I am pretty well-versed in the world of Dublin tourist activities. Having lived here for three years now I am starting to repeat my visits to the usual hotspots, the Zoo, Whiskey Museum and I essentially have a loyalty card for the Book of Kells. So when I have visitors from home as well as showing them my favourite places I also try to do something new to me with them, more catered to their tastes. So when a group of 5 20somethings descended upon the city for a long weekend I knew I was going to have my work cut out for me in finding activities that visited places other than just Temple Bar.
Dublin is a culturally and historically busy city with 100s of little sites worth seeing, while no stranger to a bus tour myself I wanted to be able to take my guests to do something a little different when visiting the sites. The Viking Splash tour ticked most if not all of our boxes. While more expensive than the zoo or whisky museum at €22 a ticket (€20 for students) it gave us a solid 1 1/2hrs of entertained while giving a lot of facutal information of the cities culture and history.
About a year ago I visited a tourism office to enquire about the tour and they told me that it was wasted on anyone over 12, I would strongly disagree. While much of the tours atmosphere and humour was the result of our excellent tour guide, the intimate and live nature of the tour meant it was styled specifically to the passengers on board. Viking hats were provided to all and happily worn by most and any awkward silences created by Dublin’s notorious traffic were amusingly filled by our Viking guides commentary on the pedestrians (and at times creative driving) on the streets.
The tour itself is less focussed on a complete informative guide of the city so if all you want is facts and history I recommend a hop on hop off bus tour or the river Liffey boat tour. It is more about showing you some of the sites, popular but also hidden gems and providing you with some local colour. I shouldn’t forget the USP of the Viking tour, the only land and sea tour boat in Dublin and while this was nice, it wasn’t anything to
write home about. The Duk boat travels down to the Quay and does a 10-minute loop looking at the end of the river Liffey, however, I do believe that calling it a river tour is a bit of a stretch, I see more of the river running across to O’Connell street from Trinity on a night out. But it was nice and exciting to see the Duk go into the water, even if it wasn’t in there all that long.
I have to say though the thing that made this tour a must do attraction wasn’t the Viking hats, the splash in the river or the good price. The guide himself made this tour a great success, local knowledge and good craic served him well and I will most certainly be returning again in the near future to see which members of Dublin public he can scare the life out of by having 30 tourists in Viking hats yell at them a boat outside of parliament.