Ireland: Traditions of the Emerald Isle

11 days
On this adventure through the Emerald Isle, you’ll see that even the oldest traditions continue to thrive. Discover the country’s highlights, starting in historic Dublin and continuing on through County Cork, the “Rebel County.” After exploring the breathtaking Ring of Kerry, the mesmerizing Cliffs of Moher and the charming coastal city of Galway, you may find it hard to say goodbye to Ireland.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Tour group size: 18 - 35 travelers

Tour pace: You will walk for about 1 hour daily across moderately uneven terrain, including cobblestone streets and paved roads, with some hills and stairs.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 9 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 4 three-course dinners with beer or wine

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Guided sightseeing and select entrance fees

Map of tour to Ireland

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Dublin today.

Dublin 2 nights Hotel info

Day 2: Arrival in Dublin

  Included meals: Dinner

Welcome to Ireland! Meet your fellow travelers at tonight’s welcome dinner.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Dublin

  Included meals: Breakfast

Take a comprehensive tour of Ireland’s capital city with a local expert leading the way.

• Pass St Stephen’s Green and admire the Georgian architecture of Merrion Square

• Walk down Grafton Street to see the Molly Malone statue and Trinity College

• Stop in Phoenix Park, site of the presidential residence

• Step inside the soaring St. Patrick’s Cathedral 

• Finish with an included pint at a local pub in the Temple Bar district

Enjoy a free afternoon in Dublin or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Glendalough $29pp* Details

County Wicklow has some of the wildest and most spectacular mountain scenery in Ireland, as well as many of the country’s most important historic sites. Journey through Wicklow’s captivating landscapes to Glendalough, which became famous throughout Europe as a center of Christian learning before it was sacked by Viking raiders in the 10th century. Here, you’ll see St. Kevin’s Cross, marking the place where the saint lies buried. You’ll also view the remains of the sixth-century cathedral and the remarkable Round Tower, thought to have been used by monks as a place of refuge. Your Tour Director will lead you on a tour of the site followed by free time.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $39)

County Cork 2 nights Hotel info

Day 4: Cork via the Irish National Stud & Rock of Cashel

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Travel to Cork, stopping for several guided visits along the way.

• Visit the Irish National Stud farm, where world-class race horses are bred and trained, in County Kildare

• Explore the Japanese Gardens of the Irish National Stud farm

• Take a tour of the iconic Rock of Cashel, commanding stone buildings that date back to the 12th and 13th centuries

Day 5: Cobh, Cork & Blarney Castle

  Included meals: Breakfast

Get a feel for the many sides of Ireland, from charming villages to vibrant cities and iconic castles.

• Discover the town of Cobh, once a launch site for ships bound for North America

• Visit the Cobh Heritage Centre, whose exhibits tell the story of Irish emigration over the past 150 years

• Explore Cork, stopping in the Princes Street Market (or English Market), a traditional food hall

• Stop at Blarney Castle to kiss the legendary Blarney Stone

County Kerry 2 nights Hotel info

Day 6: County Kerry via Muckross House

  Included meals: Breakfast

Transfer to County Kerry today, stopping at Muckross House on the way. Take time to explore this Victorian mansion and stroll through its beautifully manicured gardens before continuing on.

Later, enjoy a free evening in County Kerry or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Traditional Irish Music & Dance Show $99pp* Details

Tonight, head outside of Killarney and sit down to a hearty three-course dinner. After your meal, watch as talented musicians, singers and prize-winning dancers put on a show filled with traditional Irish tunes and choreography.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $109)

Day 7: The Ring of Kerry & Killarney National Park

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Make your way around the Ring of Kerry, a 112-mile coastal route that covers some of Ireland’s most spectacular scenery. 

• Pass the pristine Lakes of Killarney

• Explore the picturesque villages that line the Ring of Kerry

• Stop for photos at Muckross Lake and Lough Leane in Killarney National Park

Galway 2 nights Hotel info

Day 8: Galway via Bunratty Castle, the Cliffs of Moher & the Burren

  Included meals: Breakfast

Head north to Galway today, taking time to visit a historic castle and view spectacular scenery en route. 

