Belmond Ltd. announces Grand Tours of Ireland aboard Belmond Grand Hibernian, the new Celtic sister to Belmond Royal Scotsman and the first luxury touring train in Ireland. Reservations are now available for the exclusive two, four and six night itineraries throughout the Republic and Northern Ireland at belmond.com/grandhibernian.
Launching on the rails in August 2016, the first journey will be a four night tour of the Republic of Ireland: ‘Legends and Loughs’. Travelling from Cork to Killarney, Galway and Westport – highlights include behind the scenes tour of Jameson’s Whiskey distillery, ‘kissing’ the Blarney Stone and private access to Blarney Castle Gardens. Followed by the spectacular lakes of Killarney, the breath-taking scenery of Connemara national park, sporting activities at Ashford Castle, sheepdog trials and traditional Irish music and crafts in Galway.
The two night tour, ‘Realm of Giants’, journeys north from Dublin to Belfast and Portrush. Visiting the award-winning Titanic Experience in Belfast, the astonishing Giant’s Causeway from Portrush, a geological wonder reflecting the Irish love of myths and wonders, and the Old Bushmills Distillery for a sample or two of the famous 400 year old whiskey. Both journeys can be combined to create a six night Grand Tour of Ireland.
Travelling on this stylish new train will be akin to a land cruise with daily excursions and experiences that will invite guests to immerse themselves in authentic Ireland. From fiddles and flutes that will get toes tapping in a traditional pub to the fabulous folklore tales of mischievous faerie folk, flame-haired pirates and ghostly banshees and the literary prowess of some of the world’s most famous wordsmiths including Oscar Wilde, James Joyce and Samuel Beckett.
Keen golfers will enjoy access to some of the world’s finest golf courses as part of Belmond Grand Hibernian’s journeys. The Emerald Isle plays host to over 300 golf courses including more than 50 championship class courses. Daily tee times can be arranged as well as tailor-made golf extensions to before or after the journey.
Interior designs of Belmond Grand Hibernian, by James Parks Associates, draws on Ireland’s unique character and mythology with colours inspired by the flora and fauna of the countryside. The overall design is fresh and contemporary yet underpinned with tradition, mixing romance with heritage and a breath of Irish air.
Each carriage reflects the colours of the tartans from the county after which they are named. The sleeper carriages accommodate just 40 passengers in elegant en-suite cabins: ‘Down’ features shades of oranges and browns; ‘Kerry’ boasts shades of purple and blue; ‘Waterford’ is shades of green and ‘Leitrim’ has accents of red and ‘Fermanagh’ features silver and gold.
There are two dining cars, ‘Wexford’ a light-filled space with Irish motifs and tweed fabrics and ‘Sligo’ an elegant restaurant with a Georgian feel in relaxed greys and warm woods. Both provide the perfect setting to enjoy sumptuous fare with an authentic taste of Ireland from artisan cheeses to superb seafood and smooth Irish whiskies. The observation car, ‘Kildare’ blends the warm atmosphere and elegance of an Irish saloon and is set to be the social hub of the Belmond Grand Hibernian from which to enjoy good old Irish craic and stunning scenery from the large picture windows.
Prices will start from $4,470 per person for the two-night journey and $6,890 per person for the four-night journey. Fully inclusive including all meals, drinks, entertainment and excursions.