Emerald Isle Tour

Ireland

Explore The Culture of Ireland With Ease.

With this tour you will get 11 nights at 4 star hotels with 12 full Irish breakfasts, and 10 dinners. You will visit many great destinations including the following: Kilmainham Jail, Russborough House, Dunbrody Famine Ship, Waterford Crystal Visitor Centre, Blarney Castle & Woollen Mills Blasket Island Centre, Cliffs of Moher & Atlantic Edge, Kylemore Abbey, Drumcliff Church & Cemetery Belleek Pottery Factory, Tower Museum, Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre Titanic Experience Belfast, Bru Na Boinne Visitor Centre.

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  • Accommodations
  • Meals as indicated
  • Activities as indicated
  • Entrance fees as indicated
  • Tour guide/escort
  • On-tour transportation
  • Transfers to start location
  • Transfers from end location
  • Required equipment
  • Required clothing
  • Medical Insurance
  • Cancellation Insurance
  • Flights
  • Personal spending money
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Extra Baggage handling
  • Car/Van Rental
  • Local Room Taxes
  • Headphones
  • Information Package
  • VAT/Sales Tax

CALL FOR CURRENT PRICING

Ultimate Vacations
650 Iwilei Road, Suite 400
Honolulu, Hawaii 96817

Open Monday thru Friday
7:30 AM – 5:00 PM (Hawaii Standard Time)
Phone: (808) 949-8100
Toll Free: (800) 284-0440
Fax: (808) 941-5177
Email: info@ultimate-vacations.net

“The sights we have seen have been so beautiful no words can adequately express the diversity of this unspoilt land. We have seen so many aspects of New Zealand.”
IAN AND VALERIE SPACIE – UK
KIWI TOUR – JANUARY 2013

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ITINERARY

Day 1: Welcome to Ireland – Arrive Dublin International Airport

Today’ Highlights:

Arrive at Dublin Airport between 7h00 and 12h00 noon. There you will meet with your Modern Motor Coach, driver who will transfer you to your Hotel. If your flight arrives later, transfer to your hotel at your own expense.
This afternoon meet with your Motor Coach Driver and your Guide and enjoy apanoramic tour of Dublin City, discovering the north and south side of the River Liffey. This area offers great striking monuments such as the GPO (General Post Office) on the city main thoroughfare, O’Connell Street, or theCustom House along the quays, as well as the Phoenix Park, the largest public park in Europe.
The south side appears more sophisticated with its vast Georgian squares, such as Merrion Square, where Oscar Wilde’s House can still be found (today owned by an American College), its colourful doors, along with Grafton Street and its quality shops. Not so far from St. Stephen’s Green, in Kildare St., you will see the house of Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula. This part of the city is also dominated by the students of Trinity College, where the famous book of Kells is permanently exhibited in its library. The university is facing the medieval district where Dublin Castle and the two Anglican Cathedralscan be found. Visit Kilmainham Gaol
Join your fellow travelers for a Welcome Drink at a local Bar/Resturant

Day 2: Depart for County Wicklow – County Wicklow and Abbey Tavern

Today’ Highlights:

Visit Russborough House
Situated in the beautiful surroundings of the Wicklow countryside, Russborough House is proudly one of Ireland’s finest stately homes. It was built in 1741 for Joseph Leeson the first Lord Milltown who later became Lord Russborough. It has remarkable plasterwork by the Francini brothers and the ceilings were richly decorated by the Lafranchini brothers. In 1952 it was sold to the late Sir Alfred Beit and Lady Beit (of the de Beers diamond mining company in South Africa). He had an impressive art collection, some of which is on display in Russborough house while others were moved to the National Gallery following three art robberies at the house. The tour of the house takes approximately 45 minutes.
In 2011 an extensive self guided exhibition was opened in the basement and includes interactive touch screens, audio listening handsets, slideshow presentation and cinema projections and films in the original Beit cinema. It Includes photos and mementos of the visits of famous people like Jackie Onassis, Fred Astaire and Mick Jagger. It also features photos and stories from the local area about the Blessington reservoir and the Blessington Tramway. Special features include 3D photographs and 2D film from the 1920′s and 1930′s taken by Sir Alfred Beit on his world travels including those of Coco Chanel and Rex Harrison, as well as a selection of his extensive vinyl record collection and sheet music collections from the 1920′s onwards.
Enjoy lunch at your leisure.
Return to Dublin and spend the balance of the day at your leisure. You might enjoy a open-top bus tour, a visit to the Guinness Store House or the Jameson Distillery.
Enjoy Dinner and evening Entertainment at the Abbey Tavern
The “Traditional Irish Night” features traditional Irish music from world famous Abbey Tavern singers and musicians with a lively performance of music, song and the very best of Irish dancing. Before the entertainment, you get served a typical 4 course Irish dinner including Irish coffee. Seating for dinner is at 7.30pm, while the show starts at 8.30pm and ends at 10.15pm. Your Evening Return Transfer will bring you back to your hotel.

Day 3: Depart Dublin for Cork – Dunbrody Famine Ship & Waterford Crystal Visitor Centre

Today’ Highlights:

After your full Irish breakfast this morning we will depart Dublin and travel south towards County Waterford and Wexford.
Visit the Dunbrody Famine Ship
The Dunbrody Famine ship is a reconstruction of the original Dunbrody, built in Quebec in 1845 by Thomas Hamilton Oliver, an Irish emigrant from Co. Derry. The replica ship was launched in February 2001 by former Taoiseach, Mr Bertie Ahern and former U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, Mrs Jean Kennedy Smith. The magnificent vessel is now moored at New Ross quayside. The Experience begins with a 9 minute audio-visual presentation in the visitor centre which gives the historic background to the Great Famine, and the reason why so many people were forced to emigrate on sailing ships like Dunbrody to America in the mid 19th century. You will then follow in the footsteps of a group of Famine emigrants as you board the Dunbrody with your own personal ticket and explore the ship, fitted out exactly as it would be for a voyage. You will encounter actors, playing the role of emigrants, in their cramped quarters. This authentic recreation with its actors, sound effects and smells, will transport you back in time leaving a lasting impression.
Enjoy lunch at your leisure.
Continue to Waterford Crystal Visitor Centre
The Waterford Crystal visitor centre has moved in 2010 to a magnificent new home in the heart of Waterford City. 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. The factory tour includes the following traditional production areas; wooden mould making, crystal blowing and furnace, crystal cutting and quality inspection and finishing.
Depart Waterford for Cork.
Enjoy a walking Tour of Cork with your local Guide, the city is engagingly small, but it bustles with many sights as well as visitors and students all year round.

Day 4: Depart for Killarney – Blarney Castle & West Cork

Today’ Highlights:

Visit Blarney Castle
Attracting visitors from all over the world, Blarney Castle is situated in Blarney village, 8 km from Cork City. An ancient stronghold of the McCarthy’s, Lords of Muskerry, it is one of Ireland’s oldest and most historic castles, and indeed 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. Many legends tell the story of the Stone, but why not kiss it and find out the truth behind the legend. Continue to the Blarney Woollen Mills for some personal shopping.
Drive along the Coast to 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. En route around the Ring, take in spectacular scenery – mountains, peat bogs, lakes and magnificent views of the Atlantic Ocean as one travels along the coast road. 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.

Day 5: Dingle Peninsula – Dingle Peninsula & Killarney

Today’ Highlights:

Enjoy a Jaunting Car Ride in Killarney National Park
Step aboard a jaunting car and discover areas of the National Park that you might not otherwise visit. Relax aboard a jaunting car as your Jarvey [driver] takes you through the magnificent scenery of Killarney National Park to Ross Castle. The scenery is stunning and the trap will stop as often as you wish to facilitate your taking photographs.
Continue to Blasket Island Centre
The Blasket Centre in Dún Chaoin, is located on the tip of the Dingle Peninsula, and is a celebration of the story of the Blasket Islanders. It celebrates the unique literary achievements of the island writers ~ native language, culture and tradition. Sadly the Great Blasket was abandoned in 1953 and this caused the decline of its once vibrant population. The centre provides an incidental showcase of marvellous stained glass, ceramics and weaving.
Return to Killarney and enjoy the balance of the day at your leisure.