• Take a guided tour of the 13th-century Bunratty Castle

• Walk along the mesmerizing coastline of the majestic Cliffs of Moher 

• Pass through the Burren, a unique limestone plateau where fields of rock are dotted with wildflowers

Enjoy a free evening in Galway or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Castle Banquet Dinner $115pp* Details

Enjoy a feast fit for a king inside Dunguaire Castle, a 17th-century tower house overlooking Galway Bay. Sip from a goblet of mead and learn the history of the castle before proceeding up the spiral staircase to the banquet hall. Here, you’ll enjoy a sumptuous, four-course dinner and an evening of live entertainment, including songs and stories. Please note: This excursion is seasonal and runs from mid-April through mid-October.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $125)

Day 9: Free day in Galway

  Included meals: Breakfast

Spend a full free day in Galway or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Aran Islands $109pp* Details

Board a ferry across Galway Bay for a guided tour of Inis Mór, one of the three remote Aran Islands. These islands represent an outpost of Irish culture that has remained essentially unchanged over the past few centuries, the Aran Islanders still speak Gaelic and rely on fishing and farming to make a living. Local crafts produced here include hand-knit “fisherman” sweaters. While you’re here, you’ll visit the ruins of Dún Aonghasa, a prehistoric fort and enjoy an included lunch at a restaurant on the island. Please note: This tour involves a fair amount of walking over somewhat rugged terrain. Travelers should be accustomed to moderate physical activity. This excursion is weather dependent, and weather conditions may also result in a rough sea crossing. This optional is also seasonal and runs from April through October.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $119)

Dublin 1 night Hotel info

Day 10: Travel to Dublin

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

En route to Dublin, make a stop at the historic Kilbeggan Distillery for a tasting of Irish whisky. Then, say goodbye to your fellow travelers at a farewell dinner this evening.

Day 11: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home or continue on to Belfast.

Add Belfast Starting from $399 pp

Please note: Extension is not available on all departure dates.

The city of Belfast was once the largest in Ireland, the home of Irish linen and the most productive shipyard in the world, a place whose hills inspired Jonathan Swift to write Gulliver's Travels. Come discover the charming Victorian architecture of the cultural heart of Northern Ireland.

Belfast 2 nights Hotel info

Day 11: Sightseeing tour of Belfast

  Included meals: Breakfast

Journey to Belfast, the cultural heart of Northern Ireland, where you’ll get the local perspective of the city on a guided tour.

• Glimpse the copper-domed City Hall and the recently restored Grand Opera House

• Learn all about Belfast’s long history, from its origins in the Bronze Age and rise as an international seaport to its role in the conflict known as The Troubles

• Enter the Titanic Museum for a look at the vessel’s infamous history

Day 12: Free day in Belfast

  Included meals: Breakfast

Spend a full free day in Belfast or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Giant's Causeway $79pp* Details

Pay a visit to the rugged Giant’s Causeway, a series of naturally formed basalt columns. The hexagonal columns, which you can walk on, are 60 million years old and originated as volcanic lava. A colorful local legend says that mythical giant Finn McCool built the walkway so that he could cross the sea to Scotland. Please note: Rain gear is recommended for this excursion.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $89)

Day 13: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

How's the weather?

  • Dublin, Ireland
  • Cork, Ireland
  • County Kerry, Ireland
  • Galway, Ireland
Temperature Precipitation
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC

Passport & visa requirements

  • In order to enter Ireland (plus the United Kingdom on the tour extension), U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of reentry.
  • We recommend having at least one blank passport page for entry stamps.
  • There is no visa required for U.S. or Canadian citizens.
  • If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.               

Tour pace

  • You will walk for about 1 hour daily across moderately uneven terrain, including cobblestone streets and paved roads, with some hills and stairs.
  • Travelers should be healthy enough to participate in all included walks without assistance. Adding optional excursions may increase the total amount of walking on your tour.
  • You should feel comfortable managing your own baggage at times.
  • If you have any mobility concerns or physical restrictions, please contact our Customer Experience Team.        

