Belmond Grand Hibernian: Grand Tour of Ireland – Northbound

8-Day Escorted Tour


The Tour

Ancient legends, inspiring natural beauty and vibrant cities—see the highlights of “the Emerald Isle” with a complete journey through both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Tours from Dublin on the Belmond Grand Hibernian are sure to stay with you for a lifetime.

Let yourself be captivated by Ireland’s charms as you journey in peerless luxury. Anticipate your journey on the Belmond Grand Hibernian to be accentuated by magical encounters, world-class cuisine and exceptional service.

Click here to read IRT Owner & CEO Owen Hardy’s blog review of the Belmond Grand Hibernian after taking the Grand Tour with an IRT group charter.

Click here for more information about the Belmond Grand Hibernian itself.

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The Itinerary

Day 1: Dublin – Belfast – Dundalk
Step on board the gleaming carriages of Belmond Grand Hibernian and join the Train Manager in the Observation Car for a welcome champagne toast as the train departs for Belfast, along the East Coast. Lunch is served en route in the two elegant dining cars named after the Irish counties of Wexford and Sligo.

Alight in Belfast to visit Hillsborough Castle, the official Northern Ireland residence of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Members of the royal family have regularly used the castle as their home on their visits since 1922. It is also the home of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and has been a focal point in the peace-making process. The majestic Georgian country house, built in the 18th century, features elegant State Rooms and glorious gardens. Refreshments and canapés are served in the regal Drawing Room which was re-built after a devastating fire in 1934.

Re-join the train in Belfast in time for dinner as your journey continues towards Dundalk in County Louth, known as the ‘Land of Legends’. Following dinner, you are invited to the Observation Car for coffee and liqueurs as you listen to the evening’s lively entertainment.

Day 2: Waterford – Kilkenny
Begin a leisurely morning on board with continental pastries served in the Observation Car as the train travels south. Sit back and soak up the views, relax with a book or chat with your fellow travelers. Brunch is served before arriving in Waterford on the southeast coast, founded by Vikings in 914 A.D.

This afternoon, explore some of the many historic attractions of Kilkenny in the heart of Ireland’s Ancient East. Visit Butler House, the charming 18th-century Georgian Dower House of Kilkenny Castle, nestled in the very heart of this vibrant city. Your guide offers a captivating tour of the city center with its Medieval Mile Museum, housed in a converted 13th-century church, where you can discover 800 years of history under one roof. Return to Butler House for an afternoon tea. Time permitting, take a look inside Kilkenny Castle with its impressive art collection, St. Canice’s Cathedral, the National Design & Craft Gallery, or the Black Abbey or simply stroll along the canal and among the cobbled alleyways with their multitude of boutiques and pubs.

Back on board, pre-dinner drinks and canapés await. All too soon, you’re relishing your final feast on the train – sweetened by the prospect of some toe-tapping entertainment afterwards in the Observation Car.

Day 3: Kilkenny – Dublin
A leisurely breakfast is served as the train travels north and returns to Dublin Heuston Station, where your transfer awaits to bring you to The Westbury Hotel for your overnight stay.

Day 4: Dublin – Cork – Charleville
Enjoy breakfast at The Westbury Hotel before boarding the coach to transfer you to the Belmond Grand Hibernian at Dublin Heuston Station in the early afternoon. Indulge in a sumptuous Irish afternoon tea as the train weaves its way through the lush countryside to Cork, a recent European Capital of Culture. Disembark in Cork for a short walking tour of the nearby city of Cobh with a renowned local historian. The city is famous for being the departure point for 2.5 million of the 6 million Irish citizens who emigrated to North America during 1848 and 1950. You’ll also visit the Cobh Heritage Centre, the Titanic‘s final port of call in 1912. Rejoin the train for a leisurely dinner followed by lively entertainment in the Observation Car.

Day 5: Charleville – Cork – Killarney – Charleville
Breakfast is served as the train travels south towards Cork where you have a choice of activities:

1. Take a historical walking tour of Cork to see its major landmarks, visit the bustling English Market, and taste some local delicacies.

2. You may also choose to visit the famous Jameson Distillery and view the whiskey-making process with a Craft Ambassador (along with sampling a rare Midleton!).

After your excursion, lunch is served as the train continues west through emerald hills towards Killarney on the shores of Lough Leane. A fun ride in a traditional jaunting car (pony and trap) takes you through the beautiful national park to scenic Ross Castle, where you enjoy a boat trip around the islands of the lake.

Afterwards, return to the train for a bit of relaxation time or explore Killarney prior to your pre-dinner drinks and canapes. After a delicious dinner on the train, local musicians will surely inspire you to leap to your feet for some traditional céilí!

