Irish ‘Grand Hibernian’ Next Deluxe Train in Belmond Stable
The company that brings you the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express and the Belmond Royal Scotsman is hard at work on another of its “Grand Hotels’ on wheels: the Belmond Grand Hibernian.
Debuting this August, the Belmond Grand Hibernian will be the first luxury overnight rail experience of its kind in Ireland.
The train “will tour the magnificent open countryside, dramatic coastal scenery and fascinating cities of both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland,” Belmond said in a press release.
Belmond has acquired 10 cars from Iarnród Éireann (Irish Rail), which it is transforming into a luxury sleeper train with accommodations for up to 40 guests traveling in 20 elegant, en-suite cabins, it says. The interior design project is being carried out by James Park Associates, who have worked on other train projects for Belmond, including the Belmond Northern Belle and Eastern & Oriental Express.
The Irish train’s design “will draw inspiration from Dublin’s classic Georgian architecture and blend it with elements of Ireland’s ancient folklore and traditions,” Belmond says, “evoking the country’s celebrated cultural heritage with a contemporary twist. Belmond Grand Hibernian will feature four interconnecting suites to accommodate families, two restaurant cars and an observation bar car.”
“With a name derived from Hibernia, the classical Latin name for the island of Ireland, Belmond Grand Hibernian will journey throughout the island offering two-, four- and six-night rail experiences that visit the major destinations of the North and South, including the train’s Dublin base, Belfast and Cork.”
The train’s program will offer “daily excursions such as tours of historic estates, or a round of golf on one of the finest links courses in the world, visits to the Titanic Belfast center, or an immersion into the world of Ireland’s legendary writers, musicians and artists.”
The Belmond Hibernian program most resembles that of the Belmond Royal Scotsman, whose luxurious, on-board ambiance is matched by its equally exclusive, off-train touring program of majestic castles, exquisite manor houses and estates and stunning gardens.
Belmond Grand Hibernian’s haulage services and Dublin depot facilities will be provided by Irish Rail, Ireland’s national train operator and rail infrastructure provider.
David Franks, Chief Executive of Irish Rail said, “We are proud and delighted to welcome Belmond Grand Hibernian to Ireland’s rail network. Our railways provide a unique aspect on the countryside, towns and cities of Ireland. Rail is therefore a key element of our national tourism product, and the launch of Belmond Grand Hibernian represents a strong endorsement of Ireland as a destination by Belmond.”
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