Ireland: A Deluxe Journey to the Emerald Isle - 2018

Galway • Killarney • Cork • Dublin
  • Ireland: A Deluxe Journey to the Emerald Isle
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$3,699
  • $284
    PER DAY
  • 13
    DAYS
  • 20
    TOURS
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Base prices are factored using double-occupancy rooms; supplemental fees may apply for those traveling independently.
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Itinerary at a Glance

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DAYS 1-2:

Depart home / Overnight flight / Shannon, Ireland / Galway

Your Ireland vacation begins with an overnight flight to Shannon, arriving on Day 2. On arrival in Galway, check in to your hotel for a Welcome Briefing, reception, and Welcome Dinner.

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner

DAYS 3-4:

Galway

Spend two days exploring Galway and neighboring Clare. Multigenerational Feature and Cultural Discovery: Visit Rathbaun Farm the morning of Day 3 for sheep dog and sheep-shearing demonstrations. Also, learn how to prepare traditional Irish scones and sample the flaky treats. This evening, enjoy a harp and Uilleann pipes recital. Active Feature: If you like, you may join your Tour Director on a pub crawl.

Day 4 is at leisure for you to enjoy Galway on your own until dinner tonight at the hotel. You might look for an impromptu traditional music seisún (session) in a local pub. Irish traditional music is played throughout the country, but it is particularly popular in Galway. Alternatively, you may wish to enhance your Ireland travel itinerary by joining an optional tour of Connemara, with a stop at Ashford Castle Hotel for tea and scones, and a visit to Kylemore Abbey. 

Included Meals:

2 Breakfasts & 1 Dinner
Optional Tour: Connemara Tour

Connemara Tour

  • Approximate Cost: $89 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 8 hours
  • Location: Connemara, County Galway, Ireland
  • When: Full-day tour

The raw beauty, sweeping vistas, and constantly changing moods of the Connemara landscape have captured the hearts and minds of generations of artists, writers, and musicians. Set out this morning for Ashford Castle, where you stop for tea and scones. Afterward, drive to stately Kylemore Abbey via the Killary Harbor fjord. The scenery is spectacular en route — described by author Oscar Wilde as having “a savage beauty” for its patchwork of lakes, rugged mountains, and windswept bogs. Visit the abbey, its miniature gothic cathedral, and the Victorian gardens. Pause for lunch on your own in the abbey’s café.


DAY 5:

Galway / Killarney

Your Ireland vacation continues on to Killarney today via the Burren, with its moon-like landscape, and the iconic Cliffs of Moher — a highlight of Irish travel. The rocky precipices tower 700 feet, embracing the sprays of the Atlantic Ocean. Continue to Kilrush and board a ferry to cross the Shannon River. From here, continue to Killarney, where dinner is included at your hotel.

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner

DAYS 6-8:

Killarney

Unforgettable Moment: Your explorations of scenic County Kerry begin with a full-day tour of the Ring of Kerry, a 110-mile stretch along the coast. Travel around MacGillicuddy's Reeks and the Iveragh Peninsula, which juts out from the breathtaking Atlantic Coast. Pass famous Dingle Bay and Kenmare Bay, returning to Killarney through Moll's Gap and Killarney National Park. Along the way, admire the lovely coastal villages of Glenbeigh and Sneem. Lunch is included in a local restaurant.

Multigenerational Feature and Cultural Discovery: On Day 7, set off on a tour of Killarney that includes a ride in a jaunting car (a single horse-drawn carriage) to visit historic Muckross House and its lovely gardens. Dinner is included at the hotel.

Day 8 is yours at leisure to discover what Irish travel has to offer at your own pace. Active Feature: If you like, you can join an optional excursion (with lunch included) to the remote and mountainous Dingle Peninsula, which boasts more archaeological monuments than any landscape in Western Europe. 

Included Meals:

3 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Optional Tour: Dingle Peninsula Tour

Dingle Peninsula Tour

  • Approximate Cost: $89 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 7 hours
  • Location: Killarney, Ireland
  • When: Full-day tour, including lunch

Enhance your Ireland travel itinerary with a visit to the rugged Dingle Peninsula. You'll drive through the market town of Tralee en route, known for its annual Rose of Tralee contest. From there, head to the town of Dingle, the chief port of Kerry in the old Spanish trading days, and fortified during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. There is time to explore the charming fishing town on your own before an included lunch in a local pub. Your tour then takes you to the Dingle Peninsula, a place of intense allure, with green landscapes, rocky hills, long, sandy beaches, and staggering cliff edges. From Slea Head, you can see the Blasket Islands, the farthest outposts of Europe. These remote islands are steeped in history, mythology, and traditional Irish culture. The tip of the peninsula is a stronghold of the Irish language, where many traditions and customs have been preserved.

In the afternoon, visit the Blasket Center, a fascinating heritage center and museum that honors the unique community who lived on the remote Blasket Islands until their evacuation in 1953. Learn about the lifestyle of the island people through exhibits, interactive displays, artifacts, artwork, and audio-visual presentations. 



