Ireland’s ‘Orient Express’ launches – with prices to match. We don’t know for sure if the talks are to be held on the Irish Orient but the sources about this train are coming from the Dail Bar? Also it is ALLEGED that all the TD’s will have a designated Porter at their beck and call day and night with a five * menu – of course Champers is included.
Belmond’s ‘Royal Scotsman’ – a model for the Grand Hibernian
Booking are now being taken for an Irish ‘Orient Express’ that will provide luxury rail experiences throughout the island.
The Belmond ‘Grand Hibernian’ has launched its Grand Tours of Ireland – including two, four and six-night itineraries starting from €3,160pp – for sale.
Four-night journeys are being quoted from €5,420pp.
As the prices indicate, the journeys – set to begin in August 2016 – are aimed squarely at the luxury overseas market. They include meals, drinks, entertainment and excursions.
The Grand Hibernian has had “thousands” of enquiries, its Irish PR company said, with at least 25 bookings this week along from the US, UK, Germany and Switzerland.
Belmond Ltd. is a global collection of high-end hotel, rail and river cruise experiences, including the celebrated Venice Simplon-Orient-Express and Royal Scotsman trains.
The Grand Hibernian, which incorporates 11 carriages undergoing refurbishment after their purchase from Irish Rail, will carry up to 40 guests on its Irish itineraries.
A dining carriage on the Grand HibernianThe first journey – ‘Legends and Loughs’ – is described as a four-night tour of the Republic of Ireland travelling from Cork to Killarney, Galway and Westport. Excursions include a tour of Jameson’s Whiskey distillery, ‘kissing’ the Blarney Stone, sheepdog trials and sporting activities at Ashford Castle.
The two night tour, titled ‘Realm of Giants’, journeys north from Dublin to Belfast and Portrush, with excursions to Titanic Belfast, the Giant’s Causeway and the Old Bushmills Distillery.
Both journeys can be combined to create a six-night Grand Tour of Ireland.
Travel will be akin to “a land cruise,” the company says.
Interior designs, created by James Parks Associates, draw on Ireland’s character and mythology with colours inspired by the countryside, it adds.
A dewy-eyed press release also promises “authentic” Irish immersions, ranging 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.”
Golfers can avail of daily tee times or bespoke extensions to their journeys.
A cabin on board the Grand HibernianTwo opulent dining cars are named after Wexford and Sligo, filled with light and tweed fabrics, while the observation car (‘Kildare’) is pitched as a “social hub”.
Irish Rail will be contracted to provide operational support, including haulage and stabling on the train. Belmond will pay in full for all services, the company says.
No State aid has been sought or given by the Irish government.
The launch of the service comes shortly after the announcement of an ‘Emerald Isle Explorer’ itinerary run by UK company Steam Dreams with vintage locomotives owned by The Railway Preservation Society of Ireland.
It sets off on a seven-day circuit of Ireland this June, with prices starting from €1,695pp (non-dining) including accommodation in “good quality city centre hotels”, and rising to €2,950pp for a Pullman Style Dining package including six nights’ in five-star hotels such as the G in Galway.
For those looking for a taste of vintage trains without the sky-high prices, the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland (steamtrainsireland.com) offers regular excursions.
On May 8, a one-day return trip from Dublin to Rosslare is priced from €50pp.
For more on the Grand Hibernian, see belmond.com/grandhibernian.
Fred, I will update the Talks as soon as the Leaks pour out? Here we go: The leaks are fast and furious. Micheal, the Invisible FF Leader, banged the table starkling Leo and said “I will be Taoiseach and one vital condition is that I pick nine of my personal choices for the Senate and you get only three”. Leo allegedly replied: “Give me some names” and Martin said “first, I want Lisa the Pot Chambers, in the Seanad and from their I will transfer her and confirm as Minister for Foreign Affairs”. As I write this we must congratulate Lisa for the coming birth of her baby and also the father, Councillor Munnelly, Killala, FG. Adding to the list, Martin insists on having BuzzerGate Romeo Timmy Dooley and also he wants Eoghan Harris as an extra Minister of State for Border affairs. Leo then replied “I want Regina – my loyal servant in the Seanad along with Kylie Minogue and one more – yes my hubby to be, the Belmullet Bull, Mattie Barret”. The talks are going well but there were a few complaints from Leo’s adviser Packy Donohoe who said the Sinn Fein waiter had no idea how to uncork French Chardonnay. What can I say? The talks continue. They will stop at 4 pm for some smoke salmon in Roscommon town and there Mary Lou McDonald will hop on dressed as Mrs Bridges in Upstairs Downstairs and she will be in charge of cooking the fairy cakes and apple crumpet. These talks are most serious and Micheal Martin has demand that at 6 pm that Fr Muldoon with hop on the train at Sligo station to say the Angelus. Leo is not impressed about this because he believes Martin is getting back an old grudge in relation to Leo’s comment about the “old priest behind the altar playing with his cock-a-too”. More updates during the evening. Fred
Addendum Midnight: The 7* hotel on wheels has now stopped for the night at Ben Bulben station. Talks will continue in the morning and the two parties will gather for breakfast in the morning at the Fawlty Towers Hotel, Ireland, Corporate, sponsored by Tourism Ireland. All the FF reject TD’s and Blue Shirts have now part-time jobs as butlers and waiters for the elite of Irish politics. Mary Lou (Mrs Bridges) is still being ignored and kept in the Kitchen alongside Pearse Doherty dressed in a monkey suit and tie – he is the butler no less.
The train is due to depart from Ben Bulben at 7 am in the morning. It may be delayed because Shane Floss Ross missed the train at Heuston Station – Minister for Buses, Carriages and Jack Ass and carts. Ross had to buy a map to find out where Roscommon is and he is arriving at Ben Bulben during the early hours to join the Brigade of True Irish Leaders. It is alleged Ross got a lift from his best friend Eamon Bunphy —– to be continued like the movie TRAIN PLANES AND AUTOMOBILES. Good night to you all. Fred