I loved my visit to Ireland in 2015 and before I left I knew one thing for sure. I would visit again, and again. To me, it was like going home.
How is it that a place I had never been feel like it was a place that is such a strong tie to my life? That is a question that I will never be able to answer and it does not matter. I know that it is a place where I can find the beauty of nature, the sense of home and a love for the land.
Visit Ireland with friends!
In 2018, I will be hosting two tours with CIE Tours to Ireland. I know many of my friends have told me they do not have someone to travel with. To those friends I say, this is the perfect way to go.
Other friends said they do not know where their ancestors came from specifically and thats what is holding them up. To those friends I say, go anyway. The Irish Classic Tour circles the island, this is a great time to see Ireland and so many historic places.
2018 IRISH CLASSIC 13 DAYS / 12 NIGHTS
Day 1: DUBLIN ARRIVAL & DUBLIN CASTLE
Tour begins 2:00 PM, Dublin hotel. Set out on a tour of Dublin to see elegant Georgian townhouses, pass St. Stephen’s Green and Trinity College and cross the River Liffey to drive along O’Connell Street. Take a guided tour through Dublin Castle, which was the seat of power and government for many centuries. Enjoy a welcome drink with your group and before dinner.
Day 2: ST. PATRICK’S GRAVE & CRUMLIN ROAD GAOL
Visit Down Cathedral with St. Patrick’s historical burial site marked by a huge boulder. Immerse yourself in his work, life and times in the nearby St. Patrick Centre. Next, explore the Crumlin Road Gaol to see what prison life was like through the ages and discover the dark secrets that lies within. Head to central Belfast with time to relax before dinner at your hotel.
Day 3: TITANIC BELFAST & WALKING TOUR
Take a panoramic tour around central Belfast to see Victorian buildings, the imposing City Hall in Donegall Square and the shipyards where RMS Titanic was built in 1912. Visit Titanic Belfast to learn about this ill-fated famous liner through state-of-the-art displays. In the afternoon, join a local guide for a walking tour of Belfast before spending time on your own.
Day 4: GIANT’S CAUSEWAY & DERRY WALK
Drive north along the Nine Glens of Antrim, for lovely views of mountains, valleys and coastline. This scenic region is the location for “Game of Thrones.” Explore the Giant’s Causeway, enormous hexagonal columns formed by volcanic activity 60 million years ago. Stop for photos at the ruins of Dunluce Castle and in Derry join a local guide for a short walking tour around the defensive walls that encircle the compact old city.
Day 5: DONEGAL CASTLE & WESTPORT
Travel through the rugged countryside of Donegal, renowned for heathery hills, sheep and the many tweeds made from their wool. Stop in Donegal town for a tour of Donegal Castle, built by the O’Donnell chieftain in the 15th century and expanded in the 17th century. Drive around Donegal Bay and through Counties Sligo and Mayo. Head to Westport for a gentle walking tour of this historic town.
Day 6: SHEEP HERDING & WESTPORT HOUSE
Enjoy views of the pilgrimage mountain of Croaghpatrick as you head to a local farm to watch skilled dogs herding sheep. View Killary Harbour, Ireland’s only fjord, and enjoy a light lunch and guided tour of Westport House. This stately mansion, which overlooks the ocean, contains a wealth of interesting portraits, furniture, silver and porcelain. Enjoy free time in Westport.
Day 7: BALLINTUBBER ABBEY & CLIFFS OF MOHER
Visit Ballintubber Abbey, known as “the Abbey that refused to die.” The abbey has the unique status of being Ireland’s only royal Abbey, which has been in continuous use for more than 780 years. Travel to Galway for some free time to explore the city. Head out to see the majestic Cliffs of Moher, which soar 200m above the foaming Atlantic Ocean. Tonight enjoy an evening at Knappogue Castle with a medieval-style banquet.
Day 8: LITERARY TEA WITH SCONES & DINGLE PENINSULA
Travel the outskirts of Limerick and along the River Shannon into County Kerry. Sample tea and scones in a pub associated with the writer, J. B. Keane. Journey along the Dingle Peninsula as far as Slea Head for glorious scenic views of hills and coastline. Stop in the town of Dingle for refreshment or a look around before heading to Killarney.
Day 9: JAUNTING CAR RIDE & RING OF KERRY
Enjoy a scenic traditional horse-drawn jaunting car ride for views of Lough Leane, Killarney’s largest lake. Head to the delightful town of Kenmare for a look around and a casual lunch. Travel along part of the Ring of Kerry route to view spectacular mountain scenery at Moll’s Gap and at Ladies’ View. Return to Killarney where the evening is free for independent dining and perhaps a visit to a local pub with live music.
Day 10: BLARNEY CASTLE & TRADITIONAL MUSIC
Visit Blarney Castle to kiss the famous “Stone of Eloquence” or stroll the lovely gardens. Treat yourself to Irish goods at the Blarney Woollen Mills. In Dungarvan, enjoy an Irish coffee and informal traditional music session at the Marine Bar. Continue to Waterford where a local guide will lead a stroll around the historic streets of this old port city.
Day 11: WATERFORD & DUNBRODY’S FAMINE SHIP
Witness the creation of crystal masterpieces by master glassblowers and carvers at the House of Waterford Crystal. In New Ross explore the Dunbrody Famine Ship which transported people to the New World during the 1840’s Famine. In Dublin, enjoy an evening at Taylor’s Three Rock Pub for dinner with traditional Irish songs and intricate step-dancing.