Day 6: Depart Killarney for County Clare – Adare and County Clare

Today’ Highlights:

Travel through Adare, regarded as one of Ireland’s most picturesque villages, is a small village with thatched cottages dotted throughout the town. You should visit to the Trinitarian Abbey, The Wishing Pools or partaking of a drink in the famous Dunraven Arms hotel. The village has a Desmond castle and a Manor, once the home of Lord Dunraven ~ today it is the 5-star Adare Manor Hotel.
Travel further through the outskirts of Limerick and past Bunratty Castle & Folk Park to County Clare and the Cliffs of Moher. Situated on the Atlantic Ocean and bordering the Burren Area, 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. The cliffs reach their highest point just north of O’ Brien’s Tower built by Cornelius O’ Brien, a descendant of Brian Boru, to entertain his lady friends. Atlantic Edge is the exciting new interpretive centre at the Cliffs of Moher and is built into the natural landscape. The centre is a huge domed cave that contains images, exhibits, displays & experiences exploring different elements of the mighty Cliffs of Moher: Ocean, Rock, Nature and Man.
Enjoy lunch at your leisure.
Continue on to Galway for your Panoramic City Tour.
Galway City at the mouth of Galway Bay is both a picturesque and lively city with a wonderful avant-garde culture. The city has many relics of its medieval past and is worth taking time to explore. Pass by Galway Cathedral and then continue across the Salmon Weir Bridge and along the trout stream to the Collegiate of St Nicholas of Myra, which was built in 1320. The Collegiate is close to Nora Barnacle’s house (Mrs James Joyce) and to the famousLynch window from which the English language receive the word to Lynch (hang).

Day 7: Quite Man Walk & Connemara – Connemara and Kylemore Abbey

Today’ Highlights:

This morning depart after your full Irish breakfast for Cong. There you will enjoy a guided walk, which will show you places featured in the production of “The Quite man” – movie was made in 1952.
We will travel through Connemara which is 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 little 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. Connemara is a real paradise for Nature lovers and those in search of strong emotions.
Continue to Kylemore Abbey
Kylemore Abbey is located in the Kylemore Pass in Connemara. Mitchell Henry built the House in 1868, after having spent his honeymoon in the area. The architecture is best described as neo-gothic and the house still displays all the characteristics of that period. One of Kylemore Abbey’s most famous features is its miniature cathedral, built in 1870 and known locally as the Gothic church. 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 eventually closed in 2010. Facilities at Kylemore include a visitor centre, an exhibition housed in the main reception rooms of the house and a video which takes the visitor through the history of the house and its occupants. 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 was laid out in 1867 and took three years to complete. A bus service provided from the front door of the Abbey directly to the garden and is the only permitted means of access.
Return to Galway via Clifden.

Day 8: Depart for Derry – Galway to Derry via Drumcliff

Today’ Highlights:

Travel north to Castlebar to the Museum of Country Life
This museum houses the national folklore collection. You are invited to experience the story of Irish country life between 1850 and 1950 through the innovative combination of artefacts and displays, archival video outage and interactive screens. The National Museum of Country Life is located in the spectacular grounds of Turlough Park amid magnificent gardens and an artificial lake, alongside the restored Turlough Park House and its adjoining courtyards.
Continue to Drumcliff Church & Cemetery
Drumcliffe was an early Christian site in at the foot of impressive Benbulben – the table top mountain. Today the principle visible remains of the monastic site are: The High Cross, another plain cross, the stump of a round tower, the Church of Ireland and a graveyard.
Drumcliffe is best known worldwide as the final resting place of W. B Yeats, whose grandfather was Rector here. You can see an ordinary grave for this great Noel Prize winning author, poet and dramatist.
Follow the shoreline of Donegal and visit The Belleek Pottery
The building is an imposing Victorian building with modern facilities. It features a museum, tearoom, video theatre and a showroom. The guided tour covers all of the production areas offering guests the possibility of meeting with the craftspeople, observing their craftsmanship working on the different handmade pieces. 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.
Continue your drive through the majestic Barnesmore Gap to Derry.