Transportation & arrival information

  • Round-trip flights booked through Go Ahead arrive in and depart from Dublin (or from Belfast on the tour extension). A Go Ahead representative will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. Please remain in the arrival lounge, as the representative might be escorting one of your fellow travelers to the bus at the time of your arrival.
  • Transfers to and from the airport at your destination are included for travelers who have purchased their flights through Go Ahead. Travelers who purchase their own flights may request airport transfers with Go Ahead for an additional cost.
  • All other included transportation is by private motor coach.         

Baggage allowance

  • Airlines have varying weight restrictions on baggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs.
  • Contact your airline for baggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that Go Ahead travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other transfers, which may include train connections or flights.
  • One carry-on bag of 45 total inches (length + width + height) is also permitted.
  • Make sure you label your baggage and keep valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on bag.          

Clothing & packing tips

  • We recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered to accommodate varying temperatures, as well as a light jacket or rainwear.
  • A sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers is recommended for sightseeing.
  • You may want to pack dressier attire if you plan to visit a high-end restaurant or attend a special performance.
  • It is preferable not to visit churches or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (and entrance may be denied on this basis).        

Health

  • There are no major health risks associated with traveling to any of the countries on this tour.
  • At least 60 days prior to departure, check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and entry requirements, or visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at cdc.gov.
  • If you have medication that you take daily, be sure you have enough for each day of the tour as well as any possible delays encountered.
  • If you have dietary restrictions and/or food allergies please notify Go Ahead at least 30 days prior to departure by logging in to goaheadtours.com and updating your traveler info. To update this information closer to your departure date, please call our Customer Experience Team.      

Cuisine

  • Irish pubs serve up hearty lunches, such as the traditional stew of bacon and boiled cabbage. Soda bread is delicious, very filling and served with many a meal. Nibble a scone at afternoon tea, with a pat of high-quality butter from County Kerry. Guinness stout is an international sensation, but locals might favor Murphy's, depending on where you are.
  • Dublin has seen something of a culinary revolution, and the city now boasts an impressive array of new restaurants offering exciting cuisine with continental Europe, Asian and even American influences. 

Electricity & air conditioning

  • Ireland operates within 230-240 volts and use a Type G plug with three large, flat pins.
  • We recommend packing a universal adapter, as well as a voltage converter if you plan on using your own hairdryer or other electrical device without a built-in converter. 
  • The strength of the air conditioning in European hotels is often not as strong or as cool as what you might be used to in the U.S. or Canada. When air conditioning is available, it is usually regulated seasonally and controlled centrally by the hotel.
  • Hotels may provide hairdryers, irons and other small appliances, but these amenities cannot be guaranteed.        

Connectivity

  • Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, though charges may apply.
  • There is no internet access on the motor coach.
  • Please contact your mobile service provider for information on roaming charges.         

Time zones

  • Ireland is on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), which is five hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST).
  • When it’s noon in New York, it’s 5pm in Dublin.           

Currency

  • You will use the euro in Ireland (plus the Pound sterling in the United Kingdom on the tour extension).
  • Better rates of exchange are usually available overseas, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive.
  • We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to withdraw cash at local banks as needed.
  • You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees.
  • Inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.
  • International banks and businesses primarily accept debit and credit cards that work with the EMV chip system. If you do not already have at least one debit or credit card with a chip in it, we strongly recommend requesting one from your bank prior to your tour.       

Tipping

  • At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity in local currency. Please keep current exchange rates in mind.
  • We recommend tipping the equivalent of $7USD/CAD to $10USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director and the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver.
  • If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD per local guide.
  • Tips can only be paid in cash.

Purchasing excursions on tour

  • Most optional excursions will be available for purchase while you are on tour.
  • Your Tour Director will only accept cash (in USD only), Visa or MasterCard as payment for excursions.
  • Please be advised that if you pay for an excursion by credit card while on tour, it may take up to three months for your card to be charged.
  • Some optional excursions may only be purchased in advance. See page four of your tour itinerary for more information.

See what our travelers say about this tour—all reviews are authentic and unedited.