Day 12: TOUR ENDS OR DUBLIN SIGHTSEEING
Spend the day in Dublin with an independent Dublin open-top bus tour (valid for 48 hours), plus a visit to either Guinness Storehouse, Teeling Distillery, EPIC Ireland or the General Post Office Museum. Enjoy dinner on your own at one of Dublin’s many pubs or restaurants.
Day 13: TOUR ENDS IN DUBLIN
Your tour ends after breakfast.
B: Breakfast; L: Lunch; D: Dinner
If the Irish Classic Tour is too long for you then consider the Irish Pub Tour.
2018 THE IRISH PUB TOUR 9 DAYS / 8 NIGHTS
Day 1: DUBLIN TOUR & GUINNESS STOREHOUSE
Tour starts 2:00 pm, Dublin hotel. Set out on an introductory tour of central Dublin. Cross the River Liffey to drive along the wide O’Connell Street and view the General Post Office where the 1916 Uprising started. Visit the Guinness Storehouse to learn about Ireland’s “black beer” and after pulling your own pint enjoy views of Dublin from the rooftop bar. Back at the hotel, enjoy a welcome drink with your group and then dine on your own at one of Dublin’s many restaurants or pubs.
Day 2: GLASNEVIN CEMETERY MUSEUM & MEDIEVAL KILKENNY WALK
Explore Glasnevin Cemetery Museum, Ireland’s national necropolis, which is a who’s who of modern Irish history. Head to Kilkenny for a walking tour through Kilkenny’s Medieval Mile to view merchants’ houses and historic pubs. Visit Smithwick’s Experience for a tour and enjoy a sample. Spend some free time browsing the charming city before dinner.
Day 3: HOUSE OF WATERFORD CRYSTAL & BLARNEY
Head to the ancient port of Waterford to visit the House of Waterford Crystal. Witness the creation of crystal masterpieces during your visit. Visit Blarney Castle to kiss the famous “Stone of Eloquence” or explore the tranquil gardens. Treat yourself to quality Irish made goods at Blarney Woollen Mills. Pass through County Cork to Killarney where you’ll have free time to explore some of the lively pubs.
Day 4: DINGLE PENINSULA & KATE KEARNEY’S COTTAGE DINNER
Head to the glorious Dingle Peninsula, made famous by two movies, “Ryan’s Daughter” and “Far & Away,” which showcased the wonderful scenery. Visit the South Pole Inn for an Irish coffee and learn about Tom Crean, an explorer who bravely journeyed to the South Pole. Immerse yourself in farm life and watch skilled dogs herd sheep. Enjoy some time and lunch on your own in the town of Dingle. In the evening head to Kate Kearney’s Cottage for dinner and traditional Irish entertainment with songs and step-dancing.
Day 5: CLIFFS OF MOHER & AILLWEE CAVE
Embark on a ferry ride across the wide River Shannon Estuary. Take in the spectacular beauty of the Cliffs of Moher – soaring 700 feet (200m) above the Atlantic surf. Walk along the top of the cliffs for views across Galway Bay of Connemara and the Aran Islands. A short drive will bring you into Doolin for lunch at McGann’s Pub. Next visit Aillwee Cave for a guided stroll through the underground caverns. Travel to Spanish Point, named after the ships of the 1588 Spanish Armada that were wrecked there. The village has many enticing pubs to check out before or after dinner.
(B, L, D)
Day 6: GALWAY & WESTPORT WALK
Drive around the shores of Galway Bay and stop in Galway for some leisure time to explore independently. Continue through Connemara with its hills, lakes and open country where mountain sheep roam freely. Stop in Leenane, where the movie, “The Field” was made. Continue to Westport and enjoy a walking tour of this attractive estate town built in 1780, with buildings steeped in history and traditional pubs, many with live music.
Day 7: TEELING DISTILLERY & 12TH CENTURY BRAZEN HEAD PUB
Enjoy the scenery of central Ireland as you head to Dublin on the east coast. Visit Teeling Distillery, a distillery in the heart of the city, and sample the aged whiskey. Head to the Brazen Head Pub, Dublin’s oldest, dating back to 1198 for an evening of “Food, Folk and Fairies” where story-telling will reveal Ireland’s myths and beliefs in times past.
Day 8: INDEPENDENT BUS TOUR IN DUBLIN
Spend an additional day in Dublin with an independent Dublin open-top bus tour (valid for 48 hours), plus a visit to either Trinity College Book of Kells, EPIC Ireland or the General Post Office Museum.
Day 9: TOUR ENDS IN DUBLIN
Your program ends after breakfast.
B: Breakfast; L: Lunch; D: Dinner
Though the Irish Pub Tour is shorter than the Irish Classic Tour, the prices remain similar. The pub tour is a small tour with a total of 26 people, where the Irish Classic will have around 40. This leaves the price a bit higher to cover the motor coach. Currently, this Irish Pub Tour is only being sold through me. Act now to reserve your spot.
There are many great historical sites being visited on each of these tours. A deposit of $250 per person is required to hold your spot. This amount is non-refundable. All prices are per person based on double occupancy. Looking to travel without a roommate, let me know and we can discuss the price for single occupancy.
Deposit by the end of the month and save 5%. Promotional code for the 5% savings is GRP5120117. Do not miss the chance to save some money!
I know you are asking, “What does this have to do with genealogy?” Well, if you book before December 1st, I will have a video consultation to try and assist with finding the location of their Irish ancestor*.
*There is NO GUARANTEE that I will be successful in this. Consultation will be up to one hour, and free ($60 value). Anything beyond the one hour would need to be scheduled for a second consultation which will incur a prepaid fee.
Disclaimer: Besides being a genealogist, I am also a travel consultant. I will earn a commission on any tour booked.