Day 9: Giants Causeway – Derry & Giants Causeway

Today’ Highlights:

Enjoy a walking Tour of Derry this morning with your local Guide. See the Guidhall, St. Columb’s Cathedral, the Diamond and the 16thcentury walls. A walk on the walls is a must on any visit to Derry as they are among the best-preserved fortifications in Europe. Rising to a height of 8m they are 9m wide in some areas. Today these walls separate two communities, the Bogside ~ a Catholic getto with its famous murals and the Waterside ~ a Protestant enclave.
Visit the Tower Museum
Just inside Coward’s bastion on the Derry Walls is the Tower museum. It houses an excellent museum, which tells the story of the town right through from the days of St Columcille to the present through traditional exhibits and audio-visuals. You can see a well-preserved dugout log boat, which has been carbon-dated to the time of Colmcilles birth in 520. There is a wonderful eye witness account of the Great Irish Clan leader Shane O’Neill and his soldiers arriving at the court of Elizabeth 1 to pledge allegiance to the Crown in 1562.
Continue than to the Coast and 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! The new Visitor centre explores the major themes of mythology, geology, landscape, ecology, culture and social history based on the UNESCO World Heritage site that consists of 40,000 basalt polygonal columns formed 60 million years ago after a volcanic eruption.
Return to Derry for some leisure.

Day 10: Depart for Belfast – Titanic Belfast & Cabra Castle

Today’ Highlights:

In Belfast you will enjoy a Panoramic City Tour, which 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. Some tours will take in a visit to 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.
Visit the Titanic Experience
Located in the heart of Belfast, the Titanic Belfast recreates the story of the world’s most famous ship in a new 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.
Travel to Kingscourt and to Cabra Castle, which set in 100 acres of beautiful parkland and bordered by woodlands, the hotel boasts a proud history dating back to 1760.

Day 11: Depart for Drogheda – County Meath & Drogheda

Today’ Highlights:

Visit Bru Na Boinne
The Brú Na Bóinne Visitor Centre is designed to present the archaeological heritage of the Boyne Valley, which includes the fascinating megalithic passage tombs of Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth. The extensive exhibition includes a full-scale replica of the chamber at Newgrange as well as a full model of one of the smaller tombs at Knowth. The Centre is the starting point for you to both monuments, and contains extensive interpretative displays and viewing areas. It also includes a café / restaurant.
Continue to Drogheda for a walking tour with your local guide. Historic Drogheda on the River Boyne is a bustling port town with excellent pubs and a good live music scene. The Town that Oliver Cromwell besieged in 1649 and killed 2.000 people, making his name to the most hated in the Irish history. See the head of St. Oliver Plunkett, the first Irishman to be canonized in 700 years, and the 14thcentury St. Laurence Gate in the medieval walls.
In the evening enjoy a Farewell Dinner Entertainment at the WM Cairnes Gastropub
Here you will get great service, food, beer, whiskey and wine. Based in medieval Drogheda on the Boyne, a town chock full of personality, shopping and buzzing nightlife. The Pub is a great place for a bite to eat, a quick drink after a hard day’s shopping, or a fantastic night out with some entertainment.
Your Evening Return Transfer will bring you back to your hotel this evening.

Day 12: Farewell from Dublin – Flight Home

Today’ Highlights:

This morning transfer to Dublin Airport for your return flight home.