It’s all aboard the tourism train as Ireland is set to get its very own Orient Express.
Dubbed the Belmond Grand Hibernian, the country’s first luxury overnight train is set to tour the magnificent countryside and coastal scenery of both the Republic and the North — but it’ll set you back a pretty penny.
Offering two-, four-, and six-night rail experiences, with a two-night all-inclusive stay costing €3,200, it has been confirmed that the sleeper train will visit key destinations in Cork, Dublin, and Belfast.
Daily excursions to tour historic estates, famous golf courses, and landmarks are also included in the price, as is food and drink.
Due to arrive in 2016, Belmond Ltd has already acquired 10 carriages from Irish Rail and is in the process of transforming them into luxury accommodation for up to 40 tourists.
As the carriages are already made for Irish Rail tracks, no modifications need to be made to the existing infrastructure.
Irish Rail chief executive David Franks said the company is delighted to welcome the Grand Hibernian to Ireland.
“Our railways provide a unique aspect on the countryside, towns and cities of Ireland,” said Mr Franks. “Rail is therefore a key element of our national tourism product, and the launch of Belmond Grand Hibernian represents a strong endorsement of Ireland as a destination,”
The 20 en-suite cabins will also include four interconnecting suites for families, two restaurant cars, and an observation bar car.
The interior will be designed in an elegant Georgian style, drawing inspiration from Ireland’s ancient folklore, and traditions.
The service is expected to be similar to the Royal Scotsman, a luxury train experience in the heart of the Scottish Highlands.
The company currently owns and operates 45 unique and distinctive hotel, rail and river cruise experiences in many of the world’s most celebrated destinations. The Grand Hibernian will be Belmond’s seventh luxury rail experience, building on its reputation for running the world’s most famous trains, including the Royal Scotsman and the legendary Venice Simplon-Orient Express.
John Scott, president and chief executive officer of Belmond, described Ireland as the perfect place to set up this service, thanks to the county’s immense beauty.
“Ireland offers today’s luxury traveller a rich and diverse cultural experience, with unrivalled scenery and warm hospitality that fits perfectly with Belmond’s offering of enriching and authentic hotel, rail and river cruise experiences,” said Mr Scott.
For more information, or to register your interest, go to www.belmond.com
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