The disabled cruiser visiting Cork the main arteries of the city have quite wide footpaths, pedestrian crossings, and a majority shops are accessible. There are a lot of smaller streets that are a lot narrower, but nothing that can’t be navigated. If you’re travelling further afield, all city/suburban buses are wheelchair accessible.
The port for cruise ships is located in Cobh. For those visiting in St Colman’s Cathedral in Cobh the walk from the dock to the Cathedral is quite steep. Another top tourist attraction in Cobh is the Titanic Experience. Titanic Experience Cobh is a permanent visitor center, located in the original White Star Line Ticket Office in the center of Cobh town. The Disabled Cruiser will discover that the building is fully accessible for wheelchair users. A ramp is located to the side entrance of the original White Star Line building; an additional lift is inside the building.
Situated 8 km from Cork City, Blarney Castle is most famous for its stone, which has the traditional power of conferring eloquence on all who kiss it. Unfortunately, the historic site is not mobility impaired friendly as it is four stories tall and the walk up the castle is approx 100 steps. However they have made accommodations on the ground level and the gardens and visitor center are wheelchairs friendly. The gardens are gorgeous with lots of different walks and most of it is wheelchair accessible, there are sculptures dotted along the paths which are beautiful.
Cork is a city in Ireland, located in the south west region and in the province of Munster.
Attractions in Cobh include the Titanic Experience, Titanic Trail walking tour and Cobh Museum.
Fota Wildlife Park is set on 70 acres on Fota Island in the heart of Cork Harbour, 15 minutes from Cork City.
The University College Cork campus is noted for its mature well-wooded grounds containing several Californian Redwood trees. The Gothic revival style Main Quadrangle buildings are modelled on a typical Oxford college.
Mizen Head Signal Station is Ireland’s most south-westerly point.
St Fin Barre’s Cathedral is a stately 19th century cathedral dedicated to the patron saint of Cork.
Cork City Gaol – historical experience brought to life with lifelike figures, furnished cells, sound effects & fascinating exhibitions.
Blarney village is around 9 miles away from Cork and is home to the famous castle and ‘Blarney stone’
Kinsale is a pretty fishing village around 17 miles from Cork. Activities here include yachting, sea angling and golf. The town also has several art galleries and is known for its restaurants – an annual “Gourmet Festival” is held here. Buildings of note include St Multose’s church (Church of Ireland), St John the Baptist (Catholic), the Market House and Desmond Castle.
Where You’re Docked
The Port of Cork is the only port in Ireland with a dedicated cruise berth in Cobh, a pretty seaside town on the shores of Cork Harbor.
The Port can also handle cruise liners in Ringaskiddy Deepwater Quay and the City Quays.
Cobh Heritage Center is located on the quayside as passengers disembark. The town of Cobh is within 100m of the cruise terminal.
Cork is around 20km away from Cobh. The train station is at the port and trains take around 30 minutes.
Good to Know
The Irish Police Force produces a leaflet with helpful information for tourists visiting the Cobh area. Visitors can pick one up at the tourist information center. Some suggestions they give are: Leave valuables in the safe on your ship; keep a separate note of passport number, credit cards and driving licence; and carry with you a note of emergency contact numbers for each of these services.
On Foot: It’s a short distance to walk from the dock to town. However, it’s quite steep, so walking to the cathedral and museum might prove difficult for some.
By Taxi: There are always plenty parked at the dock, or you can walk up the hill to town and get one from the taxi rank in the town center. Taxi drivers are always friendly and chatty.
By Train: There are trains to Cork every half hour, and the journey takes 25 minutes. The railway station is accessed through a gate on the quayside.
By Coach: Cobh Sightseeing Tours offer 75-minute tours of the town. No booking is required; just hop on. Tickets cost 30 euros for a family, 12.50 euros per adult or 5 euros per child.
The official currency is the euro. There are ATMs and banks in town for currency exchange.
Irish Gaelic is the official first language, but English is spoken by all.
Cork City’s Main Shopping area’s include Patrick Street, Princes Street, Oliver Plunkett Street and the North Main Street. The large shopping centers in Cork City include Merchant’s Quay Shopping Center, Paul Street Shopping Center, French Church Street, North Main Street Shopping Center and the English Market.
Cork’s English Market is one of the oldest markets of its kind. The market has a range of stalls ranging from fresh meat, fish, fruit and vegetables to local cheeses, spices, Cork’s traditional tripe stalls and flowers.
