Rich and I have an eye for PASSION. Perhaps the French proprietor who is passionate about country meats and cheeses. Perhaps our Guide who is passionate about sharing his paths in the foothills of the Pyrenees with the traveler. Or the plumber who is passionate about bathtubs and faucets!!! All of these make great stories for travelers and we are grateful for every individual we meet who rises to this passion threshhold.
July found us exploring IRELAND. You are invited to share in our discoveries at http://greatriver.com/waterwaycruises/SHANNON/princess.htm We will share our itinerary and the stories of those passionate people we met along the way, including:
Pat and Ann Halpin are hoteliers. The Aberdeen Lodge provided us a “soft landing”, a “home away from home” in Dublin. Among the cliffs of Kilkee, the Halpin Townhouse Hotel provided the familiar hospitality of complimentary coffee and cookies, PLUS we clearly heard the ocean through the open window of our oceanview room at Kilkee. Here we overlooked the Atlantic just above the mouth of the Shannon River. Pat Halpin works hard to provide notably attentive and hospitable staff, and exceptional amenities for the traveler.
Ruairi Gibbons was a passionate sailor long before he became became Captain of the Shannon Princess. “Offering a hotel cruise on the Shannon River seemed to be my best bet for spending the rest of my life on water!”
Beautiful art prints of Historic Travel Maps, Hand Painted by Map Artist, Lisa Middleton can be viewed in detail by clicking on the map image!
Ruairi has now owned and operated Ireland’s premier overnight hotel barge for some 17 years. Seven years ago, he completely redesigned and appointed a two hundred passenger barge into the 10 passenger hotel barge which today is the only one operating on Ireland’s longest river.
Ruairi’s wife, Olivia Power, joined the team eleven years ago when Rauri advertised for a trained Chef to serve on the Shannon Princess. Olivia was the only applicant. Now nationally recognized, she turned out to be his greatest asset, and yes, his greatest passion!
A fun side-note is that Olivia’s first assignment was in a lodge in Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin!
She prepared a lot of Walleye, she recalls, and to this day she orders a supply of wild rice from Wisconsin every year! We’ve just posted our experience of cruising with Ruairi and Olivia
on the SHANNON RIVER.
Finally there is Tom Crean, an “unsung Irish hero” from the days of Scott, Amundsen, and Shackleton. We found his story at the South Pole Inn, in Anascaul, on the Dingle Penninsula.
You will find each of their stories this October in our WATERWAY CRUISE REPORTS and you will find them all in IRELAND.
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We also invite you to enjoy our photos of Ireland and ALL our travels at our Great River photo site.