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.
IRT’s Rachel Hardy, VP, Sales & Marketing, inspected the Belmond Grand Hibernian most recently in April 2019.
Read Rachel’s review here on Track25, the IRT blog.
Click here to read IRT Owner & CEO Owen Hardy’s blog review of the Belmond Grand Hibernian after taking the Grand Tour in August 2016 with an IRT group charter (the very first departure of Belmond Grand Hibernian!).
Click here for more information about the Belmond Grand Hibernian itself.
Day 1: Dublin – Cork – Charleville
Step on board the gleaming carriages of Belmond Grand Hibernian and join the Train Manager in the Observation Car for a welcome champagne toast. A traditional Irish afternoon tea is served as the train journeys south towards Cork. Settle into your cosy en suite cabin and glimpse the lush countryside passing by.
Disembark in Cork for a short walking tour of nearby Cobh with a renowned local historian. The seaport of Cobh was the departure point for 2.5 million of the 6 million Irish who emigrated to North America between 1848 and 1950. Your tour ends with an after-hours tour of Cobh Heritage Centre, which houses an impressive exhibition of the history and legacy of the town, which is also famed for being the Titanic’s final port of call on April 11th, 1912.
Re-join Belmond Grand Hibernian in Cork and enjoy your first dinner in the elegant dining cars, Wexford and Sligo, as the train makes its way north to Charleville. Afterwards, join your fellow travelers in the Observation Car for coffee and liqueurs.
Day 2: Cork – Killarney
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 3: 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 4: Westport – Roscommon
This morning, the train travels northwest to Westport on the coast of County Mayo, where a full day’s activities await. Your first stop is the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life. Set in the magnificent grounds of Turlough Park House, the museum gives you an insight into rural Irish lifestyles between 1850 and 1950, with eye-catching displays relating to agriculture, fishing, crafts, customs, and clothing.
A hearty three-course lunch is served in a local tavern before your visit to Westport House, one of the country’s best-loved stately homes with rich interiors dating back over 350 years. The house was built on the foundations of one of the many castles that belonged to Grace O’Malley, the Pirate Queen of Connacht, who ruled the land and seas around the estate. Grace’s dungeons can still be seen today in the basement area of the house. The vast expanse of Clew Bay, the Atlantic Ocean, and Ireland’s holy mountain, Croagh Patrick, in the distance provide an idyllic backdrop. Walk in the leafy gardens and woodland trails and perhaps witness a hawk-flying display.
There is time to explore Westport’s bustling Georgian town center with its pretty river, tree-lined promenade, and independent boutiques before rejoining the train in time for pre-dinner cocktails and canapés as you travel east towards Roscommon. Retire to the Observation Car after dinner for a nightcap and entertainment.
Day 5: Roscommon – Dublin – Belfast – Dundalk
Breakfast is served as the train travels back to Dublin. Alight for a guided visit to EPIC – The Irish Emigration Museum, before it opens to the public. This immersive, interactive museum in Dublin’s Docklands shows how 10 million Irish emigrants influenced and shaped other regions of the world. Your tour ends with a genealogy talk and morning refreshments.
New passengers are welcomed on board as you return to the train. Meet them in the Observation Car over champagne and nibbles 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 6: 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 7: Dublin
Breakfast is served as the train courses along its final leg to Dublin Heuston Station, your journey’s end. We wish you a fond farewell and look forward to seeing you again soon.
Please note: itinerary is subject to change.
2020 Dates:April 14, 28
May 5, 19
June 2, 16
July 14, 21
August 4, 18, 25
September 1, 15, 29
For approximate exchange rates, visit http://www.xe.com.
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 northbound Grand Tour itinerary is 8 days and can be found at this link.
Legends and Loughs, a five-day journey, departs Tuesdays. It makes up Day 1 through Day 5 of the “Grand Tour of Ireland,” above, and covers the Republic of Ireland (southern Ireland).
Taste of Ireland, a three-day journey, departs on Saturdays. It makes up Day 5 through Day 7 of the “Grand Tour of Ireland,” above, and offers a brief taste of both Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland, by train.
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.