Immerse yourself in a world of indulgence aboard Ireland’s first luxury train, Belmond’s Grand Hibernian. First launched in 2016, the Grand Hibernian presents an authentic atmosphere that embodies old Ireland with a contemporary twist. Dramatic scenes unfold as the train follows routes through both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, with striking coastal scenes joining breathtaking cliffside vistas and tranquil views of the lush, rolling countryside. As the train weaves in and out of iconic Irish cities and charming towns, the passing scenery rivals the beauty found within the train.
The Grand Hibernian consists of 10 carriages, each handsomely painted in signature midnight blue with silver livery. Boarding, guests are surrounded by Georgian splendor, as the cars were designed as an homage to the stunning Georgian homes of Dublin. Rich wood paneling, wool-blend carpets, and traditional tweeds carry throughout the train, as does the symbol of the Celtic knot, which can be found on decor, cutlery, and even the uniforms of the stewards. Locally sourced materials and wares were used in the crafting of this luxury train, including hand-carved stone countertops from Dublin and wool rugs from Ulster. Accommodations and facilities are available to just 40 guests, adding an air of exclusivity to each journey. And that exclusivity is presented through impeccable, individualized services and decadent, chef-prepared cuisine that make the Grand Hibernian seem more like a 5-star hotel than a locomotive.
Travelers can select from two-, four- and six-night journeys aboard the train, all of which depart from Dublin. The briefest of the tours, Taste of Ireland, travels up the east coast of Ireland from Dublin to Belfast and on to Kilkenny before turning back. During the three-day/two-night expedition, enjoy a castle visit and a tour of Kilkenny’s medieval town center. The four-night option, Legends and Loughs, includes time in Cork, Galway and Westport, during which guests experience Ireland through optional excursions to distilleries, castles and natural points of interest, such as the Cliffs of Moher. The granddaddy of all journeys aboard the Grand Hibernian is the Grand Tour of Ireland, a week-long voyage through Cork, Killarney, Galway, Westport, Dublin, and Waterford. Each day of the Grand Tour brings elective adventures and scenic highlights, including ancient castles, dramatic coastlines, and centuries-old cities. All three journeys feature 24-hour steward service aboard the train, included drinks and cuisine and traditional onboard entertainment.
The grand excursions of these tours bring the need for restful slumber, and this luxury train has that covered, too. Guests have access to 20 thoughtfully designed cabins, sixteen of which include two single beds and four of which contain doubles. Large picture windows allow travelers to soak in the passing scenes from the comfort of their relaxing retreats. Each bed is outfitted in Egyptian cotton sheets and 100 percent authentic Irish duck down bedding. Tartan and Celtic knot accents bring Irish elegance to the cabins. Guests can utilize private wardrobes during their journeys, as well as private en suite bathrooms, which are complete with a water closet, a shower, a sink basin, luxury toiletries, a hairdryer, and plush bath linens.
Sightseeing and indulging in picturesque views are just part of what makes a rail vacation aboard the Grand Hibernian so special. Indeed, it is the nuances of old-world train-travel romance that bring many travelers on these Irish expeditions. Get to know your fellow travelers in the Belmond Grand Hibernian Observation Bar Car, which features elegant decor, comfortable seating, and an atmosphere that fosters both relaxation and socialization, depending on the time of day. Read a book while sitting in a plush armchair and watching the landscape unfold or enjoy an aperitif from the bar while chatting with new-found friends. In the evenings, traditional Irish entertainment further enhances the atmosphere.