The Office of Public Works has awarded 13 permits for boatmen to bring visitors to Skellig Michael.
This follows an open competition where interested parties were invited to submit their details, which were then assessed by an independent panel.
A total of 22 applications were received by the OPW for permits.
The OPW says the permits were allocated to 13 boatmen following a very rigorous assessment.
Boatmen had previously operated under a legacy scheme introduced in 1994 where the right to land passengers was reserved to specific boatmen, nominated by the OPW, who operated the system for many years.
In 2016, the OPW announced it was replacing this system with a new model that allows for a greater range of operators.
The OPW says the new system will open the market over a longer term to a greater range of operators and visitors will continue to be assured of a quality service.
The permits are valid for three years and a fresh competition will be held every third season.
The OPW says this will ensure other operators get the opportunity to enter the business.