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Behind the Scenes Experience

Spike Island is proud to launch our new and exciting Behind the Scenes Experience. Taking you to the deepest, darkest and most exclusive areas of our amazing 24 acre fortress. See the places that are off limits to regular visitors and be enthralled by the tales and knowledge of your guide.

Once on the island, you will be met by our head tour guide for your guided tour, away from the crowds and bustle.  Our lead storyteller has a huge in depth knowledge of our islands history, and is able to bring its colourful past to life. You are treated to 360 degree views of silver-blue waters, open skies and rolling hills, as you are escorted on an action-packed, fun-filled and immersive experience.  You’ll learn the diverse history of Spike Island, as a 7th century monastic site, a fortress built during the French – British wars and the American revolutions and as a prison on 4 occasions over 4 centuries. 

Once you arrive at our impressive fortress and prison, it’s time to take an exclusive behind the scenes trip deep into our past!  You and your party will don a hard hat, hi-vis vest and grab a torch to enter the atmospheric ‘Spike Island tunnels’. 

These original structures were built into the forts walls in 1804, and were used by the military to store gun powder and the prison service to hold criminals.  They have remained off limits for more than a century, but you can explore their impressive depths by torchlight. 

Once you re-emerge to present times, the behind the scenes magic continues with a trip to the ‘Captains bar’.  The bar or one time ‘officers mess’ was an ornate areas designed for the comfort of the officer’s serving on the island.  This off limits area was used by the commander of the fort and governor of the prison, to celebrate the end of the week with his troops.  They would raise a glass to another successful week, and we invite you to maintain this tradition with us by raising a glass of our own ‘Spike Island rum’. 

 

  • Spike Island has received the Failte Ireland Covid safety charter.
  • While boarding our ferry we ask that all bookings sit together. Please do not sit next to any other passenger not in your group. It is imperative that passengers take personal responsibilty for this and respect other passengers on the sailing.
  • We have reduced capacity significantly to allow for a gap of at least one seat between groups. Staff will be on hand to ensure compliance with this and to offer assistance.
  • As we have reduced capacity on all our sailings it is neccessary for some passengers to sit outside during the sailing. With this in mind we ask that all passengers dress appropriately for the weather on the day.
  • As per current goverment guidelines regarding public transport visitors must wear a face covering for the short 10 minute ferry journey over and back and in all buildings on the island.  Suitable face coverings include facemasks, scarfs, bandanas or any other material.  Please bring a face covering with you as persons without a face covering will not be allowed to travel, ideally something recyable/reusable. Facemasks may be purchased on arrival if you do not have one.  No face covering is required during your time on the island at present but this may change between the time you book and date of travel.  We will adhere to goverment advice and must insist visitors do likewise. 
  • Some persons are excluded from wearing a face covering: Children under the age of 12, suffers of asthma, anyone who has trouble breathing and anyone with special needs. Please idetify yourself or anyone in this bracket when booking in.  Persons allowed to travel who are not wearing a face covering may be asked to sit in an outside area for the comfort and safety of themselves and others, please do not be offended by this action, we are endevouring to think of your safety and others.  
  • For more info on face coverings see  https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/face-masks-disposable-gloves.html#:~:text=Who%20should%20not%20wear%20one,is%20unconscious%20or%20incapacitated
  • Please have your ticket printed or on display on your phone as tickets cannot be printed on arrival.
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Ticket options

  • Behind the Scenes Experience/ over 15's only (Please contact admin@spikeislandcork.ie for private family/group bookings) €39.00 + €0.95 booking fee 0 15 max
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Close Behind the Scenes Experience

Spike Island is proud to launch our new and exciting Behind the Scenes Experience. Taking you to the deepest, darkest and most exclusive areas of our amazing 24 acre fortress. See the places that are off limits to regular visitors and be enthralled by the tales and knowledge of your guide.

Once on the island, you will be met by our head tour guide for your guided tour, away from the crowds and bustle.  Our lead storyteller has a huge in depth knowledge of our islands history, and is able to bring its colourful past to life. You are treated to 360 degree views of silver-blue waters, open skies and rolling hills, as you are escorted on an action-packed, fun-filled and immersive experience.  You’ll learn the diverse history of Spike Island, as a 7th century monastic site, a fortress built during the French – British wars and the American revolutions and as a prison on 4 occasions over 4 centuries. 

Once you arrive at our impressive fortress and prison, it’s time to take an exclusive behind the scenes trip deep into our past!  You and your party will don a hard hat, hi-vis vest and grab a torch to enter the atmospheric ‘Spike Island tunnels’. 

These original structures were built into the forts walls in 1804, and were used by the military to store gun powder and the prison service to hold criminals.  They have remained off limits for more than a century, but you can explore their impressive depths by torchlight. 

Once you re-emerge to present times, the behind the scenes magic continues with a trip to the ‘Captains bar’.  The bar or one time ‘officers mess’ was an ornate areas designed for the comfort of the officer’s serving on the island.  This off limits area was used by the commander of the fort and governor of the prison, to celebrate the end of the week with his troops.  They would raise a glass to another successful week, and we invite you to maintain this tradition with us by raising a glass of our own ‘Spike Island rum’. 

 

  • Spike Island has received the Failte Ireland Covid safety charter.
  • While boarding our ferry we ask that all bookings sit together. Please do not sit next to any other passenger not in your group. It is imperative that passengers take personal responsibilty for this and respect other passengers on the sailing.
  • We have reduced capacity significantly to allow for a gap of at least one seat between groups. Staff will be on hand to ensure compliance with this and to offer assistance.
  • As we have reduced capacity on all our sailings it is neccessary for some passengers to sit outside during the sailing. With this in mind we ask that all passengers dress appropriately for the weather on the day.
  • As per current goverment guidelines regarding public transport visitors must wear a face covering for the short 10 minute ferry journey over and back and in all buildings on the island.  Suitable face coverings include facemasks, scarfs, bandanas or any other material.  Please bring a face covering with you as persons without a face covering will not be allowed to travel, ideally something recyable/reusable. Facemasks may be purchased on arrival if you do not have one.  No face covering is required during your time on the island at present but this may change between the time you book and date of travel.  We will adhere to goverment advice and must insist visitors do likewise. 
  • Some persons are excluded from wearing a face covering: Children under the age of 12, suffers of asthma, anyone who has trouble breathing and anyone with special needs. Please idetify yourself or anyone in this bracket when booking in.  Persons allowed to travel who are not wearing a face covering may be asked to sit in an outside area for the comfort and safety of themselves and others, please do not be offended by this action, we are endevouring to think of your safety and others.  
  • For more info on face coverings see  https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/face-masks-disposable-gloves.html#:~:text=Who%20should%20not%20wear%20one,is%20unconscious%20or%20incapacitated
  • Please have your ticket printed or on display on your phone as tickets cannot be printed on arrival.