Taking to the sea is a must to truly experience one of Ireland’s most beautiful coastal counties. Given the county’s medieval history, taking a boat trip just like the Vikings did is a great activity for all of the family to enjoy.
Whether you’re looking for a water-based family activity in Wexford to tire the kids out for the evening, or you want a family-fun outdoor activity that you can all take part in together, there are plenty of fun activities for everyone to enjoy.
If you’re not sure where to begin when it comes to researching the best boat tours or water activities in Wexford, we’ve compiled a list of our personal favourites to enjoy for a fun-filled family excursion!
1. Saltee Ferry
Renowned for being one of the most iconic landmarks off the coast of Wexford, a boat trip to the Saltee Islands is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Wexford.
On the islands, you’ll find a vast range of remarkable wildlife including puffins, razorbills, gannets and more and in the late spring/early summer months, you’ll find an abundance of beautiful bluebells covering the islands in spectacular shades of blue and purple.
The ferry departs from the top of the harbour in Kilmore Quay, less than a half an hour drive from our hotel, so you won’t have to travel too far to enjoy a day of exploring the nearby islands and wonderful wildlife.
The Saltee Ferry company runs tours from the 1st of April to the 30th of September, so if you’re planning a summer stay at Maldron Hotel Wexford, you’ll be able to embark on one of the numerous daily tours that operate from Kilmore Quay.
Each tour lasts around four hours, with a 20-minute ferry journey each way, so you’ll have ample time to explore the islands, be exposed to the wonderful natural elements and enjoy being immersed in the remarkable natural habitats of many seabirds.
Depart 10:00am Return 2:00pm
Depart 11:00am Return 3:00pm
Depart 12 noon Return 4:00pm
Depart 1:00pm Return 4:30pm
2. Estuary Heritage Boat Tours
Departing from the charming fishing village of Ballyhack, Estuary Heritage Boat Tours are a family-friendly boat tour provider who offer boat trips around the spectacular Hook Peninsula.
The tours last around two hours and on your excursion you’ll be treated to awesome views of places like Duncannon Fort, Loftus Hall and Hook Lighthouse and your enthusiastic guide will be more than happy to tell tales about the local surroundings. You’ll hear stories all about the Vikings, pirates, Normans and much more. So if you’re looking for a boat trip in Wexford that combines beauty and history, Waterford Estuary Heritage Boat Tours can offer you the best of both worlds!
Run and managed by Bob, Waterford Estuary Heritage Boat Tours are a warm and welcoming boat tour operator in the area who are located just half an hour away from our Wexford hotel, so you’ll never be too far away from the adventure.
Another great thing about Estuary Heritage Boat Tours is that they offer both private boat charters, as well as boats catered to larger groups, so you can choose an option that best suits you and your family.
3. Shielbaggan Outdoor Education Centre
Shielbaggan Outdoor Education Centre is a great place to visit during your time in Wexford as it offers so many incredible outdoor activities that the whole family can enjoy.
From various boat tours to sea kayaking and canoeing, and even coasteering. There are so many water-based activities and adventures to be had with Shielbaggan Outdoor Education Centre.
You’ll find the centre just half an hour from Maldron Hotel Wexford, so if you’re planning to take part in something energetic and tiring while at the Shielbaggan Outdoor Education Centre you won’t need to worry about travelling far back to the comfort of your cosy hotel room.
Shielbaggan’s sea kayaking adventures allow you to explore the remarkable coast of Hook Peninsula from the sea as you get up close and personal with the elements. Whether you’re looking for a gentler boating experience by embarking on a family-friendly kayaking adventure, or you want to be a bit more daring and opt for coasteering for a water adventure like no other, the Shielbaggan Outdoor Education Centre can provide you with plenty of incredible water excursions.
4. The Irish Experience
Similarly to Shielbaggan Outdoor Education Centre, the Irish Experience is another incredible boat tour provider in Wexford that offers trips and tours suited to everyone.
If you’re looking for adventures on the sea, you’ll find a plethora of wonderfully fun water activities including sea cave kayaking, coastal canyoneering and even romantic sunset kayaking excursions.
The Irish Experience offers adventures for the whole family, even for groups larger than 12 people, so if you’re visiting with the whole gang in tow, you’ll be delighted to know that you can all take part in the fun!
Hook Head is renowned for being one of the best places in Wexford to take part in coastal canyoneering so, if this kind of thrilling adventure takes your fancy, the Irish Experience are more than happy to accommodate adrenaline-junkies from all over the country and beyond!
If a gentler sea experience is more your cup of tea their sea kayaking excursions allow you to cruise along the water at a calmer pace and if you’re lucky, you might even see some seals trailing behind your kayak; this is a truly beautiful experience with some of Ireland’s most fascinating nature and creatures.
The Hook Peninsula,
5. Wexford Kayak Safari
Wexford Kayak Safari pride themselves on specialising in kayaking adventures for people of all ages and abilities, so even if it’s your first time in the water they’re more than happy to cater to everyone’s needs and capabilities.
Less than 15-minutes from our hotel, Wexford Kayak Safari is the closest boat trip provider in the area so, if you want to explore somewhere relatively close to your hotel, you won’t have to travel far at all to have an incredible adventure.
Offering fun and exciting safari trips along the River Slaney and beyond upon request, Wexford Kayak Safari take you on kayaking excursions that are ideal for families looking to spend quality time together, as well as for avid nature and photography lovers who are keen to get up close and personal to the beautiful surroundings.
Wexford Kayak Safari offers “sit on” kayaks which makes them incredibly easy to paddle and they’re much stabler than some other types of kayaks, so even if you’re a nervous novice, you’re sure to feel much more confident and comfortable operating these kayaks. Their supportive and immersive team are also on-hand to help you out at every step of the way, so if you’re worried about taking part in a kayaking adventure with children in tow, you can rest-assured that the Wexford Kayak Safari team will be able to assist you and your family.
As well as all the incredible water activities that we’ve listed above, there are also plenty of other amazing family-friendly things to do in Wexford as well as some amazing beaches to see. So rest assured that you’ll never be stuck for something to do with the family when visiting Wexford!
Your Base For Boat Trips and Water Activities Wexford
By staying in our conveniently located Maldron Hotel Wexford, you’ll never be too far from a boat trip departure point. After a day out at sea you and the family will need a cosy bed to retreat back to by the end of the day. Check out our comfortable and family hotel rooms in Wexford and start planning your trip today.