absolutely magical sight for anyone lucky enough to witness it.

But, even on the quietest day, you will see lots to hold your attention and your camera’s focus, if you bring it along.

Is it suitable for children?

We highly recommend our Eco Trip for children of all ages. Children generally adore being out on the sea and seeing the local wildlife up close. There is nothing so exciting to a child as dolphins racing the boat home.

In the interests of safety, we do not take bookings for children under 10 years of age on our landing trip.

On all our trips, parents must make sure that children observe the safety regulations at all times while aboard.

What information is provided?

We provide a comprehensive overview of the geography of history of the the local coastline. The history of the Skelligs as a monastic settlement. Locations and history of ship and plane wrecks in the area. Details of the local wildlife including the puffin population on Skellig, the gannets on Small Skellig and the birds and mammals that inhabit this coastline such as seals, dolphins, minky whales, humpback whales and basking sharks.

What are the safety precautions?

We have life jackets for everyone, are in constant contact with local coastguard radio and, due to the busy location, a massive number of fast boats regularly travel in the area. The Lady Clare has a P5 License which means it’s regularly inspected to ensure it’s suitability to make the trip. Our crew have 35 yeas plus of boating experience. Please note that weather conditions can change during the trip.

Please view this safety video from the OPW before you arrive at the island.

ABOUT US

Skellig Michael Boat Trips

Based in the beautiful, picturesque fishing village of Portmagee, we have grown up, lived beside and loved this coast our whole lives. We are experienced skippers and local guides with decades of maritime experience behind us. We love sharing our love for Skellig Michael and for this beautiful part of the world that we are fortunate enough to be able to call Home with the visitors who come to visit our area.

 

Contact Info

  • +353 66 9477108
  • Portmagee, County Kerry, Ireland

Privacy, Terms and Conditions

Your privacy is our priority. We will not pass your personal details to any third party without your express consent.

Web descriptions are provided by us in good faith and every care is taken to ensure accuracy. Between web publication and your holiday, changes may occur. Advertised facilities may be subject to change by the various suppliers concerned. Facilities and itineraries may be subject to change due to insufficient numbers, weather, operational or maintenance reasons.

Me and my family went out on Gearoid's boat and had an absolutely amazing time. On our trip out to the islands we saw the incredible Reencaheragh Cliffs from underneath as well as the beautiful Puffin Island. Gearoid clearly loves the area and is a vastly experienced mariner. We always felt in completely safe hands throughout. 

Gerard O' Keeffe

San Francisco, California
Myself and my husband, John, had been meaning to see the Skelligs up close for years and we finally took the plunge this year. We can't believe we've been missing out on this incredible experience all this time. As well as the islands themselves, we saw incredible wildlife scenes: gannets over Small Skellig, seals sunning themselves on the rocks and, incredibly, a pod of dophins racing us on the way home. Absolutely magical!

Lucille Higgins

London, England
I am a landscape photographer who was interested in getting some shots of the Skelligs that you can't normally get on the trips to the Island. Gearoid was very knowledgeable and obliged me by taking me to some of the most photogenic parts of the coast. I was delighted with the results and with Gearoid's service.

Richard Lawson

New York, USA

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