If you love birds of prey and are looking for an unusual holiday experience, European Waterways now offer magnificent falconry demonstrations on their Scottish and Irish hotel barge cruises.
Guests on the Spirit of Scotland and Scottish Highlander and Shannon Princess in Ireland can enjoy striking aerial acrobatics from falcons, hawks, eagles, owls, and vultures, all set against spectacular natural backdrops.
The eight-passenger Scottish Highlander and 12-passenger Spirit of Scotland cruise the Caledonian Canal through the highlands of Scotland, past famous castles, historic battlegrounds, and spectacular wildlife, glens and lochs, including Loch Ness, where the falconry demonstrations take place.
The 10-passenger Shannon Princess cruises the River Shannon through the legends and lore of the Irish countryside. Its panoramic windows look out to the rolling green landscape and ancient Celtic landmarks that include historic ruins, castles and grand estates.
The falconry demonstrations take place inside the walled garden of Adare Manor, a magnificent estate on the banks of the River Maigue. An “up close and personal” experience is available as guests are invited to let the birds perch and take off from their arms, swooping high above the countryside.
“It’s an incredible experience to watch these amazing birds and interact with them first-hand,” says Derek Banks, managing director of European Waterways. “The birds come from all over the world, with many of them on the endangered list. People rarely get to see them in-person, let alone hold them. Our guests leave the demonstrations with a greater appreciation for their unique and magnificent beauty and the importance of ensuring their survival.”
Departures for all three vessels are nearly sold out for 2018, with availability for 2019 departures still available at 2018 prices. Starting at $4,190 per person or $30,500 for whole boat charters on the Scottish Highlander; $4,450 per person or $44,000 for charters of the Spirit of Scotland; and $4,400 per person or $37,100 for a whole boat charters of the Shannon Princess. All cabin prices are based on double occupancy.
For more information on European Waterways immersive, all-inclusive barge cruises go to www.europeanwaterways.com