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. This is 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. The itinerary includes visits to 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 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.
The interior designs of Belmond Grand Hibernian, by James Parks Associates, draw 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 overall design is fresh and contemporary yet underpinned with tradition, mixing romance with heritage and a breath of Irish air.: ‘Down’ features shades of oranges and browns; ‘Kerry’ boasts shades of purple and blue; ‘Waterford’ has shades of green, ‘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.
Prices will start from €3,160 per person for the two-night journey and €5,420 per person for the four-night journey. Prices are fully inclusive including all meals, drinks, entertainment and excursions.