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“Amazing Adventure” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Ballinskelligs Boats

Ballinskelligs Boats
Ballinskellig Boats, Ballinskelligs 123 456, Ireland
086 417 6612
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Type: Tours
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Attraction Details
Owner description: The fastest day trips to land at Skellig Michael depart from Ballinskelligs pier each day at 11am. We also operate the only covered boat to Skelligs. Only 150 persons are allowed to land at this UNESCO world heritage site daily.The monks originally departed from Ballinskelligs in the 6th century and settled back at the Abbey in the 12th century. We also offer diving trips in the crystal clear water and sea angling trips departing at 1030 each day.
Surfers Paradise, Australia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Amazing Adventure”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2013

We were thrilled to go to Ballinskellings with Sean in September 2013. It was the most amazing trip and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Sean is a skilled operator negotiating the ocean and landing on the Island. The seas were rougher than we were used to, but felt completely safe with Sean navigating.The Island itself is beautiful and the climb to the top is a little scarey, but just take your time and use your common sense as the view from the top is well worth it. Thank You Sean, might just have to come back again!!

Visited September 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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19 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“The best operators to Skelligs”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2013

First off, if you think you may want to go to Skelligs, be sure that you can handle a 1.5 hour boat trip each way, and lots of unprotected stone steps. DO NOT go with small children, and DO NOT go in bad weather.

That said, I would highly recommend the trip - it's a great experience - and highly recommend this company.

FYI, there are roughly 12 boats licensed to go to the Skelligs. Each boat only takes about 12 people. They all do the same thing - take you to both islands (you only land on Michael) and back. Several boats do it from a different location.

This group leaves from Ballinskelligs (which may be much more convenient from Killarney and Kenmare), does it at 11a (later than other groups, which means that you have the benefit of others testing the sea first), and has larger (read: better) boats than some of the other operators.

They were kind, professional, and helpful. Furthermore, unlike another operator we worked with, will not go out when the weather is horrible (and you'll have a bad experience).

Highly recommended.

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Jaw Dropping Trip”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2013

Met Sean and his co-pilot a Ballinskellig. Arived late but was very nicely accommodated by Sean. Give a short and sweet brief of weather conditions and off we went. The lads giving us the tour were as sound as you could meet and as per the tile a simply undescribably amazing destination. Would like to add the boat trip from Ballinskellig is a nice handy 1hr skip. WOW!

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Appalling experience”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2013

I was planning a last minute trip to Kerry to go to Skellig Michael, and as it was getting late in the evening I decided to use Ballinskelligs Boats' online booking form. I followed the instructions on their website by stating my preferred date and also listing a second choice as it was peak season. (http://www.skelligboats.com/accommodation.htm) I received a prompt reply informing me that there were indeed spaces available for the date and boat that I was interested in. In the 5 minutes it took to reply those spaces became unavailable (I couldn't call as I was in work). Upset at the fact that when I had asked to book there were places that matched my booking, I informed Ballinskellig boats of my issue. I simply do not understand the purpose of an online booking form where customers have to repeatedly ask to make a booking, especially as I had been clear that I was interested in booking and not enquiring. What ensued then was a stream of attempted insults- insinuating that I am unable to read, that I am making up fairy stories and wild accusations. It is one thing to have an inefficient system for booking, a simple acknowledgement of company policy and then offering a cancellation service would have solved the situation. Instead I had to deal with a company who not only refused to deal with a complaint but who then attemtped to insult and belittle a potential customer. An utter disgrace! But don't take my word for it, see the email transcripts for yourself at http://wp.me/p3BKPU-2

Thankfully though, this was a blessing. Ballinskelligs boats are based at Ballinskelligs pier where there is absolutely no atmosphere. It is about a 15 minute walk from Dungeagan, a sleepy seaside village. The company that I ended up booking with is based in Portmagee, a vibrant fishing town where the pier is in close proximity with shops and cafes. There is plenty of opportunity to chat to locals and visitors alike, whereas Ballinskelligs pier is like a ghost town. But most importantly the company that I booked with were polite and made every effort to inform me of a cancellation so that I did not miss out on visiting the Skelligs.

Judging by previous tripadvisor reviews and the response from Ballinskellig Boats, I fully expect a reply to this review that will try to paint me in a negative light. So be it. But if you are planning a holiday where you expect an efficient service, friendly staff and a location which has atmosphere, would you risk going to this company? The choice is yours.

