Flying without wings: jet sails on Shannon to bring glamping to new heights (video)

7 May 2016

The sight of a 767 jet floating on a barge along Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way means the glamping craze has soared to a new level

Nothing to see here, just a gigantic jet being towed on a barge up Ireland’s west coast to add a new dimension to the luxury of glamping, please move along now.

I have to admit I love the inverse snobbery that festival goers and die-hard caravan types and outdoors enthusiasts reserve for the glamping – glamour camping – community.

You know what I mean; the yurts, the wigwams, the little playhouses with Wi-Fi and electricity that you see at festivals like Electric Picnic where those who can afford it can bring a little bit of creature comfort and luxury to the festival experience.


Now this is glamping. Image via Shutterstock

Meanwhile, everybody else is crammed on top of each other in campsites named after dead musicians and sharing toilets like something out of a Vietnam movie, without the burning barrels of course.

The strange truth of it all is those in the glamping sites, despite the comforts, know they are missing out on the real party vibe in the crowded tent cities while those outside in the Hi-Chi Minh trail would give their right arm for a comfy crapper or a hot shower. Welcome to life’s rich pageant.

I was a little late to the festival scene and I know the effort that goes into finding a space for your tent and the shock when you hear someone relieving themselves inches from your tent. You endure something like Somme-style shell shock until you just chill out and have a few beers.


This isn’t glamping. Image via Shutterstock

But glamping is a thing and it is becoming quite an industry for people who want to embrace the great outdoors in comfort. Yes, keep your tent and towable caravan, a little luxury is nothing to be sniffed at and it’s a great way to see a country. Plus, I believe a breakfast has never tasted more delicious than when you are cooking it in the great outdoors. And don’t get me started on BBQs.

That’s why the incongruous image of a Boeing 767 sailing up the Shannon and then along Ireland’s west coast to a glamping village in the picturesque Sligo village of Enniscrone made me realise that this glamping business is really taking off (pardon pun).

Yes, as you read this the Boeing 767 that began its maiden sea voyage at Shannon Airport is due to arrive any hour now at its new home at Quirky Glamping Village in Enniscrone after a 36-hour sea trip to bring glamping to even more luxurious levels.

The Russian 767, which will be the centrepiece of the glamping site, was transferred from the runway at Shannon Airport to Knockbeg point.

Workers then loaded the 159-foot hull of the jet onto a barge where it sailed down the Shannon Estuary and north by sea along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way to arrive in Sligo today.

See below a few videos capturing drone footage of the amazing feat of engineering and glamping zeal.


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John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years