Join us as we explore an in-depth land tour of Ireland’s lush green landscapes and coastal magnificence combined with centuries of Irish heritage which are revealed on this adventure across the windswept valleys of Ireland. The country’s colourful history and culture makes this a must for anyone wishing to enjoy the very essence of the Emerald Isle.
Day 1 Depart CANADA
Day 2 Dublin, IRELAND Hotel Stay
Day 3 Dublin, IRELAND Hotel Stay
Day 4 Dublin, IRELAND Hotel Stay
Day 5 Cork, IRELAND Hotel Stay
Day 6 Cork, IRELAND Hotel Stay
Day 7 Killarney, IRELAND Hotel Stay
Day 8 Killarney, IRELAND Hotel Stay
Day 9 Killarney, IRELAND Hotel Stay
Day 10 Galway, IRELAND Hotel Stay
Day 11 Connemara, IRELAND Hotel Stay
Day 12 Derry, NORTHERN IRELAND Hotel Stay
Day 13 Derry, NORTHERN IRELAND Hotel Stay
Day 14 Belfast, NORTHERN IRELAND Hotel Stay
Day 15 Belfast, NORTHERN IRELAND Hotel Stay
Day 16 Depart for CANADA
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Day 1 – May 22, 2020 / September 11, 2020 DEPART CANADA
Meet your host at the Toronto airport for your flight departure to Dublin, Ireland.
Day 2 – May 23 / September 12, 2020 DUBLIN, IRELAND (D)
Welcome to Dublin! Upon arrival meet with your driver and guide and depart for a panoramic tour of Dublin City. Here you will discover the north and south side of the River Liffey. On the north side you will be gazing upon a variety of striking landmarks such as the GPO (General Post Office) on the main thoroughfare, O’Connell Street as well as Phoenix Park, the largest public park in Europe. While on the south side you can admire the beautiful Georgian part of the city with its beautiful colourful doors and Merrion Square at the forefront. It is here that you can still find Oscar Wilde’s House and for those looking for some retail therapy, Grafton Street and its quality shops can be found just around the corner. Visit Trinity College and Book of Kells. Thomas Burgh built the Old Library building in the 18th century. Today it houses one of Ireland’s most illustrious books, the 9th century “Book of Kells”. After viewing the Book of Kells visitors are invited to visit the Long Room built in 1745. Once the principal library of the University, it now contains over two hundred thousand books and manuscripts of the Trinity’s oldest volumes. Brian Boru’s harp said to be the “oldest harp in Ireland” and a copy of the 1916 proclamation, one of the most important documents relating to Irish history are also on display in the Long Room. In 2015, Conde Nast Traveler magazine included visiting the Book of Kells as one of the ’50 things to do in Europe before you die’. Tonight we gather at the hotel for a welcome dinner. Accommodation: CAMDEN COURT HOTEL or similar (3 nights)
Day 3 – May 24 / September 13 DUBLIN , IRELAND (B/D)
Breakfast at the hotel. This morning visit Guinness Storehouse. The Guinness Brewery in Dublin is Europe’s largest stout producing brewery and home to the Guinness Storehouse. Today it houses a very fine exhibition dedicated to the Guinness story. Visitors will discover what goes into the making of a pint of Guinness – the ingredients, the brewing process, the time, the craft and the passion. Once the tour has finished, the guest is invited to the Gravity Bar to enjoy their pint of Guinness. Also visit EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum. Enjoy your dinner at the hotel.
