Sail & Bike Northern Ireland

Sail & Bike Northern Ireland (8 Days/7 Nights, approx. 190 km )


Rarely is any other region subjected to the forces of Mother Nature as the green island of Ireland. Nevertheless, this small and rugged isle, engulfed by the surges of the Atlantic swell, is a place of natural beauty and diversity. While the Western side of the island is commonly frequented by tour-ists, the controversial Northern regions remain dormant due to their volatile past. Join us on our tour along the exceptional and dramatic coastline of Northern Ireland. Visitations to important, his-torical and future orientated cities such as Bangor and (London)Derry are combined with a unique sailing experience and the discovery of scenic landscapes and natural wonders by bike. The tour itinerary includes a visit to Rathlin Island, among additional highlights such as the Giants Causeway. Your floating accommodation for the week on board the Thalassa also offers a hands-on expe-rience for all who are interested in learning what it means to bring a tall ship into motion.

Please be aware: This web page has been updated for our programs in 2018. Itinerary and services may vary in comparison to the current season.

Map

Highlights of the tour
Culture: The mighty city wall of Derry, on which you can round the whole town
Nature: The Giant's Causeway is just a tiny bit of one of the most fascinating coastal roads on earth
Activity: Sailing day. Go for it! Hoist sails and tie some knots
Culinary: One speciality is the on turf smoked native salmon
Souvenirs: A handmade Irish drum made ​​of real goatskin is an interesting souvenir and exceptional gift

Itinerary

1st Day (Sun) Bangor (Embarkation) (D)

Arrival to Belfast is organised individually, followed by a taxi ride to the boat in Bangor. An early arrival will give you time to visit the lively harbor town. The first evening meal will give you the opportunity to get to know your travel group and guides, who will accompany you for the duration of the week.

2nd Day (Mon) Bangor – Glenarm - Cushendall (aprx. 6 – 14 mi./9 + 21 km; aprx. 130 ft./40 m + 660 ft./200 m of elevation) (B, L, D)

After breakfast we will take a guided tour around multifaceted Bangor on our bikes. Afterwards we leave the harbour of Bangor on board the Thalassa. The first crossing by boat will bring us to Glenarm, the oldest town in the region. We have the opportunity to cycle along one of the most scenic coastal stretches in Northern Ireland on our way to Cushendall, where we spend the night on anchor.

3rd Day (Tue) Cushendall – Cushendun - Rathlin Island – Ballycastle (morning: aprx. 5 mi./8 km; after-noon: aprx. 9 mi./15 km; aprx. 860 ft./260 m of elevation + aprx. 6 mi./9 km; aprx. 230 ft./70 m of elevation) (B, L)

In the morning a short first bike ride leads us from Cushendall to the nearby little coastal town of Cushendun. Here, we will pass by a cave, which was once a filming spot in the popular series Game of Thrones. After a coffee break we board the boat and take a majestic crossing to the nearby nature reserve, Rathlin Island. The small, rugged island is well known for its picturesque coastal landscapes as well as it’s extraordinary birdlife in the Kebble Cliffs National Nature Reserve on the western point of the island; our first stop on today’s island cycle tour. Thousands of brooding birds of all varieties settle here, amongst them the guillmots, kittiwakes, razorbills and puffins. Those who wish can also explore the southern point of the island by bike, inhabited by hundreds of seals. We cross over to the mainland and enjoy the evening in one of the cosy pubs of Ballycastle.

4th Day (Wed) Ballycastle - Londonderry (Sailing day) (B, L, D)

Today we enjoy a day sailing on the Thalassa. Enthusiasts can seize their chance to hoist the sails, and tie the knots, whilst those looking to relax can find a quite space to read a book or gaze dreamily over the horizon. 

5th Day (Thu) Londonderry (Round tour by bicycle) – Greencastle (aprx. 42 mi./66 km; aprx. 3.000 ft./900 m of elevation) (B, L/picnic, D)

On today’s cycle tour we will leave Northern Ireland behind and will explore a small part of Donegal County. Numerous migratory and endemic bird species share this peninsula as a place of refuge and living space. Enjoy a marvelous 360° degree view from an old fortress, where you can look until Derry on one side and far up to Ireland and Northern Ireland on the other one. Back in Derry we go for a stroll on the well-maintaned city wall of the old town and visit some of the most important places of the long-lasting conflict in Northern Ireland. After an eventful day we board the Thalassa for a crossing to Greencastle. With a bit of luck we will have the chance to witness members of the local seal colony as they poke their heads out from under the water close to Greencastle.