Day 6: Charleville – Galway – Athlone
Enjoy a leisurely morning on board as the train makes its way to Galway, known for its vibrant lifestyle and festive atmosphere. There, you will have your choice of three options:

1. Visit the rolling hills behind Galway to a local sheep farm, where you’ll receive a sheepdog demonstration, stories from the local farmer, sample home-made cream tea, and visit the 16th-century Dunguaire Castle.

2. Visit the Cliffs of Moher, which soar above the Atlantic Ocean. You’ll also visit the local Visitor Centre to learn more about the geology and wildlife of the area.

3. Explore Galway for an walking tour with knowledgeable local guide. You’ll also have the chance to visit the city’s vibrant Latin Quarter, 18th-century Eyre Square, and the city’s boutiques, art galleries, and traditional pubs.

Re-join the train for pre-dinner drinks and snacks and another evening of fabulous dining and after-dinner entertainment. Overnight in Athlone, at the heart of the Emerald Isle.

Day 7: Athlone – Westport – Roscommon
Breakfast is served en route to the leafy Georgian town of Westport. Disembark for a tour of the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life, set in the beautiful grounds of Turlough Park House. A hearty lunch is served in a local tavern before you go on to visit Westport House – one of the country’s best-loved stately homes and which dates back over 350 years. Travel on the woodland trails and in the leafy gardens, while perhaps witnessing a falconry display.

You’ll then have time to explore Westport’s Georgian town centre with tree-lined promenade before re-joining the train. This evening, travel east towards Roscommon.

Day 8: Roscommon – Dublin 
Breakfast is served on the final leg of your journey as you return to Dublin and bid farewell to the Belmond Grand Hibernian.

Please note: itinerary is subject to change.

2019 Dates:

April 27
May 4, 11, 18, 25
June 1, 8, 15, 29
July 13, 27
August 10, 31
September 7, 14, 21
October 12

2020 Dates:

April 18
May 2, 9, 23
June 6, 20
July 18, 25
August 8, 22, 29
September 5, 19
October 3, 10

The Prices

Please note prices are in Euros.

For approximate exchange rates, visit

2019 & 2020 pricing
Accommodations Price Deposit
From €9,100
From €9,100

Prices are per person.

*Pricing varies based on availability and date. Prices are subject to change daily. Contact us to confirm pricing and availability for your desired departure.*


Please note: itinerary is subject to change.

Note: The southbound Grand Tour itinerary is 7 days and can be found at this link.

Taste of Ireland, a three-day journey, departs on Saturdays. It makes up Day 1 through Day 3 of the “Grand Tour of Ireland,” above, and offers a brief taste of the Republic of Ireland by train.

Legends and Loughs, a five-day journey, departs Tuesdays. It makes up Day 4 through Day 8 of the “Grand Tour of Ireland,” above, and covers the Republic of Ireland (southern Ireland).

For dates, pricing and more information, or to book, call (800) 478-4881 or (502) 897-1725. Or email [email protected]

Golfing Option: Golf is available as a private tour, at an additional cost. You can also add a golfing extension in Dublin either before or after your train journey. Contact us for more details.

Touring Options: We highly recommend that you select your preferred touring options well in advance of your final payment. Please ask us for more details.

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The Highlights

  • Six nights aboard the Belmond Grand Hibernian, the only luxury train in Ireland, with meals, off-train excursions, entertainment and drinks included
  • One night at 5-star Westbury Hotel in Dublin with breakfast included
  • Incredible meals in the diner; drinks and conviviality in the observation car; quiet rest at night in your en-suite cabin (stationary at night)
  • Tour of Hillsborough Castle, the official Northern Ireland residence of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, in Belfast
  • Escorted tour of the ancient city of Kilkenny
  • Optional tour of Jameson Distillery, with whiskey tastings and accompanied by a Craft Ambassador
  • Visit to the town of Cobh, Titanic’s final port of call
  • The beautiful lakes of Killarney
  • Pony and trap ride to scenic Ross Castle and boat trip
  • Exploration of Galway and all that it offers
The head chef and his team crank out inspired, delightful meals three times a day on Belmond Grand Hibernian. IRT Photo by R. Hardy.
The head chef and his team crank out inspired, delightful meals three times a day on Belmond Grand Hibernian. IRT Photo by R. Hardy.
Dunguaire Castle
Dunguaire Castle
Excellent dining staff on Belmond Grand Hibernian. IRT Photo by R. Hardy.
Excellent dining staff on Belmond Grand Hibernian. IRT Photo by R. Hardy.
IRT travelers prepare to enjoy a gourmet meal in the Belmond Grand Hibernian dining car. IRT Photo by Owen Hardy.
IRT travelers prepare to enjoy a gourmet meal in the Belmond Grand Hibernian dining car. IRT Photo by Owen Hardy.