Following another successful year of Trad Cruises on a tall ship on Newry Canal as part of the city's Iúr Cinn Fleadh festival, a local charity is planning to run two hour trips for the public on the canal during the autumn. 

Silvery Light Sailing who run the Volharding Dutch Barge have got approval to use the Albert Basin and Canal for the trips from Newry, Mourne and Down Council at last weeks Enterprise, Regeneration and Tourism Committee meeting. The Volharding is based in Newry and sits outside The Quays Shopping Centre

The council approval has to be ratified at a full council meeting and once agreed up to 12 passengers will be able to journey down the historic Newry Ship Canal as far as Victoria Lock, with bookings made via the website.

The venture will add to the maritime tourism offering of the area, something that is becoming increasingly popular in recent months with another new barge sailing into Newry just this week. Iúr Cinn Fleadh's musical sailings were so successful this year that an additional ship The Brienne had to be added, with an incredible nine sold out trips taking place over the weekend of the fleadh last weekend.

Welcoming the Council decision Gerry Brennan, Chairman of the Silvery Light Project said "The Albert Basin and Newry Ship Canal are one of the hidden jewels of Newry. As a community based sailing charity we are pleased to share with the public an opportunity to experience and enjoy the canal from the decks of a 100ft Dutch Barge, Volharding. We intend to operate a programme of Seasonal Public Sailings starting in late September."

The Volharding sails down Newry Ship Canal. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/
The Volharding sails down Newry Ship Canal. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/

 Silvery Light Sailing continue to lobby for council support for the restoration of the Silvery Light tall ship which is sitting in 'dry dock' at the Albert Basin.

Councillor Gary Stokes spoke of his delight at the approval "I am absolutely delighted that following very successful boat trips on the canal during the Iur Cinn Fleadh festival Council have agreed to these trips continuing during the autumn"

If initial trips prove successful Silvery Light Sailing are considering a more comprehensive programme of canal trips in 2020. The Volharding has sleeping accomodation for 12 passengers which gives them the opportunity to consider overnight stays or voyages between Newry and Strangford Lough showcasing the beauty of Carlingford Lough and the Mournes along the way.




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