West Coast of Ireland Tour

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DAY BY DAY. MAY 19TH – MAY 28th, 2019 Prepared and arranged by Gemma Loughnane

  

CELTIC ODYSSEY- MAGICAL WEST OF IRELAND

Day 1 May 19th 

Depart from the U.S to Shannon Ireland, flight not included. Air Lingus have good prices for May, ($650 round trip quoted on their website today) but compare with other airlines, e.g United, Delta, American, Norwegian and Icelandic Airlines

Day 2 May 20tth

Your guides Katrina and Gemma, will meet all flights arriving into Shannon on May 20th, provided we receive plenty of notice of your flight details and arrival time. We will transport you to the 4-star, Bunratty Castle Hotel where we have requested early check in, but cannot guarantee it if the hotel is full the previous night. Afternoon at leisure to relax and enjoy the spa, go for a stroll, have lunch in a local quaint pub, or visit Bunratty folk park on your own.

Wonderful evening of traditional Irish entertainment, food, drink and fun at a banquet in 15th century, Knappogue Castle included.

Day 3 May 21st

Full Irish breakfast in the hotel.

Depart for Galway via the rugged Atlantic coast and dramatic protected Burren region. We will stop to visit the famous Cliffs of Moher en route, with views of the Aran Islands on a clear day. On arrival at our 4-star Salthill Hotel, across the road from Galway Bay, After check in, you might like to take a stroll on the promenade and return for your included dinner in the hotel.

Day 4 May 22nd

Full Irish breakfast in the hotel.

Depart for a half day tour into the heart of rural Ireland, for a farm visit, which includes a scone making class, sheep shearing demonstration, sheepdog demonstration and informative talk from our farmer. Then you may enjoy your freshly baked scones, home- made preserves and fresh whipped cream with morning tea or coffee. Great photo opportunities of the flowers and traditional thatched roof cottage on the farm.

Afternoon and evening at leisure. Gemma will get us started by leading us on a walking tour of central Galway, pointing out historic sites, good music pubs and restaurants etc.

Day 5 May 23rd

Full Irish breakfast in the hotel.

Depart on full day excursion to Connemara including a special stop to see 12th century Ashford Castle, now an ultra-luxurious hotel. We will be able to photograph and explore the castle exterior, and beautiful extensive grounds, lake and gardens. We will have morning tea, coffee and scones in a traditional cottage restaurant on the grounds. We drive out past the striking ruins of an ancient Abbey in Cong village and a bronze statue of John Wayne and Maureen O Hara, who starred in the movie, “The Quiet Man”, filmed in Connemara.

We continue past stunning lakes, mountains, bogs, rolling fields, and Ireland's only fjord, to Kylemore Abbey. You will have a few hours here to explore in your free time, the castle interior, restored Victorian walled gardens and miniature Gothic cathedral, entrance fee included.

Harp and traditional Irish pipe lecture and recital at the hotel before your included dinner.

Day 6, May 24th

Full Irish breakfast in the hotel.

Depart for Killarney, stopping at Coole park, the site of the former home of Lady Augusta Gregory, an important patron of many of our famous writers, including William Butler Yeats, who won the nobel prize for literature, and immortalized Coole Park in his famous poem, “The wild swans at Coole”. Later we will stop in the pretty village of Adare for photos and lunch on your own, We continue on to our beautiful 5 star Dunloe Hotel, where we will have an included elegant welcome dinner.

Day 7, May 25th

Full Irish breakfast in the hotel.

Depart for the Iveragh Peninsula, otherwise known as the famous Ring of Kerry where we will view a variety of scenery, ancient alphabet stones, historic sites/forts, Skellig Islands in the distance, colourful towns, coast and perhaps even a fairy if we are lucky!! Lunch will be included at a restaurant on the water.

Evening at leisure.

Day 8, May 26th

Full Irish breakfast in the hotel.

Depart for a half day tour to Muckross Estate and gardens. We will travel by jaunting car (traditional horse drawn carriages) from Killarney to Muckross house where we will have a tour of this Victorian home. You will also have free time to enjoy the gorgeous grounds and gardens.