Day 4 – May 25 / September 14 COUNTY WICKLOW, IRELAND (B/D)
Breakfast at the hotel. This morning you will set off for the day to explore County Wicklow ‘The Garden of Ireland’. Enjoy a scenic drive through the Wicklow Mountains. County Wicklow is known as “the Garden of Ireland”. It is home to Powerscourt, Mount Usher and Russborough, to name a few of its many houses and gardens. This region features all the various types of scenery that makes Ireland so beautiful. The coastline is bordered by charming sea resorts such as Bray or Greystones. Visit Powerscourt House and Gardens. Powerscourt is one of the most beautiful estates in Ireland. Originally an important strategic site for the Anglo-Normans who came to Ireland in the late 12th century. By the year 1300 a castle had been built and was in the possession of the le Paor family. The succeeding centuries saw the castle change hands many times. In 1603 Powerscourt castle and lands were granted to a new English arrival in the area, Richard Wingfield. His descendants were to remain in Powerscourt for over 350 years. The house was burnt down in 1974 but fortunately the plans of the house were saved and reconstruction started in 1974. Today the house has been restored to its former glory. The Bamberg Gates to the walled garden are believed to come from a German Cathedral in Bamberg in Bavaria. Not to be missed is the pet cemetery with its headstones dedicated to the family dogs. Return to Dublin. This evening enjoy dinner and entertainment at Merry Ploughboys Pub or similar. The Merry Ploughboys live in concert is widely regarded as the best traditional music show in Dublin and also as a must see for any visitors to the city. The show is a highly entertaining performance of live traditional Irish music, song and Irish dancing. Your evening return transfer will bring you back to the hotel.
Day 5 – May 26 / September 15 DUBLIN – CORK, IRELAND (B/D)
Breakfast at the hotel followed by check out. This morning departure for County Cork via Waterford where you will visit Waterford Crystal Visitor Centre. A unique highlight of a visit is the factory tour which gives an up close insight into the centuries-old tradition of Waterford Crystal making. Feel the heat of the furnace and marvel at the skills of the craftsmen. After the tour visitors can browse the world’s most famous crystal in a lavish retail store, which houses the largest collection of Waterford Crystal found anywhere in the world. This afternoon, continue on to Cork via the quaint waterside town of Cobh. En-route visit Cobh Heritage Centre. A unique Irish port town, Cobh is situated on the southern shore of the Great Island in one of the world’s finest natural harbours. The Heritage Centre hosts a multi-media exhibition of the Origins, History and Legacy of Cobh. The Queenstown Story relates Cobh’s dramatic maritime history including how it was the last port of call for the ill-fated Titanic. Cobh Heritage Centre now offers a genealogy service, where the staff can assist you in tracing your Irish Ancestors. This evening enjoy dinner at the hotel. Accommodation: THE KINGSLEY HOTEL or similar (2 nights)
Day 6 – May 27 / September 16 CORK, IRELAND (B/D)
Breakfast at the hotel. Today you will get to explore Cork City, the second largest city in Ireland. Enjoy Panoramic Orientation Tour around Cork City. Cork was designated the European Cultural Capital of Europe for 2005. Cork has everything that makes Ireland so attractive. The city is engagingly small, but it bustles with visitors and students all year round. Next visit Blarney Castle, an ancient stronghold of the McCarthy’s, Lords of Muskerry, it is one of Ireland’s oldest and most historic castles as well as being one of the strongest fortresses in Munster. Built in 1446, Blarney Castle is famous for its Blarney stone, the Stone of Eloquence, which is traditionally believed to have the power to bestow the gift of eloquence on all those who kiss it. Also enjoy some free time at the Blarney Woollen Mills. Originally established in 1823, Blarney Woollen Mills now houses a large selection of Irish products ranging from sweaters and woollens to crystal and china. Enjoy your dinner at the hotel.
