I want to book a 2019 Skellig Michael Landing Tour.
Skellig Michael Landing Tours are currently not available to book because licenses for the 2019 season have not been awarded yet. We expect that licenses will be awarded and tour bookings will open some time in mid-to-late March.
There is currently no definite date on when this will occur.
If you would like to be notified when this happens so that you can be among the first to secure your place on a landing tour, please sign up for the email alert service below. We highly recommend that you sign up to avoid disappointment, based on the speed with which places were booked last year. There are hundreds of people signed up already.
Scroll below the form for a more detailed explanation of why you can’t book right now and what you can do in the meantime.
Why aren’t some of the boats accepting bookings yet?
Every boat that lands passengers on Skellig Michael needs a license from the Office of Public Works in order to do so legally.
These licenses have not yet been awarded for the 2019 / 2020 / 2021 season. Applications for the new licenses are due from interested boat owners by January 21st, 2019. The boat licenses will be awarded by the OPW at some point after that. This will not happen before early February 2019. It’s entirely at the OPW’s discretion when the formal awarding announcement will be made and we currently have no definite date available.
Because of this, boat operators who had licenses to land in 2017 and 2018 are not guaranteed to have their license renewed for the new season. That said, it is very likely that the majority of previous license holders will also be successful in securing the license again this year. But, not wanting to presume anything, many are not accepting bookings until they are 100% sure that they have a license secured.
What happens once the licenses are awarded?
The first thing that will happen is that we will inform everyone on our mailing list above that the results are out so that they are first in the queue for booking places.
The successful boats will then open their bookings to the public at their own discretion.
Will all the successful boats be accepting bookings immediately?
There are 15 independent boat operators. Each handles their own bookings independently and there is no one, centralised booking facility for all of the boats. So, some have web sites with booking engines and some only accept email enquiries. When the results are announced, it’s entirely at each operator’s discretion as to when and how they accept landing tour bookings.
Last year, some boats opened their bookings in mid-February. Another didn’t start taking bookings until late April.
The important thing to remember is that just because one operator’s boat is booked out on the date you want, it does not mean you cannot book a seat on that date. There are 15 boats. As long as you are trying to book early in the year, you have lots of options. But do bear in mind that certain dates are much more popular than others.
Can I pre-book my place?
You can contact the 2018 license holders directly if you want to but, in many cases, you will be instructed to check back when the licenses have been awarded and they have opened their online bookings.
If the boat operator normally accepts bookings through their web site booking engine, it would be a significant inconvenience for them to hold onto thousands of booking requests ahead of time as opposed to just releasing them all online on a first-come, first-served basis as is normally the case.
What can I do now?
You can avoid all of the stress and hassle by signing up for the alert service above. As soon as we know, you’ll know.