We will return by coach to Killarney where some people might decide to explore the town, or some might like to play golf or walk in Killarney National Park.

Otherwise relax and enjoy the hotel's facilities including complimentary rides on their beautiful Hofflinger ponies or a swim in the large glass enclosed swimming pool.

Day 9, May 27th

Full Irish breakfast in the hotel.

Depart for the Dingle peninsula driving through the town of Tralee, famous for it's Rose Festival and up over scenic hills to the colourful fishing town of Dingle where we will have an included seafood sampler lunch and free time to explore. Then we will drive around one of the most dramatic and beautiful coast drives in Ireland, Slea Head, which was beautifully filmed in the David Lean movie, “Ryan's daughter”. We will stop for photos of beehive shaped dry stone huts (recognizable from Star War's movies.) and will visit a single room dry-stone oratory, believed to be between 8 and 12 hundred years old and still dry inside. Evening at leisure.

Day 10, May 28th

Transfer to Shannon airport for your flight home.

May is our favourite time in Ireland as the countryside is lush with fresh growth and many colourful flowering shrubs, including wild rhododendrons, wild Iris and whitethorn bushes in bloom.

Minimum number to operate tour is 20, and maximum is 24 if we can find extra space over 20. The per-person cost of the tour, for 2 sharing a room is $2350. It is more cost effective to share a room as the single supplement cost for the tour comes to an additional $590. Porterage in all hotels, tips for included meals and guide gratuities are included in the price.

About your Tour Managers

Gemma Loughnane, native of Co Tipperary, will be our historian/cultural expert and tour guide, as we visit the dramatic cliffs, historic sites, castles and gardens, music and dance traditions of Ireland.

Ireland in all it's glory will come to life as Gemma weaves the magical story of her homeland. Both Gemma and Katrina are certified through International Tour Management Institute in California and have 25+ years experience in leading tours internationally, as well as extensive individual travel.

 Gemma developed her taste for travel, after giving up her law career to travel round the world for 2 years. She subsequently qualified as an international tour manager with I.T.M.I and has led tours worldwide for 25 years, specializing in Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. Of course she is not biased when she says Ireland is one of her favourite places to visit because of it's stunning scenery, friendly, fun-loving people and rich cultural heritage.

Katrina Valenzuela, (formerly Katrina Gannon) specialized in tours to Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Turkey and Europe for two decades. She is the author of the newly released travel adventure, 'River of Stars Nights of Jasmine'.

Itinerary, Celtic Odyssey West Coast of Ireland Tour

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About your Irish Tour Guide, Gemma Loughnane

Gemma Loughnane, Born in County Tipperary, Ireland, Gemma went to law school and studied law, at University College Dublin. After a successful 9 year law career, Gemma decided to give it all up, sell her house and set off on an adventure around the world for a few years, culminating in a prolonged stay skiing and working in Aspen Colorado. Then a friend suggested she be a tour guide/tour manager for a year, having already traveled so extensively, and that became her new career. After becoming certified by I.T.M.I,  ( International Tour Management Institute ), she covered almost every corner of the globe from Antarctica to Africa, Asia to Europe, and took groups on many 4 month, world cruises on the QE2.

Ireland, however, has always been one of her favourite destinations because of it's stunning scenery, rich culture, friendly fun loving people, and her personal knowledge of all its facets which she enjoys sharing with her tour groups.  She retired early in Oct 2017 after leading tours for 25 years for Boston based tour companies.  Cape Cod has become her much loved new home, where she enjoys all it has to offer,  theatre, concerts, symphony, Irish and jazz music sessions, Italian and French gatherings and classes, biking, tennis and beautiful beach walks. However her passion is social ballroom dancing which takes her as far afield as Providence, Newton and Taunton. Recently she and a group of fellow dancers have starting entertaining residents of retirement homes and that gives them as much pleasure as the onlookers.


Katrina Valenzuela, also a graduate of ITMI,  specialized in tours to Jordan, Morocco, Turkey and Europe for two decades. She is the author of the newly released memoir, 'River of Stars Nights of Jasmine.' Katrina's full bio is on the home page of this site.