Day 7 – May 28 / September 17 CORK – KILLARNEY, IRELAND (B/D)
Breakfast at the hotel followed by check out. Depart Cork and travel along the West Coast of Cork to Killarney. Enjoy a stop in Kinsale. Originally a medieval fishing port, historic Kinsale (from the Irish, Ceannt Saile – ‘Head of the Sea’ is one of the most picturesque, popular and historic towns on the south west coast of Ireland. Next visit Charles Fort, the classic example of a late 17th Century star-shaped fort. As one of the largest military installations in the country, Charles Fort has been associated with some of the most momentous events in Irish history. The most significant of these are the Williamite War 1689-91 and the Civil War 1922-23. Charles Fort was declared a National Monument in 1973. Across the estuary is James Fort designed by Paul Ive in 1602. The fort contains a small museum, and there is a small cafe on-site. Continue to Killarney and check into the hotel. This evening enjoy dinner at the hotel. Accommodation: MUCKROSS PARK HOTEL AND SPA or similar (3 nights)
Day 8 – May 29 / September 18 COUNTY KERRY, IRELAND (B/D)
Breakfast at the hotel. This morning enjoy the Ring of Kerry. The Ring of Kerry (166km) is the most famous and panoramic route in Ireland. The astonishing beauty of this large peninsula, Iveragh, comes from the great diversity of its scenery, which offers incessant contrasts. Leaving Killarney pass through Killorglin, famous for its Puck Fair, then to Glenbeigh where the cliff road affords panoramic views of the Dingle Peninsula and Dingle Bay. Continuing to Cahirciveen, you’ll pass the birthplace of our National hero, Daniel O’Connell. Next, continue on through peat bogs to the town of Waterville. Continue to Sneem Village, famous for its brightly coloured houses. The road then continues through the mountains to Molls Gap and Ladies View with superb views of the famous Lakes of Killarney. Ladies View received its name from Queen Victoria, who was so impressed with the view that she insisted that her ladies-in-waiting should also visit here. Return to Killarney and enjoy a Jaunting Car Ride & Lakes of Killarney Cruise. Step aboard a jaunting car and discover areas of the National Park that you might not otherwise visit. At Ross Castle we change mode of transport to boats. The boats will then continue the journey through the national park via Lough Leane and Muckross Lake to the pier at Muckross House. Your coach will be waiting at Muckross to take you back to Killarney. Enjoy dinner at the hotel.
Day 9 – May 30 / September 19 DINGLE PENINSULA, IRELAND (B/D)
Breakfast at the hotel. This morning depart for the scenic Dingle Peninsula, a paradise for photographers. Today you will explore the Dingle Peninsula. Some of the finest coastal scenery to be seen in Ireland can be found in West Kerry, on the Dingle Peninsula. This peninsula is famous for its Celtic, pre-Christian monuments and Christian churches. It is also a ‘Gaeltacht’ (Irish speaking) area, where the Irish language and traditional ways of life are preserved. Dingle town itself is a thriving fishing town and offers plenty of opportunity for shopping or simply savouring the atmosphere of a typical country Irish town with its plentiful pubs, narrow streets and busy harbour. The road around the Peninsula is truly spectacular. It passes through a chain of Mountains, called Slieve Mish. From Dingle, drive around the coast to Slea Head. Here the blue of the marine landscape surrounds the Blasket Islands, deserted since 1953. In the distance are the two rocky Skellig islands, where the ruins of an early Christian Monastery can be found. The Dingle Peninsula will charm you with its villages painted in bright colours and will bewitch you with the dramatic beauty of its landscapes. Next visit the Blasket Island Centre, a fascinating heritage centre/museum honouring the unique community who lived on the remote Blasket Islands until their evacuation in 1953. The Centre details the community’s struggle for existence, their language and culture, and the extraordinary literary legacy they left behind – classics such as ‘The Islandman’, ‘Twenty Years A-Growing’ and ‘Peig’. Their story is told using a variety of means – exhibitions, interactive displays, artefacts, audio visual presentations and artworks. Dinner will be served at the hotel.
