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Archive for Skellig Michael

December 4, 2017

Skellig Michael is the real star in new Star Wars film: see for yourself

Some of the most intense scenes from the new Star Wars film (opens 14 December) owe nothing to green-screen technology and everything to the real green of Ireland and the extraordinary UNESCO World Heritage Site of Skellig Michael, an island off the Kerry coast.

Actors Mark Hamill, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac – plus director Rian Johnson and crew – were challenged first to reach the island, then to climb more than 600 steps to the remains of the sixth century monastery that stood in for Luke Skywalker’s hideaway.

Landing on Skelling Michael is tightly controlled, because as well as being a heritage site it is a haven for puffins and other seabirds in breeding season, but several boat operators run trips out of Portmagee and Derrynane from mid-May to October.

Advance booking for this weather-dependent thrill are strongly recommended, but with so much to do and see in County Kerry, it makes sense to have a local base such as Irish Ferries Holidays’ featured cottages in Waterville.

The smart holiday homes are only 750 yards from the shore in this colourful village. Each offers open-plan living and four bedrooms for flexibility (plus three bath/shower rooms).

Irish Ferries offers a seven-night holiday for a family of two adults and three children under 16 for only £1088 in August 2018. This includes cottage rental and return Irish Ferries crossings for the family and car from either Holyhead to Dublin, or from Pembroke to Rosslare.

Boat trips to land on Skellig Michael cost from approximately €75 per person.

Like the film (classification 12A), age restrictions apply to boat trips: typically eight, ten or 12 years, depending on the operator, check before booking.

Landing on Skellig Michael is not possible for those with mobility issues, but trips around the islands may be (from approx €35).

Irish Ferries, 08717 300 400,

Prices correct at date of issue.


About Irish Ferries

  • 4 ships currently sailing between Ireland and the UK
  • The catamaran Dublin Swift is the only high-speed ferry on the Irish Sea with a crossing time as short as 1hr 49mins from Holyhead to Dublin.
  • The largest ship on the Irish Sea is cruise-ferry Ulysses at almost 50,000 tonnes and 12 decks high with superb on-bard facilities: crossing time 3hrs 15mins from Holyhead to Dublin.
  • Holyhead/Dublin route served by Dublin Swift, Ulysses and ferry Epsilon. Drive times to Holyhead from Liverpool or Manchester 2hrs; from Birmingham 3hrs.
  • Pembroke/Rosslare route (crossing time 4hrs) usually served by cruise-ferry Isle of Inishmore. Drive time to Pembroke from Cardiff 2hrs; from Bristol 2hrs 30mins.
  • Club Class (priority boarding, reserved seating, free refreshments etc) available on most ships.
  • Ship-wide free WiFi.


Press and pictures contact Jane Williams at Beacon PR:  01572 748 800

December 17, 2015

New Star Wars the latest to film in Ireland

The latest Irish scenic wonder to hit the big screen is the tiny island of Skellig Michael off the coast of County Kerry, which features in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

This tiny rock a 45 minute boat ride from the mainland is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its sixth-century stone ‘beehive’ huts lived in by early monks. Skellig Michael is also home each summer to thousands of nesting sea birds. Visitor numbers are controlled, but the Skelligs (a second, even smaller island lies nearby) make for a memorable day trip.

The Star Wars crew filmed in summer 2014, and returned in September to shoot a scene for the next Star Wars film due on screens in 2017.

With so many locations on the island of Ireland, film fans can easily build a touring holiday around beauty spots as diverse as the Dingle Peninsula (Ryan’s Daughter 1970, Far and Away 1992) and County Wexford (Saving Private Ryan, 1998).

Kildare and Wicklow have screen time in Braveheart (1995), Michael Collins (1996), PS I Love You (2007) and others; Killary Harbour in County Galway hosted The Field (1990), Dublin’s streets feature in many Irish films and of course County Antrim and other Northern Ireland locations are regular backdrops for Game of Thrones.

Discover Michael Skellig and other film locations on a 2016 self-drive tour with Irish Ferries. Fares for a car and two adults start at £109 one-way.

08717 300 400,




About Irish Ferries

  • 4 ships sailing between UK and Ireland: fast catamaran Dublin Swift, cruise ferries Ulysses, Isle of Inishmore and
  • Routes: Holyhead to Dublin and Pembroke to Rosslare.
  • Drive times: Holyhead from Liverpool or Manchester 2 hours; from Birmingham 3 hours. Pembroke from Cardiff 2 hours; from Bristol 2 hours 30 minutes.
  • Crossing times: the Dublin Swift is the only ‘fastcraft’ on the Irish Sea and offers the shortest crossing in as little as 1 hour 49 minutes. Ferry Holyhead to Dublin is 3 hours 15 minutes. Ferry Pembroke to Rosslare is 4 hours.
  • Club Class (priority boarding, reserved seating, free refreshments etc) available.
  • Ship-wide free WiFi.


Press contact Jane Williams at Beacon PR: 01572 748 800




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