Burren Ecotourism Network

Doolin Ferry Co has been a proud member of the Burren Ecotourism Network (B.E.N) since 2014. B.E.N is a network of local tourism enterprises collaborating together to promote sustainable tourism in the Burren Region.

The main goals of the network are to develop sustainable tourism practices in order to preserve our cherished communities, heritage, and environments.

The Burren Best in Travel 2021 Award

The network works alongside the Burren Geopark to promote “The Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark” as a leading sustainable visitor destination.

This is celebrated world wide for it’s high standards in visitor experience, conservation, and learning.

It’s achievements were recognised when the Burren Region won Lonely Planets “Best in Travel for Community Tourism 2021” award.


How do you become a member of the B.E.N?

In order to be a member of the Burren Ecotourism Network you need to have achieved independent accreditation and demonstrate ecotourism best practice. Year on year we improve our understanding on how to reduce our environmental impact on the region by adopting the Geopark Code of practice for Sustainable Tourism along with other B.E.N members.

This sustainable initiative is the only one of its kind in Ireland. It requires Doolin Ferry to report on various aspects of the company’s day-to-day activities and measures any improvements on our social, economic and environmental efforts.

The company has been awarded Geopark Emerald Status which denotes top marks for demonstrating best practice in sustainabilty across many aspects of the business.

Burren Ecotourism Network members pictured at The Falls Hotel, Ennistymon, with their Geopark Code of Practice for Sustainable Tourism Certificate. Also pictured are Elected Members and representatives of the Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark and Clare County Council.


How does Doolin Ferry Co reduce their environmental impact?

Our main goal is to actively encourage all of our customers to follow the Leave No Trace Ireland principles when they visit anywhere in the Burren. This is an educational message that encourages us as recreational users to understand our actions and to be mindful of our surroundings when we do activities in the outdoors. In addition we have also developed our own Environmental Policy and School Tour series to further promote education.

We have taken steps in recent years to digitise our ticket sales, a move that has markedly decreased our usage of paper. By embracing digital ticketing solutions, we have not only streamlined our operations but also significantly curtailed our consumption of paper resources.

Our ‘Express Ferry Service‘ from Doolin is currently the most environmentally friendly boat transportation in Doolin. We suggest choosing other sustainable transport options while visiting this area of natural beauty. A list of good options can be found HERE.

And in Summer 2024, we plan to introduce a groundbreaking new addition to the Doolin Ferry fleet which will redefine ecofriendly travel to the Aran Islands and Cliffs of Moher. Environmental responsibility is at the forefront of the new build. Accordingly, green technologies have been employed in the design which will result in reduced emissions and less fuel consumption while the new ship is fitted with solar panels.


Some of the ways we have upgraded our environmental police are;

  1. In 2020 we introduced a new express ferry to our fleet “The Aran Islands Express”. This increased the capacity of a single ferry from 100 passengers to 250. This allows us to conserve fuel usage by not operating several smaller boats at the same time. We have greatly improved the efficiency of our service to work toward meeting our sustainability and environmental goals.
  2. Both our Express Ferries have highly efficient tier 2 engines with lower emissions than previous boats, despite their larger size.
  3. We don’t use any fresh water on board (e.g. salt water is used to flush our toilets). Our sewage is contained and transferred ashore to be treated.
  4. We have recycle stations on board. All of our crew members can assist on what can be recycled and what cannot. We encourage passengers not to bring plastic bottles on board.
  5. The vessels are constructed of aluminum, this means they don’t corrode (rust). This results in only having to paint our boats once every 10 years as opposed to once a year!  A huge advancement.
  6. All our cleaning products are natural & organic. The reduction of harsh chemicals is better for our boats, crew, passengers, and our environment!
  7. We promote electronic tickets/booking online. This has benefited customer experience and also almost completely eliminated paper tickets.
  8. We encourage all our Doolin Ferry Co customers that when they visit anywhere in the Burren that they follow the Leave No Trace Ireland principles.

Leave No Trace logo

Make sure to check our Burren Ecotourism & Doolin Ferry Co collaboration video on our YouTube channel.