Day 10 – May 31 / September 20 KILLARNEY – GALWAY, IRELAND (B/D)
Breakfast at the hotel followed by check out. Depart Killarney travelling to County Mayo via the Shannon Car Ferry. The main tourist routes of the West of Ireland’s Shannon Region are linked via the Killimer-Tarbert car ferry. This pleasant, 20 minute journey travels across the Shannon Estuary which is almost 100km in length and 13km wide at its widest point. Ecologically, the Shannon estuary has a unique value with a group of bottle nosed dolphins resident in the estuary. Continue on and en-route visit The Cliffs of Moher. Situated on the Atlantic Ocean and bordering the Burren region, the Cliffs of Moher are one of Ireland’s most spectacular sights. Standing 230 metres above the ground at their highest point and 8km long, the Cliffs boast one of the most amazing views in Ireland. On a clear day, the Aran Islands are visible in Galway Bay as well as the valleys and hills of Connemara. A visit of the tower is also possible. The sweeping view across the Atlantic has recently been ranked the best ‘cliff-view’ on the planet by Conde Nast Traveler. The respected travel publication has voted the world-famous landmark at the top of a new chart of ‘ Nine Gorgeous Cliff Views That Rival The Grand Canyon’. Travel through the Burren Region. The Burren landscape covers over 150 square kilometres and is one of Ireland’s 6 National Parks. The region is visually similar to a moonscape, yet shelters a mixture of flora and archaeological sites which have attracted visitors for centuries. Centuries of weathering has produced a terrain of fissured limestone pavements, disappearing lakes, terraced mountains, and underground cave systems. For millennia man has left his mark, megalithic tombs and cooking sites litter the pavements, while medieval tower houses and churches guard the valleys. Today man is absent from most of the upland, leaving behind ancient field systems, route ways and place names. Continue to Galway and check into your hotel. Enjoy your dinner at the hotel. Accommodation: HARBOUR HOTEL or similar (1 night).
Day 11 – June 1 / September 21 CONNEMARA, IRELAND (B/D)
Breakfast at the hotel. Depart your hotel and head for the Connemara region, one of the most panoramic areas in Western Europe. Today you will explore the Connemara Region, a land of lakes and rivers, bogs and mountains. A land of small villages where Gaelic is still the spoken language and where little has changed since the beginning of time. It is without a doubt the wildest and the most romantic part of Ireland. Connemara is a vast peninsula bordered by the arid and rocky coastline of Galway Bay in the south a land characteristic for its stone walls and thatched cottages. On its northern shore the land is harsher and more secret, with spectacular views of the Ocean and the beautiful fjord of Killary Harbour, as well as the steep mountains overlooking numerous lakes and large bog areas. In 1951, John Ford’s great movie “The Quiet Man” starring John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara and Barry Fitzgerald was made, and filming was centred in the village of Cong on the Mayo-Galway border. Visit Dan O’Hara Homestead. Guided tours are both entertaining and educational, and offer demonstrations of traditional farming activities such as turf cutting, sheep herding, soda bread making on the open fire and other activities and games. Visit Kylemore Abbey stunningly located in the Kylemore Pass in Connemara. The architecture is best described as neo-gothic and the house still displays all the characteristics of that period. Today, the abbey is home to the Irish order of Benedictine nuns. They established a private school for young girls, which was the renowned Kylemore Abbey International School. The school only closed its doors back in 2010. The Gothic church is available to visit and as a venue for choir groups to sing in. If time allows guests can also visit the Kylemore Abbey Victorian Walled Garden. The garden was laid out in 1867 and took three years to complete. Enjoy a photo stop at Killary Harbour. Ireland’s only fjord at Killary Harbour in Connemara boasts some of the finest scenery in the West of Ireland with the Connemara Mountains to the south and the Mweelrea mountains to the north in Country Mayo. Enjoy dinner at the hotel. Accommodation: HARLEQUIN HOTEL or similar (1 night).
