The Old Liffey Ferry Boat Tour

The Old Liffey Ferry Experience



Embark on a historic journey which echoes through Dublin City’s maritime past and present. A friendly welcome awaits with passionate local guides leading visitors along the gateway of Dublin City, “The River Liffey”. The journey begins at the impressive MV Cill Airne just outside the Convention Centre in the heart of Dublin’s City Docklands, traveling under the Samuel Beckett Bridge, down the river past the famous Ronnie Drew Crane.

Along the way to the Old Pidgeon House Hotel and on to the Great South Wall out past Irelands’ largest Barber Poles (the Ringsend Chimneys!) Hear fascinating tales of tall ships, historical families, pirates, and treasure filled ships. Venture past the maritime village of Ringsend and learn of its connections with Brixhams maritime community while spotting birds and wildlife along the way. Marvel at the gannets, seals and arctic terns – one of Europe’s largest colonies of artic terns

Dublin's Oldest Ferry experience
Available for

Boat Tour

Weddings & Events


Old Liffey Ferry
See The Story From A
Different Perspective

Step aboard the historic Old Liffey Ferry No.11, once known as the Dockers Ferry for its many years of service bringing hard working people to and from work across the River Liffey. Travel through the heart of the Dublin Docklands to experience the ambiance of this modern-day Dublin port and absorb the rich maritime history. 

See Dublin's beauty from
a different perspective

Plan a new adventure with us


The River Liffey

From the mountains to the sea, the River Liffey is at the very centre of Dublin City, Port and County. The earliest settlers in Dublin gravitated to the river to provide for them, to protect them and to entertain them and the same can be said of people in Dublin and the River Liffey today. Historically the river was called ‘An Rhuirteach’ in the Irish language, meaning ‘swift runner’. Her name today is believed to have derived from a flood plain in Kildare where the Liffey winds through on her rushing journey to the sea in Dublin Port. The ‘Magh Life’ giving rise to the name ‘Abhainn na Life’ – the River Liffey.

Our Boat

The old Liffey Ferry service dates back to the 17th century and was granted a royal charter by King Charles II. This charter provided for the introduction of the ferry service because at that time there were insufficient bridges spanning the River Liffey. The Ferry boats were row boats until the 1960s when the fleet were motorised – and that is where our current ferry boat comes from. Taken out of service in 1984, the ferry was salvaged by a former Coxswain who in turn sold the ferry to the Irish Nautical Trust. The boat, number 11, is now used for tour services and as a training vessel for the Irish Nautical Trust.

Ferry boat tour

Our Story

The Old Liffey Ferry operates under the umbrella of the Irish Nautical Trust. This Trust was established by maritime historian John DeCourcy Ireland in order to preserve the maritime history and tradition that was so prolific on the River Liffey. The Trust aims to continue the age old tradition of handing down knowledge from one generation to the next and ensuring that all the relevant and important skills of days gone by are not lost. The Old Liffey Ferry serves as both a touring vessel but also a training vessel for people wishing to learn the maritime trade and make a career on the River or out at sea.

What our visitors say

Brilliant trip out on the Liffey. Whole family enjoyed it and the guide was great fun and very knowledgeable.

Rebecca Saunders

Such a lovely day out, the skipper is an absolute dote and super helpful. Rachel in the office was super helpful and flexible when the weather turned nasty and we had to rebook. definitely recommend

Laura Grimes

brilliant trip with our 2 year old and 3 month old. thanks to the crew for being so friendly and accomodating!


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Operated by the Irish Nautical Trust

Keeping Maritime Traditions Alive