Quick Guide to the Tarbert Ferry in Ireland
The Tarbert Ferry is a car ferry which runs on the Shannon Estuary in Ireland. Upon some research, I found out that there is also a ferry with the same name in Scotland. So I guess it is important to clarify, that this guide aims at the Tarbert car ferry in Ireland! The latter is actually the only ferry, which is a part of the Wild Atlantic Way in Ireland! In this quick guide, we will give you all the information you need in order to take this ferry to cross the Shannon Estuary!
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Where does it operate?
The Tarbert Ferry operates on the Shannon Estuary. More precisely it runs between the town of Tarbert, inside the County Kerry and the town of Killimer, inside the County Clare. We took the ferry from Tarbert to Killimer. It actually departs a little outside of Tarbert, where the N67 meets the Shannon Estuary (On Google Maps: HJPR+V3 Tarbert, County Kerry, Ireland). But the pier can be found quite easily since there are signs everywhere pointing you in the right direction. When arriving at the pier, all the cars waited in a queue until the ferry arrived. The employees will direct you on where to go when driving onto the ferry.
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Tarbert Ferry Timetable
The Tarbert Ferry departure times vary a little depending on the season. For instance during the winter months, on weekdays and Saturdays, the ferry starts operating at 7 a.m. and stops at 7:30 p.m. It departs once an hour from each port. This means that it starts at 7 a.m. in Killimer and then departs at 7:30 a.m. in Tarbert and so on and so forth. In summary it departs every hour on the hour in Killimer and every hour on the half hour in Tarbert. Note that on Sundays it doesn’t start operating until 9:00 a.m.
During the summer months the Tarbert Ferry times change a little as the ferry operates until 9:00 p.m. instead of 7 p.m.! Also there is a second ferry in service during some hours of the day. That way there is a ferry departing every half an hour on each port.
For more information on the Tarbert Ferry Timetable, head to their official website, where you can view the respective timetable for each month.
How much does it cost and where to buy tickets?
The Tarbert Ferry price depends on whether you buy your ticket online or on board. If you buy your ticket online, you need to do so at least 30 minutes in advance. A crossing of the Shannon Estuary on the Tarbert Ferry will cost you 20,70€ for one car when buying tickets online. However, you can also buy your ticket on board. During the crossing there is a ticket inspector checking each car. Either you show him the ticket you bought online on your phone or you buy a ticket from him directly. When buying the ticket on board, it is slightly more expensive and will cost you 23,00€ for one car. Prices also vary depending on the size of your vehicle, i.e. motorcycles are cheaper and camper vans more expensive.
For more information on ticket prices or if you wish to buy your ticket online, head to the official website of the Shannon Ferry Group.
How long does it take?
The crossing itself takes around 20 minutes. During the crossing you can leave your car and explore the ferry. There is a small upper deck on either side of the ferry for taking in the views. On the lower deck, where the cars are parked there is a small shop where you can buy coffee and snacks.
Is it worth it to take the Tarbert ferry?
If you decide to not visit Limerick, like we did, we think it is definitely worth it to take the Tarbert ferry. Even though waiting around for the ferry can be time-consuming as well and the price is not super cheap either, it is way less stressful than driving all the way around the Shannon Estuary (which would be an extra 130 kilometers).