Visited June 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
seandive, Public Relations Manager at Ballinskelligs Boats, responded to this review, July 11, 2013
Woop Woop I am Sean and today am the PRO specially for you-not everybody gets that attention but you are special :-) Are you serious lady? Sometimes there just are no words and we wonder how God could create such idiots at times but we are kind souls and will stop it now!!!.... Surprisingly our world does not revolve around being your psychic- in fact you don't feature in our world at all to our eternal regret. We would love to go to the Tatoo festivals with you but dammit you will just have to go without us-we are devastated boo hoo. It pains us but we cant really ponder and meditate seeking guidance as to whether you might want to travel with us or not. We kinda like to look after people who are actually making reservations which is probably a weakness we have.
You are so amazingly talented in being in two places at once we fully understand you not being capable of making a reservation in the way normal people do.....(a word of advice don't try to book an airline. Like us they like to know what day you are travelling, what plane you go on and insist you actually make a reservation before confirming a seat. Its a bummer but that's life!) We are not sitting around waiting for you to decide if you want to make a reservation, what day you want to travel or what boat you wish to travel on.
We suppose you are busy with a certain Mr. Usain Bolt because only you and he could make Ballinskelligs pier from Dungegan in 10 mins...well only you. Mr. Bolt could not because it is 3km away and he would be knackered :-)
On the way he would probably stop off in the restaurant, two cafes, hotel, 2shops, etc on the way that you obviously did not see.....of course you were running at world record breaking speed!!!! Slow down. You are missing too much at that speed. You obviously went to the disused Meelaguileen which is about 10 minutes from Dungegan but in the opposite direction to the pier!. Seriously though you never made a reservsation, you enquired about two different boats on two different days and were told what spaces were available. You were clearly told these things change a lot and we could only advise availability as it was when you enquired. You did not make a reservation nor did you provide and details-Mr. Bolt really takes up a lot of your time!!!As the only operator with boats going from both Ballinskelligs and Portmagee its a huge surprise there is no record of anybody having rang you back....this was a bank holiday when there were very large waitlists and nobody gets a call if there is a waitlist. We would love to call back and talk to you but perhaps not on a busy weekend. Our lovely competitors might tho!
Another word of advice before you lie and put pen to paper-there are no competitors and all boatmen in all piers are in touch all the time to advise if they have availability or if they need to pass on overbookings and so on. There are only seven operators in total. Its all one big happy family. You really ought also be careful saying you were at work (the boss might see) and could not call us....... This pains us to our very soul. In fact I am crying as I write this all the more so as you are able to receive calls from those damn competitors-sigh and tears. We wont tell the boss if you don't woo hoo. Come on down sometime when you are not too busy at work to make a phone call.....even though we see you were writing on Facebook too at the time tut tut...and you were in Dingle too-what a woman. Marry me!!! Just as well its at night time you work-wasn't it about 8pm you were in contact? One thing though that pi*ses us off is you did not publish all the e mails-why not the one where we told you we are not psychic and our world does not revolve around you.....among other things lol. Ah go on go on go on do it!. We wont tell your boss what you do at work but he might notice a lack of work.between contacting us, our colleagues, attending tattoo festivals (must be fun ugh) Facebook etc We are so sad to have missed you.Go on- Make our day- We just know you are playing hard to get and behind it all you love us. We love you too <3 <3 <3
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Reno, Nevada
Top Contributor
164 reviews 164 reviews
77 attraction reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
79 helpful votes 79 helpful votes
“The Trip of a Lifetime”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2013

We went out with Sean from Ballinskelligs Boats and it was an experience we will never forget. Birds galore, dolphins playing in our wake and the awe-inspiring Skellig Michael. It is not a trip for those who have physical limitations or those who may have problems with heights. The climb to the top of Skellig Michael is somewhat frightening, but well worth the time, effort and expense. Sean is a great captain. The boat does not have life preservers that we were made aware of and the trip is very weather and tide dependent. Even with all of these caveats, it is a trip that will stay in your memory forever. I am thankful that we had the opportunity and ability to do this trip and talk about it afterward. FYI - Sean is great at keeping you informed. Just call the morning of and he tells you if the conditions will allow the trip. If he does not sail, you do not pay.

Visited May 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
seandive, Owner at Ballinskelligs Boats, responded to this review, June 14, 2013
Thank you for your kind words. It is nice to give people a memorable day .I presume you did not find us rude, untruthful or giving misleading information-I told you about reviews from people who never either booked, travelled or contacted us to check weather etc.-sometimes there just are no words!!!
Seriously though we are delighted you chose to travel with us and enjoyed the trip to each of the islands-a lot of trips only visit one. The Skelligs really are the hidden jewel in Irelands crown. Thank you once again
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