Cobh (Cork), Ireland
Information Not Currently Available
Meals not included
Set out on foot accompanied by your guide and board a boat to Spike Island.
Measuring 104 acres, Spike Island commands a strategic position within the sheltered mouth of the lower reaches of Cork Harbour -- one of the largest natural harbors in the world. Over the centuries, people have used the island for a host of different purposes. Written early Christian evidence suggests that Saint Mochuda founded a monastic settlement on Spike Island in the 7th century. In the 18th century, the island's rugged shoreline was a hiding place for smugglers. Fortifications were built during the 17th and 18th centuries and you will find memorabilia from this time on display. In 1847, Spike Island became a convict depot with more than 2,000 convicts were detained here, and between 1985 and 2004, the fort was re-opened as a prison to hold young offenders. Today, the Island is a repository of stories and memories that make your guided tour of its key features rather interesting.
Afterward, you'll have some free time to explore independently.
Re-board the boat for the return journey to Cobh. Guests wishing to stay in town to shop or explore independently are welcome to do so, but must make their own way back to the ship.
The boat is not exclusive to Holland America Line guests. Wear comfortable walking shoes. The surface is gravel and flagstones and is uneven in places. There are steps throughout. Wear warm, comfortable, clothing; bring a waterproof outer layer.