DAYS 9-10:

Killarney / Cork

Travel via the scenic coastal route through Kerry and West Cork, stopping for lunch in historic Bantry, a delightful town with a large town square and stunning views of beautiful Bantry Bay. Multigenerational Feature: Our route then takes us along the shore of Bantry Bay to Glengarriff, where we board a ferry for the sheltered ride to Garnish Island. You'll walk among the profusion of gardens and architectural follies that were designed in the first half of the 20th century, then later bequeathed to the Irish people. After our visit, we'll continue to Cork and our hotel. 

Your morning is at leisure on Day 10 with lunch on your own. Multigenerational Feature and Unforgettable Moment: In the afternoon, visit Blarney Castle, a 600-year-old landmark that's a favorite of Ireland travelers. Climb the steps to the famous Blarney Stone; if you kiss it, legend says you'll never be at a loss for words. Then, set off for the port town of Cobh. Cultural Discovery: Join a local family tonight for a home-hosted dinner in Cobh.

Included Meals:

2 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner

DAYS 11-13:

Cork / Dublin

Multigenerational Feature: Set out for Dublin on Day 11, with a stop at the Waterford Glass Exhibition Center. Lunch is on your own in Waterford, home of the famous crystal. Continue to Dublin. If you like, you may join your Tour Director on a pub crawl this evening.

Day 12 begins with a trip to historic Dublin Castle. Cultural Discovery: Enjoy a lecture on Celtic spirituality over a traditional Irish lunch at a local pub. Your afternoon is at leisure with dinner on your own. You'll have the evening at leisure, or you can join your Tour Director to sample some of Dublin's public houses on a pub crawl. And be sure to consider signing up for the optional Irish Cabaret tour, which includes dinner and an evening of delightful entertainment.

Unforgettable Moment: The final day of your Ireland vacation, Day 13, takes you to Trinity College to view the famous Book of Kells in the Old Library. This beautiful illuminated manuscript of the four gospels is Ireland's most precious medieval artifact. Active Feature: Then, learn about the history of Irish whiskey during a visit to the Old Jameson Distillery and listen to a lecture about the differences between Irish and American whiskeys. Cultural Discoveries: At the end of an included tour, participate in an exclusive whiskey tasting and receive a Jameson Irish Whiskey Taster certificate. Then, discover a different side of Ireland travel as you visit the inspirational “watering holes” frequented by Ireland’s most famous literary figures, including Yeats, Joyce, and Shaw, during a literary pub crawl this afternoon. This evening, you'll toast your journey during a Farewell Dinner at the hotel.


Included Meals:

3 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Optional Tour: Irish Cabaret at Taylors Three Rock

Irish Cabaret at Taylors Three Rock

  • Approximate Cost: $120 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 5 hours
  • Location: Dublin, Ireland
  • When: Evening tour, including dinner

You’ll understand how the Irish earned their reputation for revelry when you pass the evening at a lively local pub during your Ireland vacation. To start, you’ll be treated to a four-course dinner, along with Irish coffee that’s sure to put you in the merrymaking mood. The cabaret show begins after dinner and features some of Ireland’s most beloved performers. You’ll be captivated by the best of Irish entertainment during a night of music, dancing and comedy — you may even develop an Irish lilt by the end!


DAY 14:

Dublin / Return home

Transfer to the airport for your flight home, or continue to London for the post-trip extension.

Included Meals:

Breakfast

Important Notice: The above day-by-day itineraries are preliminary and therefore subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Vantage Adventure Leader or regional expert.

Please Note: The hotels listed are preliminary and subject to change. Although we contract our hotels a year in advance, unforeseen situations do occasionally occur. Should it be necessary to change a hotel, one of equal quality and value will be substituted. You will receive verified hotel information with your final itinerary. That hotel ratings are based on the Hotel and a leading travel industry authority on hotels throughout the world.

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Journey Ireland: A Deluxe Journey to the Emerald Isle The Best of Ireland
Price without Air* $3,699 $5,690 Save $3,582 per couple!
Trip Length 13 days 14 days Better pacing - enjoy more time in each destination!
Per Diem $284 per day $406 Save $214 per couple per day!
Small Group travel Yes! No more than 24 travelers per departure! Small Group Departures only on select dates for an additional cost of $900 per person! Small Group Travel on every departure date at no additional cost!
Extend Your Value 4 Days post-trip in London, England No extensions Since you've come this far we offer you a wonderful choice to make the most of your international airfare and extend your discoveries at an unbeatable value!
Sightseeing & Cultural Connections 20 Sightseeing Tours & Cultural Connections - a $2,800 value per couple! Cultural Connections: Home hosted dinner, Jaunting Car Ride, Scone making demonstration, Harp Recital, Whiskey tour and tasting at Old Jameson distillery, Literary pub crawl, Lecture on Celtic spirituality 20 Sightseeing Tours Special Features: Irish Farm Visit, new Titanic Museuam Visit, Visit Belleek Pottery factory & the Ulster American Folk Park Pay less and enjoy extensive sightseeing and the most exciting Cultural Connections and special features planned to enhance your experience and immerse you in the local culture!
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