Around The Sound

This is a unique adventure designed to give you and your group an insight into this special and distinctively Northern Irish area. Come and see things you’ve never seen before, hear stories you’ve never heard, taste the salty air, feel the wind on your face, and listen to the seabirds as you gaze skywards. This experience will give you a sense of connection to this seascape of the Sound of Rathlin, and the landscape of the island.

We leave from Ballycastle and follow the coast to Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge where you will hear stories of fishermen and salmon and see the caves, the Fisherman’s Cottage and rope-bridge from below. Here, the water is a mesmerising turquoise and if it’s calm, you can jump right in. We provide personal buoyancy aids for anyone wishing to swim but you will need your own wetsuit/swimwear and towel.

Feel the wind in your hair as we cruise across the sound to the West Lighthouse on Rathlin, passing Sheep Island on the way. The West, or Upside Down Lighthouse, is also a Seabird centre, so prepare to be immersed in the sounds of birds and feel the swell of the ocean.

A gentle cruise along the coast of Rathlin allows you to appreciate the rugged white limestone cliffs and hear stories of the Scottish miners. You will see bird nesting sites and the crystal clear sparkling waters where the kelp is farmed. Step onto the island and explore for an hour or so. Walk the beach, have lunch, visit the gift shop or enjoy a pint at McCuaigs Pub. Take time to marvel at the historic maritime items displayed inside the islands only public house.

Your experience isn’t over yet. As you leave Rathlin and Church Bay you will pass the Rue Lighthouse before reaching Ushet Port. Here you will hear and see the seals of Rathlin. As the boat gently lingers at Ushet the more curious seals will come closer to investigate. On your return to Ballycastle you will see the very imposing cliff faces of Fairhead where scenes featuring dragons from Game of Thrones HBO series were filmed.

Duration: Approximately 4 hours

Private Charter: Only your group and the Skipper onboard

Price: Minimum price is £360 and this covers up to 6 passengers.  Additional passengers are £60 per person

RHIB Experience: Certain restrictions apply see Terms & Conditions

Premium Experience: Add on the East Lighthouse and Bruce’s Cave for a full Rathlin Experience

Premium Experience Price: Minimum price is £480 and this covers up to 6 passengers.  Additional passengers are £80 per person. 

Text/Call Lynn on +44(0)7845 370231 to check availability or book


“Spent a wonderful morning cruising around Rathlin Island. Tim’s knowledge of the area and mythology made it such a great occasion.
I suffer from arthritis and was a bit nervous but Tim really went out of his way to ensure I was fine.
The whole experience was brilliant and I’d thoroughly recommend it.
It was a beautiful way to spend a day and see the sights and wildlife from a different perspective”.

Marlene H.

“Just spent a wonderful morning with Tim touring Rathlin Sound. We were keen to spend the time capturing images of the seabirds and seals and the trip did not disappoint. The sun shone and Tim entertained us with anecdotes and tall tales as well as his excellent knowledge of the area and wildlife. After a few hours we headed in for a quick stop over on the island and grabbed a coffee and sandwich. Thoroughly recommend this trip”.

Sian K.

“Tim was the perfect guide for our first trip around the Northern Ireland coast; he was knowledgeable but also very entertaining. We felt we were in good hands and learned so much. We did the Around the Sound Tour from Ballycastle which included magnificent views of the coast, caves, waterfalls, a stop at Rathlin and a swim at Carrick a rede bridge (the swimmer declared it was a bucket list item that she didn’t know was on the list until it was done!). I highly recommend Abhainn Cruises both Lynn and Tim were great to deal with and so helpful”.


“We have just come back from a trip round the North Antrim coast and Rathlin Island with these guys. Not only was it great to see the beautiful sites from the water side but Tim was very knowledgable and despite living all my life in Northern Ireland l learned many interesting new things about the local history and wildlife. Tim was mighty craic into the bargain and all in our party had many a laugh.
If you want to see the North Antrim coast from a different perspective and have a bit of a laugh at the same time get onto these guys….would have no hesitation recommending….so much so we planning another trip later in the year”.

Gerry T
“An absolutely brilliant morning out with Ben on the RHIB Stormborn, hugely enjoyable from start to finish.
The Rathlin Island tour is a joy and Ben is full of local knowledge and folklore, he brought enthusiasm and a genuine love for the local ecology.
I would recommend this trip to anyone who wants to see a part of County Antrim few others venture to.
Thank you all”.
Martin Montague

“Fantastic experience! Thanks Lynn & Tim. I’d highly recommend”.

Berach O'Hagan
“Absolutely first class experience with this cruise, Ben is amazing, so knowledgable and enthusiastic , definitely went far n beyond for our colourful group. Will definitely be back and would highly recommend seeing the coast from this view point.
And big thank you to Lynne for accommodating us all”.
Deirdrá Uí Goirmleadhaigh