Have you been on tour with us? Visit My Account to submit a review.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 10/2/2016

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: TX

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Traditions of the Emerald Isle

This is my first time with GAT and my hubby and I were impressed with everything, from the persons in the office helping me book this tour over the phone, all the reservations, flight, hotel, etc. everything went off without a hitch! This was my bucket list trip as well as our 10 year anniversary celebration and I must say, no other trip will compare or surpass this one (in my opinion). Our tour guide Sean M. was outstanding! He knew everything, was able to answer all our questions regarding the places, history, etc., not only he knew the history, for example of Bunratty Castle, but he also gave us the preamble to the building of, wars, etc. We had dinner and a show at Dunguire castle (very good, we enjoyed it and is worth the money) and our tour guide was so awesome, he let know the people in charge of the event that it was our anniversary and they picked my hubby and I as the king and queen for the night. We had to pick 4 people our of our tour which were with us, as part of our court and they got to sit at the king and queen's table. We got crowned and then the show and food started. It was fantastic! I will be posting pictures later. Needless to say, everything was outstanding I would recommend this tour, you will not be disappointed in the way the company plans every detail and the quality of people they hire for the job. Oh let's not forget, our bus driver Donny, he was an excellent driver, specially getting through the very narrow roads on the Ring of Kerry. Thank you guys for making this experience a memorable one!

 

Hi Alexsandra! First of all, happy 10th anniversary to you and your husband! What an unforgettable way to celebrate with your bucket list trip. We’re thrilled to learn that that all your questions were answered prior to tour and that everything went off without a hitch. We’re glad your Tour Director and bus driver made a great impression on your group and that they were a valuable resource for you. The dinner show sounds like a fantastic time, and how appropriate that you and your husband were crowned king and queen! Thank you for recommending this tour, and we hope to welcome you and your husband on tour again!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | October 21, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 10/2/2016

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: ID

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Dream come true trip to Ireland

The trip to Ireland with Go Ahead was above and beyond what I expected. The tour guide, Sean, was absolutely wonderful and very knowledgeable. I have wanted to go to Ireland for my entire life because I have Irish heritage and Go Ahead did not disappoint. The hotels were very nice, comfortable and clean. I had a wonderful experience and would definitely travel with Go Ahead again. Thank you for a dream come true!

 

Hi Wynne! We’re thrilled that this tour exceeded your expectations! We’re also glad that you were finally able to make it to Ireland to learn about your Irish heritage. How special! We appreciate you letting us know what an incredible experience you had, and we hope to welcome you on tour again!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | November 21, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 9/18/2016

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Emerald

There was so much to see.! I was so excited to see and hear about all the history from thousands of years ago my tour Gide was so knowledgeable on everything it made the tour that much more exciting and the castles and the scenery was so beautiful .!! I would love to go again. Know I now why they call it the Emerald Isle..!!!

 

Hello! Thank you for your wonderful review. You're right that there's so much to see in Ireland, and we're glad you could see it first-hand! It sounds like your Tour Director provided rich background along the way, and we're pleased his insight made the tour more exciting. Let us know if you'd like to go again!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | September 30, 2016

3 / 5

3 / 5

Tour Date: 9/14/2016

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: NV

Tour Director: 1 / 5

Tour Value: 3 / 5

A bit disappointing

I chose this tour over competing companies' offerings partially because of the good amount of free time. Thank Goodness for that ! The tour stops were quite touristy and did not give a feel of an authentic Irish experience. A very disinterested tour director and the rude "comic" audio played at times on the bus made the travel time frustrating. My most enjoyable moments were when I could branch out to sites not part of this tour itinerary; eat at pubs or small cafes rather than stops catering to bus groups. From reading other reviews, I believe there are some fabulous tour directors for the Ireland tour ; unfortunately this tour date got a lackluster individual.

