Back around the turn of the millennium, when my husband (then boyfriend) and I shared a duplex with two friends from college, we would be awoken from our slumber on Saturday and Sunday mornings to the roars of “vikings” beneath our bedroom window. Our apartment complex was right beside where the Viking Splash Tours entered the water. We’d never taken the tour, perhaps because of the memories of broken sleep, but the kids had often asked about it and commented on it when we were in Dublin so it went on our list of things to do in 2019. Since it had also been on our list in 2018 but we hadn’t made it we decided to prioritise it this year. So, when the February midterm came around we chose a day and went for it. I booked online the day before.
**We bought and paid for our own tickets and weren’t asked to do a review. We took our trip in February 2019**
The Viking Splash tour is a tour of Dublin city done in an amphibious vehicle known as a DUKW (pronounced “Duck”), while wearing plastic viking hats.
The tour departs St Stephen’s Green and heads up to Christchurch and back along the quays, over O’Connell Bridge, around by Trinity, out to Beggars Bush and over to Ringsend where you go into the water, (It stops to add flotation devices and passengers are given life-jackets to put on at this point). The dukw goes from the dock to the bridge at Boland’s Mills and back, taking about ten minutes in the water. Once out of the water it’s time to hand back the life-jackets it’s back to St Stephen’s Green.
It’s about the experience as opposed to learning all about the history of Dublin in a full-on educational manner. The tour guide/driver was good fun and the information presented in a tongue in cheek manner and there’s some stereotypical humour that may not be to everyone’s taste (it was to ours). Before you start the tour you’re taught a viking roar with the object of roaring (at the driver’s command) at unsuspecting bystanders and rival buses mostly. The boys loved this element, but if you’ve a shy child or one who doesn’t like noise this might not go down as well. We ROARED very loud.
Plastic viking hats are available to all to wear and while they are fun they are not that comfortable to wear and kept slipping off so we used them for photo opps only.
Where is it?
Board at St. Stephen’s Green opposite Starbucks near the Shelbourne Hotel.
I was surprised at the cost- it’s not cheap. We paid €83 total for our family of 5 – a family 2+2 ticket for €70 and an additional child for about an hour’s entertainment. When you consider that our family of 2+3 could spend the day in Dublin Zoo for €53 it’s one to be reserved for a special occasion.
What if it’s raining?
You’re boarded in the order that you have booked your tickets (once you’re there 15 mins before) and when booking tickets online it’s pointed out to you that some tickets are not covered. If it’s raining you’ll get wet in those seats but it wasn’t and my kids chose the seats that weren’t covered as two of them are up higher at the back.
Is it buggy/baby friendly?
No, under 2s are not allowed.
Anything else we need to know?
Almost everyone smiles when a yellow Dukw full of fierce viking tourists roars at them, so you get off the tour, slightly better educated and smiling at the smiles that you spread around the city.
Dress warmly, even if under cover it can be breezy.
Manage kids’ expectations about having to put on life jackets so there are no tantrums.
No food or drink is allowed on board.
There are no toilets on board and no stops.
We’d recommend for kids age 4 plus. (Under 2s are not allowed for “safety reasons”)
If you liked this you might also enjoy a day out at EPIC Ireland – see our review here.