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Viking Splash Tours on Dublin Holidays
Is it a bus? Is it a boat? It’s… it's... a duck! A duck that carries 30 passengers! On a holiday in Dublin, hop on an excursion that takes you around both the land and waters of Ireland's capital. Join the acclaimed Viking Splash Tours, where you’ll ride on amphibious World War II vehicles called “DUKWs” (or “ducks”).
Don your special horned Viking helmet as the tour guides regale you with all sorts of stories and funny antics. There’s “half-man, half-beast” Robert the Rapacious; “The Scourge of the Celts” Rory the Rebellious; and Andrew the Great, previously “Andrew the Alright”. Let’s not forget Ivar the Driver, who was once a fish trainer, an alligator wrangler, and a rodeo clown. If you get lucky, they might teach you a special Viking roar to shout at unsuspecting passers-by.
The land tour begins at the 12th century St Patrick’s Cathedral, named after Ireland’s patron saint. Inside are a number of monuments to the country’s renowned harpists, poets, theologians, and other famous sons. There are war memorials, ancient Celtic stones, and tombs of holy men as well, eliciting a mix of reverence and fear. The Door of Reconciliation tells a dramatic tale of a battle between two families, which ended only when one of them thrust his hand into a hole in the door as a peace offering.
There are also views of Christchurch, the oldest building in the capital; Wood Quay, where a Viking settlement once stood; and Four Courts, which holds the Central Criminal Court, Dublin Circuit Court, High Court, and Supreme Court. Other spectacles are the 120-metre Spire, made of stainless steel which reflects the environment; the Molly Malone statue, a tribute to a girl who died during a cholera epidemic; and Dublin Castle, where presidential inaugurations are held.
The neo-classicist Custom House is a scene-stealer, especially when illuminated at night. Temple Bar, Dublin’s “Cultural Centre”, is also filled with activity even when the sun sets, a popular venue for the outdoor theatre. The DUKWs also pass by the 400-year old Trinity College; Grafton Street, where locals shop and socialise; and the National Library of Ireland, where citizens can trace their family trees.
The water tour revolves around the Grand Canal, which connects River Liffey to River Shannon. Lined with trees and old houses, its banks are frequented by flocks of water-birds. There is a bit of rustic charm to it.
The Viking Splash Tours take about 75 minutes, and may even give you a glimpse of Colin Farrell’s penthouse and U2’s recording studio!