Vacations By Rail Adds Belmond to Irish Offering
PHOTO: Cabins on Belmond’s Grand Hibernian will set a new standard on Ireland’s trains. (Courtesy of Belmond)
Vacations By Rail (VBR) will be offering Belmond’s Grand Hibernian when the luxury train takes to the rails next summer. The VBR portfolio of vacations offers rail journeys around the world including a selection from both Northern and Southern Ireland. VBR introduced three new luxury rail experiences featuring Belmond’s newest train, the Grand Hibernian. “Ireland is the perfect destination for a rail vacation with its scenic countryside, which can be enjoyed from the comfort of a private cabin or the Grand Hibernian’s well-appointed observation car,” said Todd Powell, CEO and co-founder of Vacations By Rail.
It will be the first luxury overnight rail experience of its kind in Ireland. The Grand Hibernian’s 10 carriages will carry 40 passengers in 20 elegant, ensuite cabins. Two restaurant cars and an observation bar car with large picture windows will provide public space on the train. The train will also feature four interconnecting suites making it ideal for families and multi-generational holidays.
VBR’s three Grand Hibernian packages include the seven-day Grand Tour of Ireland, which departs from Dublin and calls at Cork, Galway and Giant’s Causeway with stops at historic castles and local pubs along the way. The tour is priced from $8,500 per person double.
The five-day Legends and Loughs (from $5,800 per person double) visits Dublin, Cork and Galway as the train crosses through postcard-perfect scenery. The three-day Realm of Giants (from $3,450 per person double) visits Belfast, Giant’s Causeway and departs from Dublin.
As a Belmond product you can count on top cuisine, especially in Ireland where local food producers provide some of the best regional ingredients. Traditional local entertainment onboard the train will close each day’s travel. Belmond’s collection includes 45 hotels as well as rail and river cruise experiences. The hotels include Belmond Grand Hotel Europe, St. Petersburg; Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa, Riviera Maya; and Belmond El Encanto, Santa Barbara.
Vacations By Rail recently extended its relationship with AARP offering members a number of exclusive savings. AARP members will enjoy a 5 percent savings per member on all independent and escorted rail vacations to worldwide destinations as well as 5 percent savings per member on select train tickets in the U.S. and Canada. Service fees will also be waived on the purchase of European rail passes and point-to-point tickets.
VBR offers a variety of global, independent and escorted rail vacations aboard some of the world’s most famous trains ranging from North America’s National Parks and the Canadian Rockies to the Swiss Alps and Europe’s historic cities. They can also select from unique rail-cruise combination packages, locally hosted vacations, and luxury rail journeys throughout Canada, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia.
They also offer a full schedule of 12 Irish train journeys using the regular Irish rail system ranging in length from six to 11 days. There’s a special Christmas package, a package that explores the Wild Atlantic Way, a rail and self-drive combination and another that combines London, Dublin and Edinburgh. The nine-day Emerald Isle Express, from $5,399 per person double, is a one-time special departing on Sept. 26, and journeying to Dublin, Waterford, Cork, Killarney, Limerick, Galway, Connemara and more on a private heritage train staying in five-star Irish Castle, City, and Country Hotels.
More by James Ruggia
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