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Travel: The Internet Man: All aboard folks; GO CRUISING FOR PERFECT PEACE.

Byline: Edited by TANIA WOODHOUSE

YOU may remember last April I was fortunate enough to visit the Shannon so to ensure fair coverage of boating in Ireland I decided to take a trip to Lough Erne to see how they compared.

Northern Ireland Tourist Board arranged for me to use a cruiser from Carrickcraft, one of Ireland's most experienced cruiser hire companies who can be found at www.cruise-ireland.com.

Operating on some 300 miles of waterway, Carrickcraft have provided idyllic cruising holidays for 28 years. You will be glad to know that no licence is required to cruise the rivers of Ireland, therefore anyone over the age of 18 can take command of one of Carrickcraft's cruisers. Cruising along the Erne waterways takes you through some of the loveliest countryside in Europe, a perfect opportunity to sample the tranquil setting of Ireland.

I collected my craft from the Knockinny mooring at Derrylin near Enniskillen on the Erne System. On my arrival I was given the keys to my vessel, which was an elegant "Clare Class". This is a cruiser designed to Carrickcraft's own specifications.

As "captain" for the weekend, I was delighted to have a sundeck with all-round seating with dual steering from the "Flying Bridge".

The Flying Bridge is, for those of you who don't know, the steering position right at the top of the deck, very useful when mooring at one of the many beauty spots on Lough Erne.

There was plenty of room for four adults, two teenagers and a very active toddler. The two bunks in the forward cabin convert to a double bed.

The main cabin has a dinette, which converts to a double bed and an additional single adult-berth and there are two aft cabins - one has a double bed and the other has bunks.

A toilet, shower and washbasin are en-suite with the double cabin. The forward cabin also has its own facilities.

After some expert tuition and a crew briefing on lifejackets, steering and navigation rules we were off. On leaving Knockinny we headed north for Enniskillen and after two hours of cruising through some of the most beautiful Irish scenery we arrived at The Moorings just south of Enniskillen.

The Moorings is a quiet spot to berth overnight. Everybody is so friendly and there is always someone to assist you.

One other mooring that is definitely well worth a visit is The Manor House. Make a point of visiting it at www.manor-house-hotel.com.

May is an excellent month to try out Carrickcraft as they are currently offering some huge discounts for weekly hires starting on May 17. All boats are priced with 25 per cent off.

Cruising is a superb way to get away from all the worries of the world, believe me you will not be disappointed.

CAPTION(S):

TRANQUIL: An Erne mooring; SCENIC: Lough Erne offers the chance to see the unspolit beauty of Ireland
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Title Annotation:Review
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUIR
Date:May 10, 2003
Words:488
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