Day 12 – June 2 / September 22 COUNTRY MAYO – DERRY, NORTHERN IRELAND (B/D)
Breakfast at the hotel followed by check out. Depart County Mayo travelling to County Derry via Counties Fermanagh and Tyrone. En-route visit Belleek Pottery. The world famous brand of Belleek pottery has its home in an imposing Victorian building in the village of Belleek on the river Erne. Awarded a 4-star visitor attraction grading in 2013 and ‘Best Visitor Experience Of The Year 2014’ at the Northern Ireland Tourism Awards, it features a museum, tearoom, video theatre and a showroom. As you walk through the museum you will experience the journey through the life of the Pottery from the early earthenware days to the present day fine translucent Parian China. Also visit Ulster American Folk Park, an open-air museum just outside Omagh, in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. The museum tells the story of three centuries of Irish emigration. With over 30 exhibit buildings to explore, visitors embark on a journey that takes them from the thatched cottages of Ulster, on board a full scale emigrant sailing ship, to the log cabins of the American Frontier. The museum is part of National Museums Northern Ireland. Within the museum are many painstakingly-restored original exhibit buildings with connections to local families. Continue to Derry and check into your hotel. Enjoy dinner at the hotel. Accommodation: DERRY RAMADA DA VINCI HOTEL or similar (2 nights)
Day 13 – June 3 / September 23 DERRY, NORTHERN IRELAND (B/D)
Breakfast at the hotel. This morning, you will visit Glenveagh Castle and National Park. A spectacular 16,500 hectares (40,000 acres) of scenic mountains, lakes, glens and woods, with a herd of red deer, Glenveagh is one of Ireland’s protected natural parks managed by the State. The Visitor Centre houses exhibitions and an audio-visual show on the area, the centre has a cafe and restaurant. A return shuttle minibus service is available to bring clients from the visitor centre to the area of the castle and the gardens. Built in the years 1870 – 1873, the castle consists of a four storey rectangular keep. The last private owner was Mr. Henry McIlhenny of Philadelphia who bought the estate in 1937. After buying the estate Mr. McIlhenny devoted much time to restoring the castle and developing its gardens. In 1983 he bestowed the castle to the nation along with its gardens and much of the contents. Morning and afternoon teas are served in the castle tearooms all season. Based in the heart of the historic city, the Derry city tours showcase the only remaining completely walled city in Ireland. These famous walls which date back to the early part of the seventeenth century have been a place of several sieges. By walking on Derry’s Walls, you have splendid views of cathedrals and churches, you will learn about the historical events that shaped the city and explore attractions such as The Bogside, The People’s Gallery: The Murals, The Diamond, the Tower Museum and the Guildhall. Enjoy dinner at the hotel.
Day 14 – June 4 / September 24 NORTH ANTRIM COAST, NORTERN IRELAND (B/D)
Breakfast at the hotel followed by check out. This morning depart Derry and travel along the north Antrim coast to Belfast. En-route enjoy a photo stop at Dunluce Castle. The roofless ruins are breath-taking especially at dusk, or in the sunshine with the white chalk cliffs of Portrush close by. It was the former home of the clans McQuillan and MacDonnell. Visit the Giant’s Causeway. Encounter Northern Ireland’s favourite giant Finn McCool at the new Giants Causeway Visitor centre on the North Antrim coast which opened in the summer of 2012. According to legend Finn McCool created the Giants Causeway by building stepping stones to Scotland to challenge the Scottish giant Benandonner! To enhance the wider visitor experience around the site, a hand held audio guide is available in a range of languages which will bring the wider World Heritage Site to life and inform visitors of unique features to look out for across this amazing landscape. Guided tours of the site are also available. The walks and trails around the World Heritage Site have been upgraded, with the addition of a new accessible cliff top walk for families and people with disabilities. In 2015, Conde Nast Traveler magazine included hopping the stones of the Giant’s Causeway as one of the ’50 things to do in Europe before you die’. Continue to Belfast and, visit Titanic Belfast, located in the heart of Belfast, the Titanic Belfast recreates the story of the world’s most famous ship in an iconic, six floor building right beside the historic site of the original ship’s construction. Opened in April 2012 to coincide with the centenary of its launch, the self-guided journey begins on entering the building’s giant atrium, where the visitor is surrounded by the four ‘ship’s hull’ shaped wings which house the Titanic Experience. As you journey through the nine large galleries of the interactive exhibition, you will uncover the true story of the Titanic, from her conception in Belfast in the early 1900s, through her construction and launch, to her famous maiden voyage and subsequent place in history. Check into your hotel and enjoy dinner at the hotel. Accommodation: CROWN PLAZA HOTEL or similar (2 nights).