Terms & Conditions

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Terms and Conditions, Celtic Odyssey West Coast of Ireland,

May 19-28, 2019


The non-refundable deposit of $500 per person will hold your place for Celtic Odyssey, Ireland West Coast tour, May 19-28, 2019. 

The balance is required on March 1st. Payment must be by check, money order, or wire transfer.

Once you have booked, you will receive confirmation of payment. Price of $2350 per person is based on double occupancy. If you request a roommate, we will do our best to room you with another single member of the tour group. If we are unable to do this, you will be responsible for paying the additional single occupancy supplement of $590


If you wish to arrive before the first day of the tour, or stay on after the tour finishes, please inform us and we will do our best to help you with suggestions.

Included In The Tour Cost:

· Collection from & return to Shannon airport upon designated arrival and departure dates. 

· All land transportation for included itinerary items

· Accommodation in 4 & 5 star hotels

· All breakfasts & some lunches and evening meals 

· All admission charges to site visits listed on itinerary

· Porterage at hotels, all tour guide fees and gratuities.

· Gratuities & taxes on included meals

Not Included In The Tour Cost:

· Air Fare, transport from your home to airport 

Tips to coach driver

· Beverages except tea, coffee and water with included meals

· Personal expenditures

· Personal, medical or trip cancellation insurance

Insurance

Please read carefully

Each individual is responsible for all insurances and international travel arrangements. We strongly recommend you enroll in personal accident, baggage, and trip cancellation insurance policies. We are agents for TRAVELEX INSURANCE COMPANY and will send their brochure with your registration confirmation. Please note that most standard U.S. insurances do not cover overseas incidents of illness, loss, or accident.

Payments, Refunds & Insurance

We reserve the right to alter or cancel any tour, in which case your payment or deposit will be fully refunded. Please purchase trip cancellation insurance that also covers refund of airfare and other eventualities.

If you cancel before payment of balance, your non-refundable deposit will be forfeited. No refunds if you cancel later than 60 days prior to tour start date. Hence, the importance of trip insurance.

Health and Ability: This trip requires moderate walking, sometimes on uneven surfaces. If you have a physical, emotional or other disability that could create a problem, please inform us.

Responsibilities. Celtic Odyssey or its agents accept no responsibility for losses or expenses due to delay or change in schedules, hotel booking, defaults, sickness, quarantine, emergency, weather, strikes, war, or other causes. All such losses are the sole responsibility of the participants. We reserve the right to not accept or retain any person whose conduct is judged to be detrimental or in conflict with the safety or well-being of the group as a whole.

Payment, in the form of a deposit, shall constitute consent to all terms contained herein.


Registration Form, West Coast of Ireland Tour, May 2019



(PLEASE TYPE OR PRINT CLEARLY)

NAME AS IT APPEARS ON YOUR PASSPORT


 PASSPORT NUMBER, ORIGIN, AND DATE OF EXPIRY (MUST NOT BE BEFORE 15 NOVEMBER, 2019)

 MAILING ADDRESS

 
 

PHONE 

 EMAIL ADDRESS

 WITH WHOM YOU ARE TRAVELING AND/OR ROOMING?


CONTACT IN CASE OF EMERGENCY


 NAME OF CONTACT

PHONE AND EMAIL OF EMERGENCY CONTACT

 
 

PLEASE INFORM US OF ANY FOOD ALLERGIES OR CONDITIONS THAT WE SHOULD BE AWARE OF

 
 

DEPOSIT IN FORM OF:

CHECK__MONEY ORDER__BANK TRANSFER____

ON DATE__________________

 I HAVE READ AND I AGREE TO ALL ABOVE TERMS

 NAME_____________________________________________

DATE SIGNED__________

 
 

PLEASE MAKE PAYMENTS DIRECTLY TO:

GEMMA LOUGHNANE/CELTIC ODYSSEY

AND MAIL CHEQUE AND REGISTRATION FORM TO HER AT

151 Belmont Rd,

West Harwich,

MA 02671

 
 

PLEASE MAKE COPY OF ALL FORMS FOR YOUR FILES.



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