Cruise Destination Waterford

Waterford and it's Crystal Medieval Kilkenny

Kilkenny Castle
Gardens of Carlow Wexford Wonders
Huntington Castle, Carlow
Wexford Opera House


Ireland’s South East Regional Tourist Attractions

Waterford as a Cruise destination, offers visitors an option that no other Port in Ireland can.  Visitors  to Waterford  and the Ireland’s South East can access the attractions of the region’s counties of Carlow, Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford. See Brochure.

Ireland’s Celtic, Christian, Viking, and Norman past can be experienced at the many heritage sites located in the South East:

  • the Dunbrody famine ship in New Ross, County Wexford,
  • the mighty Rock of Cashel in Tipperary
  • Waterford City’s Historic Quarter- the Viking Triangle
  • Medieval Museum  Opened in August 2012, this museum contains several medieval structures, including the Chorister's Hall, as well as a host of other important pieces in the history of Waterford and Ireland.
  • Museum of Treasures now housed in the newly renovated Bishop's Palace, dating from 1096 AD
  • Reginalds Tower . It now exhibits pieces from its varied history - having being used as a mint, prison and military store.
  • Lismore Castle and Gardens located in Lismore Heritage Town
  • the magnificent Kilkenny Castle, home of the Butlers of Ormond until 1967.

    The historic South East region is geographically compact and linked by five great river systems the region boasts a comprehensive range of attractions. The region is dotted with medieval castles and monasteries and offers an unrivalled visitor insight into this ancient and mysterious landscape.

    There is something for everyone.  Quaint and cosy pubs, interesting museums, gardens to delight the senses, scenery to take your breath away and a welcome to remember.

    New attractions include Bishop’s Palace in Waterford City’s Historic Quarter and Wexford’s stunning Opera House, home to its prestigious Opera Festival.


    Waterford City

    Waterford City’s Historic Quarter also known as the Viking Triangle is an area bordered by the River Suir and the Mall. Here are located buildings spanning 1,000 years of Waterford history –

    • Reginald’s Tower,
    • Christ Church  Cathedral,
    • Bishop’s Palace (Museum of Treasures)
    • medieval Franciscan Friary,
    • medieval undercrofts,
    • the Theatre Royal
    • City Hall

    If your time is limited, then why not enjoy a guided tour which will give you an insight into local history, culture and legends.

    See more at

    Waterford City Map
    Waterford City Map - low resolution Waterford City Map - high resolution (11MB)


    Waterford Crystal

    Crystal longboat at Waterford Crystal Visitor Centre

    A short drive to the world famous Waterford Crystal Visitor Centre and Factory Tour, where one can marvel at master craftsmen transforming molten glass into works of art.  This can be accommodated on a variety of stimulating half day or full day excursions while still leaving time for passengers to choose additional shore excursions. 

    As the oldest City in Ireland, it’s not surprising to find that Waterford City is steeped in history from when the Vikings landed, through Norman occupation, Victorian times up to the modern day. Museum of Treasures, Reginald’s Tower, the House of Waterford Crystal, Theatre Royal and Christ Church Cathedral.


    House of Waterford Crystal Visitor Centre

    Waterford Crystal Visitor Centre


    Waterford Museum of Treasure at Bishop’s Palace

    Waterford Museum of Treasures

    Revealing the story of Waterford from 1700 to 1970's, the Palace contains many items of historical significance, including the only surviving Bonaparte 'mourning cross' in the world (made following Napoleon Bonaparte's death).

    The Museum of Treasures is now supplemented by the new Medieval Museum nearby.  It houses many important artefacts of the time, and recounts the historical links between Waterford and English crown.

    Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain viewed the earliest known contemporary portraits of a medieval king of England, King Edward III (1327-1377) on her State Visit to Ireland in May 2011.

    The Great Charter Roll of the City of Waterford, dates from 1372, measures some 4 metres in length on parchment and contains portraits of five medieval kings of England Henry II, John, Henry III, Edward I and two contemporary portraits of King Edward III.  This fascinating and rare survival also features an illustration of the walled city of Waterford, the earliest illustration of an Irish city.

    Great Charter Roll - Waterford Museum of Treasures
    Picture: Director of Waterford Museum of Treasures, Eamonn McEneaney, far right, showing the Great Charter Roll of Waterford City to Queen Elizabeth II, Duke of Edinburgh, Taoiseach Enda Kenny and his wife, Fionnuala Kenny.
    The Director of Waterford Museum of Treasures, Eamonn McEneaney said “the Great Charter Roll is unique and is one of the great treasures of late medieval Ireland. It underlines the strong cultural, social, economic and political links between England and Ireland and particularly with cities like Waterford in the later Middle Ages.”
    See more at

    As Waterford is renowned for over two hundred years for the beauty of its cut glass, the oldest surviving piece of Waterford Crystal from 1789, is also on display.

    The Bishop's Palace offers a unique experience where visitors can step back in time and enjoy a grand 18th century residence. Also exhibited are interesting historic stories and rare artifacts, including modern local and popular music history.




    Tall Ships Races are one of the most spectacular and colourful events in the world.

    From June 30th to July 3rd 2011, Waterford hosted 45 magnificent tallships on its Quays, in the heart of Ireland's oldest city. Along with ships, there was street theatre, firework, music and food.

    Check out more from this fantastic event


    Medieval Kilkenny

    The Medieval Capital of Ireland and now one of the most popular and bustling tourist centres in the country.

    Kilkenny city and county can boast the following attractions: Kilkenny Castle & Design Centre, Rothe House, St Canice’s Cathedral the Walking Tour of Kilkenny, Duiske Abbey, Inistioge Village, Jerpoint Abbey and Woodstock Garden and Arboretum, St. Francis’ Abbey Brewery (Home of Smithwicks).

    See more at Kilkenny Tourism

    Inistioge Village and Woodstock Gardens

    An inspiring experience, tree-lined avenues, walled gardens, varied shrubs and flowers grace a truly beautiful elevated location overlooking the Nore valley and Inistioge, the ‘film’ village.

    See more at Inistioge - Visitor Information



    Wexford Wonders

    Hook Penninsula

    Take the scenic tour of the Hook Penninsula to Loftus Hall and Hook Lighthouse and Visitor Centre. On the way, why not visit Dunbrody Abbey, Ballyhack Castle, Duncannon Fort or Tintern Abbey.  All these attractions are on the Wexford side of Waterford Harbour and within an hours driving.

    Hook Lighthouse is a unique example of an almost intact medieval lighthouse. It is the oldest operational lighthouse in the world and dates from the early 13th century..

    See more at Hook Tourism

    Other attractions in Wexford include:

    See more at Visit Wexford


    Gardens of Carlow

    Carlow has many listed river walks, including the National Way Marked Barrow Way. Carlow Garden Trail currently features 16 different gardening attractions including great old gardens like Altamont gardens and Huntington Castle garden.  There is also the monastic site at Saint Mullins, the Romanesque doorway at Killeshin, and the medieval Cathedral of Old Loughlin. A significant church synod took place here in 630A.D. which influenced the date of Easter for the entire Christian world.

    See more at


    This county’s name has featured in a famous soldiers marching song but it is also famous for distinctive set of landmarks include the mighty Rock of Cashel, once the seat of the Kings of Munster and the magnificent 12th century Cahir Castle. Other heritage highlights include the Swiss Cottage in Cahir, the Ormond Castle in Carrick on Suir, the Main Guard in Clonmel and Fethard Medieval walled town.

    See more about Tipperary