The Belmond Grand Hibernian is not just a fancy new train traversing Ireland’s sprawling countryside, dramatic coasts and fascinating cities. It’s the country’s first of its kind luxury rail experience. The train’s contemporary interiors, marking a new era in luxury rail travel, evoke the sense of travelling in an Irish country house with genuine and warm service provided by the train’s crew.
The train embarked on its inaugural journey on August 30th, and you have every reason to envy the 40 fortunate ones who are taking on its first 2,217 kilometer six-night Grand Tour of Ireland. The elegant, midnight blue carriages take travelers to places like the Jameson’s Distillery in Cork, Killarney’s National Park and Belfast, but they’ll only see those places if they’re willing to disembark their dream.
Each carriage is named after an Irish county with interiors reflecting the local flora and fauna and colors inspired by the county’s tartan, a pattern made of criss-crossed horizontal and vertical bands in different colors. The “observation car” and social hub of the train has the charm of a local Irish tavern, with live entertainment each evening and a varied choice of Irish gin and whiskies for guests to enjoy after dinner is served in the elegant and light-filled dining cars. The sleeper cars feature 20 luxury en-suite cabins including 4 double cabins with spacious storage and elegant details .
Furthermore, head chef Alan Woods created mouth-watering dishes showcasing the best of Irish produce with a contemporary twist: seafood chowder, Roast Killarney Venison, Donegal Turf Smoked Salmon and Crab Cannon, Skeaghanore Duck Leg Confit and Warm Kildare Wild Elderberry and Plum Compote. All food is regionally sourced from local producers and guests can expect to enjoy home-baked soda bread and scones, served with salty butter and homemade jams and fresh cream.
All that comes with its price tag, of course. A person pays about $3,520 for a two-night journey with two guests sharing a twin or double cabin. Prices for the journey described above start at $8,605 per person. Visit belmond.com/grandhibernian for more information or to make a reservation for 2016 or 2017.