Traveling around Ireland is set to be revolutionized. Want an easy, comfortable way to take in the beautiful Irish countryside? Leave the rental cars at the airport and step aboard Ireland’s answer to the world-famous Orient Express.
No traffic jams, no annoying GPS voices, no dealing with confusing Irish road signs or bendy narrow country back roads and no cramped kids in the backseats arguing and the chance to pretend you’re on the Hogwarts Express. Where do we sign up?
August 2016 will see the introduction of the luxurious train cruise, The Belmond Grand Hibernian, to the Irish Rail Network offering two-night, four-night or six-night cruises across the fabulous green landscape and if the promotional video is anything to go by, Ireland could witness a new travel-by-train revolution.
Belmond Limited, the company behind the Orient Express and many other train and river cruises across the world, are set to add the service following the success of similar luxury train cruises in Scotland.
Cruises will carry passengers between Dublin and Belfast on a two-night trip, from Dublin to Cork, Killarney and Galway on a four-night exploration or a combination of the two is packed into a six-night journey.
Those lucky enough to step aboard the Grand Hibernian can expect a retrofitted 11-car, five-star train, fitted with 20 luxury cabins. They’ll certainly be no standing only space left on this train either as maximum passenger capacity is set at 40 people for each trip.
Of course, all of this comes at a price and low-budget travelers may have to miss out. Rates are currently expected to be set at $3,424 for the shortest trip while a six-night trek is thought to cost up until $7,585.
North America is set to be the cruise’s biggest market with Belmond investing a massive $975,240 into marketing the Grand Hibernian there alone, on top of $10 million it’s expected to spend on refitting existing train carriages.