Day 15 – June 5 / September 25 BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND (B/D)
After breakfast enjoy a panoramic city tour of Belfast. A guided city tour is an excellent way to discover Belfast City. The tour will take in the leaning Albert Memorial Clock tower (Irelands answer to the Tower of Pisa) and the Opera House, which is one of Belfast’s great landmarks. Your tour will pass by the City Hall, the Opera house, The Crown Bar (dates from 1885), Queens University and the Botanic Gardens. You will visit the Harland and Wolfe Shipyard, where the Titanic was built and launched in 1912. A visit to the Shankill and Falls road will be of interest as it will give the visitor an indication of how life was in Belfast during the troubles. Your tour guide will be at hand to give you the full history of the area including the stories behind the various murals that you can see. Next visit Crumlin Road Gaol. Grasp the wonderful opportunity to experience the history inside the former prison, Crumlin Road Gaol which dates back to 1845. Closed in 1996, it also played a significant role during the troubles in Belfast. Designed by Charles Lanyon at a cost of £60,000, it was one of the most advanced prisons of its day and was built within a five-sided wall on ten acres. It was the first prison in Ireland to be built according to the “separate system”, intended to separate prisoners from each other with no communication between them. The prison was designed to hold between 500 – 550 prisoners but during the civil unrest in Northern Ireland especially during 1970′s as many as 900 prisoners were held here. The Gaol has now been turned into a major visitor attraction and conference centre. You will be able to take a tour of the prison and hear the varied history of the Gaol that dates back to 1845. You will be taken to the execution cell where 17 men were executed between the years 1854-1961. You will also be shown the Governor’s office and the restored cells of C wing. There will be an opportunity to walk along the underground tunnel that links the Gaol to the courthouse where the prisoners were led to the Gaol after being sentenced. Also visit Ulster Museum. The Ulster Museum is Northern Ireland’s treasure house of the past and present, the museum is home to a rich collection of art, history and natural sciences. From Ireland to the south Pacific, ancient relics to hands on activities, the museum offers something for everyone from the simply curious to the enthusiast. Included in the museum is the new Modern History gallery where visitors have an opportunity to explore the making of Ulster through the period 1500 to 1968. It reveals not only turbulent times of war and conflict, but also long periods of peaceful development and progress. These themes are illustrated by a remarkable range of objects from the history collection, many of which are on display for the first time. They are interpreted through a rich combination of interactive exhibits and audio-visual film presentations. A diverse range of people, places and events are interwoven into the fabric of the gallery. This evening enjoy dinner and entertainment at Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich (or similar). Spend your last night in Ireland at Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich. Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich is an arts and cultural centre with a strong focus on Irish language and culture in Belfast. Here you will enjoy a farewell dinner with the added bonus of some live traditional music, dancing and ceili… a fitting way to end your trip in Ireland! After dinner return back to the hotel.
Day 16 – June 6 / September 26 BELFAST – DUBLIN – CANADA (B)
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer from your hotel to Dublin airport for your Air Canada flight homebound.
All prices are in Canadian dollars, per person and include:
Return airfare from TORONTO, for departures from OTTAWA add $200 per person. Other cities are upon request.
14 Nights in first class hotel accommodation. Locally guided tours as per our detailed itinerary.
Full buffet breakfast daily at each hotel. All luggage porter service at each hotel.
14 Full dinners during our land tour. All gratuities for local guides and drivers.
Fully hosted by Expo Cruises & Tours. All departure taxes and surcharges.
Double Occupancy $6,995 Single Occupancy $8,495
Deposit of $500 per person is required. Final payment for May 22nd departure is due by FEBRUARY 6th and for September 11th departure is due by MAY 28th, 2020. Save an additional 2% if you deposit and pay for your package by cheque. Please Note: A fee of $200 per person will apply to any cancellation prior to your final payment.