Irish recipes tend to be very simple, with just a few ingredients in most cases, examples include bacon and cabbage, Irish Stew, Colcannon and Leek and Potato soup.
Points of Interest
Blarney Castle – Set in a sprawling park, this romantic ruin was the stronghold of the McCarthy clan, and features thick stone walls. Those who kiss the Blarney Stone are said to be gifted the power of eloquence. The Disabled Cruiser visiting Blarney Castle will discover that the historic site has limited wheelchair accessibility as it is four stories tall and the walk up the castle is approx 100 steps. However they have made accommodations on the ground level and the gardens and visitor center are wheelchairs friendly. The gardens are gorgeous with lots of different walks and most of it is wheelchair accessible, there are sculptures dotted along the paths which are beautiful.
- Blarney Woolen Mill Shop – This converted mill is Ireland’s largest Irish gift store selling traditional Irish goods, including Waterford crystal, Irish linen, hand-loomed Donegal tweed, knitwear, bone china and Celtic brooches. The shop has disabled access.
- Kinsale – Kinsale is a historic fishing port featuring a pretty harbor, along with many well-preserved, 18th-century houses. It was off the coast here that the Lusitania was torpedoed by a U-boat during World War I. The Disabled Cruiser will encounter moderate hills in Kinsale.
- St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral – This French, Gothic-inspired cathedral designed by William Burgess was built on the site of Fin Barre’s 7th-century monastic settlement. It boasts mosaics, rich carvings and medieval gargoyles.
- House of Waterford Crystal – The manufacture of glass has a long history in Ireland. Ireland’s famed Waterford Crystal dates from 1783. The Disabled Cruiser will enjoy that the trip can be accessed by those in wheelchairs and there are lifts to the different levels.
- St. Colman’s Cathedral – Built in 1868 and completed in 1915, ornate St. Colman’s Cathedral is made of granite and limestone, and features elaborate stained glass windows. It boasts views of Cobh harbor and also has 49 bells. The Disabled Cruiser will find that the walk from the dock to the Cathedral is quite steep.
- Killarney National Park – Killarney National Park boasts stunning views of the countryside set against a backdrop of rugged mountain peaks, and covers 26,000 acres, while the lakes of Killarney are famous for their beauty. A number of the paths are paved, which is great for the Disabled Cruiser with mobility issues requiring wheelchair access.
Muckross House – This delightful 19th-century manor house features a gorgeous sunken garden, folk museum and crafting workshop. The interior of the house features beautiful hand-made Victorian furnishings. The Disabled Cruiser will be happy to learn that Muckross house checked all the boxes for accessibility. They advertise as an accessible tourist destination and once there, you can tell they are proud to be accessible and have plenty of experience with mobility challenges. The traditional Farm is great, and the first part is all uphill but they have a little bus and a worker will wheel you up ramps into the bus and took us to the first house. The house is very interesting and they have a lift so you can explore everything.
Cork Accessible Excursions
A town of churches, bridges and pubs, Cork is best known for Blarney Castle where you are invited to kiss the famed stone to acquire the “gift of gab.” St. Patrick Street, the town’s main thoroughfare, is good for shopping and people watching. See the Shandon bells in St. Anne’s church.
There are no organized accessible shore excursions for Cork. The following is wheelchair accessible.
Half Day Shore Excursion from Cobh (Cork) to Blarney Castle and Cork City
This 5 hour accessible bus tour departs from your ship in Cobh first heading for Blarney Castle where you will have up to 2.5 hours free time to Kiss the legendary Blarney Stone and explore the amazing gardens surrounding the Castle.
After your Castle visit, you will get the chance to enjoy some shopping at the famous Blarney Woollen Mills where you can purchase an extraordinary selection of Irish sweaters, linen, crystal, gifts and much more. By this time you will have worked up an appetite for some local homemade scones with coffee at The Mill Restaurant.
After your visit to Blarney you will enjoy a panoramic driving tour through Cork city center taking in famous landmarks such as The Shandon Bells, The English Market, St. Finbarre’s Cathedral and University College Cork.
After your Cork city tour, you will head back to your ship where you will immerse yourself in the rich maritime history of Cobh taking in some stunning harbor scenery and discover why Cobh is forever linked to the ill fated Titanic. You will also learn of the fascinating history of Lusitania mass graves, The Potato Famine and Ireland’s mass emigration.