6th Day (Fri) Portstewart – Ballycastle (aprx. 30 mi./48 km, aprx. 1,350 ft./400 m of elevation) (B, D)

Crossing to Portstewart, where we start our bike tour to Ballycastle. A couple of great highlights await us on today’s tour. A visit to the Bushmills distillery, Ireland’s oldest licensed distillery, gives us the chance to taste the famous whiskey produced here, as well as an education of the various whiskey types of Northern Island. After our visit we immerse ourselves in Irish mythology on a stroll to the ‘’Giant’s Causeway’’, following in the footsteps of the giant, Fionn Mac-Cumhaill. This UNSECO World Heritage site features 37,000 fascinating basalt columns thought to have been formed by lava flows more than 60 million years ago. Our cycling tour continues along rolling hills all the way to Ballycastle, where the Thalassa is already waiting.

7th Day (Sat) Ballycastle – Cushendun – Bangor (aprx. 14 mi./22 km; aprx. 1,350 ft./400 m of elevation) (B, L, D)

Today we take part on our last bike tour along the Torr Head Scenic Road which offers incredible views along the way. Once more we find ourselves in Cushendun, the small holiday destination. A short stroll leads us past impressive caves and looming cliffs, along small coastal walkways to an idyllic sandy beach. Afterwards we board the Thalassa which takes us back to Bangor, where we spend a celebrative last evening meal on board together with guests, crew and guides.

8th Day (Sun) Bangor (Disembarkation) (B)

After breakfast disembarkation and individual trip home or extended stay.

Ships

Tall ship Thalassa (shower in every cabin)

It is with joy that we present the Thalassa as a further ship in the Islandhopping fleet. At 47m long, 8m wide and a mast height of 35m this three mast tall ship is an eye catcher in every harbour, only outdone by itself when the 800m² of sails are hoisted out at sea.

The Thalassa is fitted with 15 functional double cabins with bunk beds. The cabins are fitted with a private shower and wash basin. Toilets are found in the hallway.
The salon is tastefully decorated and offers a comfortable place for people to get together in, as well as a large dining area where meals on board can be enjoyed.
The covered deck area offers a great space to relax on in good weather, catching the sea breeze while reading a book or looking through a telescope for signs of rare birds, seals or dolphins. Even the meals can be enjoyed on-deck with a quiet sea, and a pleasant sunset.

Rental bikes

FLEXeBIKE – by Tempora

The FLEXeBIKE by Tempora stands for innovation; a high end e-bike which can be transformed into a standard hybrid bike by removing only the battery.
At aprx. 19 kg the bike is amongst the lightest touring e-bikes on the market, available in frame sizes: 46 cm – easy entry, 52 cm – trapez, and 58 cm – diamond.
The Shimano Deore 3 x 8-speed derailleur system enable the rider to climb even the steepest of inclines.
Shimano V-brakes insure that the bike comes to a safe stop.
The supporting electric motor is a high-performance Panasonic rear wheel hub-motor which runs on a 800 Wh rechargeable battery.

The FLEXeBIKEs are available for the following weekly rates:
– Hybrid bike: 80 Euro
– E-bike: 160 Euro (limited amount)

Islandhopping Pannier

For the duration of the tour we supply you with a waterproof pannier by Ortlieb, a practical way of carrying drinks, bathing gear, camera etc.

To ensure that bike panniers remain water proof they have to be closed tight. Although panniers are manufactured from waterproof material Radurlaub Zeitreisen GmbH cannot be held liable for any damage that might be caused to any personal belongings like mobile phones, cameras ect.

The use of our Islandhopping panniers is free of charge.

Journey

How to get to Northern Ireland

Possible connections are as follows:

London (Gatwick, Heathrow and Stansted), Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Paris have the best international connections to Belfast.

Most UK airports have regular connections to Belfast. In particular there are regular flights from Birmingham and Manchester. Other domestic connections can be found from regional airports such as Cardiff, Bristol and Edinburgh.

To investigate and book a suitable flight you can for example use the website: www.opodo.com.

If you plan to travel by car you may use the following link to get an impression of the current traffic on the roads in the UK: http://www.frixo.com/


Transfers between Belfast Airport and the ship in Bangor

We organize collective transfer (on request) between Belfast Airport (only on days of tour begin and tour end) and your ship in Bangor.

• Collective transfer Belfast Airport – Bangor harbour: 20 euro/person/way

Should you require a transfer other than during the mentioned time we are happy to send you an offer for your individual transfer.

If you like to book a transfer between Belfast Airports and Belfast harbour, please indicate your exact flight details:

– arrival & departure date
– flight route
– airline
– flight number
– estimated arrival or departure time

For all transfers please contact our office team:


Tel.: +49-(0)7531-36186-0

Email: info@islandhopping.com

Prices & Accomplishments

Base tour price per person (in a double cabin below deck)

1,390 euro (tall ship Thalassa)

Included in the base tour price

• 8-day-trip on a tallship with crew
• 7 nights on a tallship in a standard double cabin with shower
• 4 x half board, 3 x full board, Tea and Coffee
• Guided cycling tours as described in itinerary
• Guided city tour on bikes in Bangor
• Overview-maps for the daily tours (on board)
• Bed linen and towels
• English speaking tour guide

