Dublin - Cruising on the Grand Canal

We often stop in wonder ourselves as a crowd gathers to watch the canal boats that journey along Dublin's Grand Canal negotiate the lock.  My mother was visiting recently so we decided that this was the perfect time to sign-up for a dinner cruise and have this experience from another perspective.
We boarded the Canal Boat Restaurant in Charlemont at 9 pm and set off toward Grand Canal Dock.
It was fun to see the sights that we normally see 'from land' from a different vantage point on the water.
It was fascinating to see the operation of the locks up close.  We'd pull in and the pilot would shut the lock behind us.
He then cranked open the gates in the front...
...and we were slowly lowered down.  
There was a deck on the top of the boat where we could sit and admire the views while quaffing a glass of wine.  Headroom was definitely tight when going under the bridges.  Don't stand up!
During the course of the 2 hour cruise, we passed the other boat that plies the Grand Canal - La Peniche.  One of the guests on our boat reached out to shake hands with our neighbors.
Dinner itself was served below deck.  We could still see what was going on outside via conveniently situated portholes.
We were served salad or soup and brown bread to start.
There were a few simple choices for mains including beef and Guinness stew and a fish pie.  Given the limited kitchen available onboard, the food was quite tasty.
For dessert we sampled cheesecake and apple pie.  The meal is included in the price of the cruise (45 EUR per person at the time we went) but wine and beer costs extra.
By the time we'd finished eating, the sun had set and we were about to emerge into Grand Canal Dock.
The high tech buildings were all lit up and reflected in the water.
Again, we saw many sights that we normally only see from land including the 'neon forest', The Marker, and the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre.
Our cruise was drawing to a close as we pulled into port.
What a fantastic evening!  This is the perfect activity if you have family visiting in Dublin.

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Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog: Dublin - Cruising on the Grand Canal
Dublin - Cruising on the Grand Canal
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