Additional optional accomplishments

• ½ a double cabin (on request)
• Surcharge for a double cabin for single use: 300 euro (limited, on request)
• Rental bike with Ortlieb pannier: hybrid bicycle: 80 euro/week; e-bike: 160 euro/week (limited, on re-quest)
• Insurance against theft and damage of the rental bike: hybrid bicycle: 10 euro/week; e-bike: 20 eu-ro/week (not insured: grossly negligent damages)
• Collective transfer Belfast International Airport – Bangor harbour: 20 euro/person (on embarka-tion/disembarkation days only)
• Collective transfer Belfast City Airport (George Best) or Hotel Belfast – Bangor harbour: 20 euro/person (on embarkation/disembarkation days only)
• Customized transfer (on request)

Not included in the tour base price

• Journey to Bangor
• Beverages on board (tally sheet; to be paid to the captain)
• Bottled Water (1 euro per 0.5 l bottle)
• Meals and beverages ashore
• Entrance fees to museums and sights
• Tips for crew and tour guides
• Service charge: 2 % of the total invoice value. This service charge is excluded for payments via IBAN bank transfers

Price reductions

• Children up to age 16 receive a discount of 25 % on the basic tour price (not combinable with any other discount).
• Early-Bird discount: receive a 5% discount on the tour base price if your booking reaches us before the 31.01.2018 (combinable with the SEA-YOU-AGAIN discount).
• SEA-YOU-AGAIN discount: all guests booking the third or more tour directly over Islandhopping will receive a 5% discount on the tour base price (combinable with the Early-Bird discount).

Things to note

Language aboard

Due to our international audience all Islandhopping tours are conducted bilingually, in English and German.

Itinerary Changes

We reserve the right to make changes to the planned itinerary due to changing wind and weather conditions as well as organizational requirements.

Level 2 – 3

Moderately difficult tours in mostly hilly landscapes with stages of 6 – 42 mi./10 – 66 km on usually quiet asphalt roads. In some instances, field paths are used as well. Main roads without separate bike paths are used only exceptionally for short stretches. This tour includes some longer and steeper ascents along which bicycles may be pushed at any time. Strong headwinds may also be encountered. Helmet use is mandatory on our tours. You are strongly encouraged to bring your own (well-fitted) helmet. A limited number of rental helmets are available (reservation necessary). Our tours are dependent on local weather conditions and the final decision is that of the captain. You are free to set aside a half or full day, instead of taking a planned bike-tour.

Due to the necessity to embark/disembark the ship by dinghy, balance and surefootedness are required. Due to the change in tide, ladders my need to be used to access the boat/land, covering height differences of up to 3 m. Surefootness and balance are essential.

Bringing Children

We believe that children with a good physical condition and with a minimum age of 10 years old who have previous tour experience are able to master the cycle-tours with their own strength. Please note that the minimum height for a rental bike is 1.50 m (5ft.).

Requirement to wear a helmet

Helmet use is mandatory on all bike rides. You are strongly encouraged to bring your own well-fitted helmet. Rental helmets are available on board in limited number (reservation requested).

Catering

The accompanying cook is a member of the crew and prepares breakfast and one or two warm meals each day. The catering starts with the dinner on the arrival day and ends with the breakfast on the departure day. (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)

Weight Limit of Clients Bicycles Brought on Board

Please be aware, that we have a weight limit of 22 kg (48.5 lb), if you bring your own biycle/e-bike on board of one of our boats. This limit is important to protect the health of our guides/crew members, than they have to lift the bikes on board. If we consider it necessary, we will check the weight on site. If the weight limit is exceeded, we reserve the right to refuse taking the bike on board.

Luggage Advice

Please bring your personal belongings in foldable travel bags. Please avoid hard protective cases. They will be too heavy to store within your cabin.

Characteristic features - Tallship journeys

Our Tallships mostly do not fit into small fishing harbors and therefore spend the majority of their nights on anchor. This means that a dinghy transfer is necessary to get to land. Additionally a tidal difference may effect accessibility of the boat on our tours in Great Britain. In some cases it may be necessary to climb a ladder to get on/off the boat or that the use of a dinghy/tender might be necessary for embarkation/disembarkation. Surefootedness and a certain degree of agility are required to get on and off the boat. Needless to say, our tour guides will lend you a helping hand. In general: Wind, swell and tidal differences have a significant influence on a Tallship journey.

Dates & Booking

  • = fully booked
  • = 1-4 bookings possible
  • = 5+ bookings posible
  • = departure confirmed
July 2018
DateName of the tripShipStart CityEnd CityStatusBase price
 22.07-29.07Northern IrelandThalassaBangorBangor1390 book

Any questions?

Contact us:

Monday - Friday
09:00- 12:30 Hrs
14:00- 17:00 Hrs

Tel. +49(0)7531 361860

info@islandhopping.com