 

Dear Traveler, We regret that some aspects of your tour did not meet your expectations. A member of our Quality Control team reached out to you to learn more about your experience. If you would like to discuss it, please give us a call back at 1-800-597-0350. Regarding the touristic nature of some of the stops on tour, this is the reality for many iconic areas and regions all over the world. We understand that this can sometimes have an impact on authenticity, but millions of tourists visit Ireland each year, so it is fairly difficult to avoid other tourists, particularly near historical and important sites. Regarding the audio your Tour Director played on the bus, our Tour Directors will sometimes use the time in transit to introduce travelers to local music, cultural icons, or other relevant historical information. We regret that you did not enjoy the audio, and we will be sure to share that information with him. In terms of your Tour Director overall, we are surprised to hear such feedback, as he typically receives very good ratings among travelers. We will be sharing your feedback with him, as well as his supervisor. Again, please give us a call at 1-800-597-0350 if you would like to discuss your experience further.

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | October 07, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 9/8/2016

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: ME

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Wonderful

Can't say enough about our tour director, Sean. He was on top of everything and went above and beyond to ensure we had a great experience. All our guides and drivers were very professional and pleasant. We saw so much and found the time allotted at each sight was just about right. Sean was also very knowledgeable about everything from history to economics and myth and lore. He was there when he said he'd be and made sure we were too. We had comfortable accomodations and good food everywhere we went.

1 / 1
 

Hello! We're thrilled to learn that your Tour Director made your journey as smooth and informative as possible. It sounds like he was a great resource for your group, and we will be sure to let him know that. It's also great to hear that you enjoyed your accommodations and meals. Thank you for your review, and we hope to welcome you on tour again!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | October 19, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 9/8/2016

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: NY

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Oh My Ireland!

Where can I start?! This tour was amazing from top to bottom! I'm still in love with the beauty, the people, the food, the Guinness! This was my very first tour with Go Ahead, and my first tour in general, and I could not have asked for more! We saw EVERYTHING! Our Tour Director, Sean, was absolutely the best! He went above and beyond for all of us and for my little group in particular- his knowledge and historical information was so impressive! Sean said we will probably see more of Ireland on this tour than most Irish people will see in their lifetime! From Dublin, to Cork, To Killarney, Belfast and more- simply amazing and totally unforgettable! This has been a lifelong goal of mine, to get to Ireland and see all these beautiful ancient places and it was more than I even imagined! I'm ready to go back and excited to book another tour! Go Ahead does all of the planning for you, all you have to do is show up at the right time and place and you are on the way! No responsibility, just sit back and let them show you the world!

 

Hi Patty! Welcome to the Go Ahead family! It’s wonderful to learn that you fell in love with Ireland and that you enjoyed your first ever Go Ahead tour. We’re happy we had the chance to help you achieve your lifelong goal of visiting, and it’s great to know that it exceeded your imagination. Thank you for your thoughtful and kind review, and we can’t wait to help you plan your second tour!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | September 30, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 9/8/2016

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: OH

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Fall in Ireland

We had a wonderful time in Ireland.The people are so friendly and helpful. The country is not only beautiful, but it is very clean and I always felt safe. Even the weather cooperated quite nicely. We had heard September was normally very rainy, but we seemed to avoid the rain and only saw the occasional short shower. The accommodations were very nice. Most were located within walking distance of restaurants, shops and churches. In Dublin we attended a local church near our hotel and were warmly welcomed by the locals. Our tour director, Sean, was excellent! He was very knowledgeable about the history of Ireland, interesting places to see or visit, good places to eat, and always kept us abreast of times and places. I would recommend this trip to anyone interested in considering Ireland as a destination for their next adventure.

 

Hi Patricia! Thank you for recommending this tour! We’re so glad you had a wonderful time exploring beautiful and welcoming Ireland. We appreciate your feedback on your accommodations, as well as your Tour Director. We will be sure to share your comments with our team. Thank you for your review, and we hope to welcome you on tour again soon!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | October 14, 2016

4 / 5

4 / 5

Tour Date: 9/1/2016

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 3 / 5

Long Review Full of Info

Overall the trip was very good! Ireland is a beautiful country and you will not be disappointed exploring here. The Irish are very kind and welcoming! The tour itinerary was good, you are constantly on the go and you get to see a lot of this country. The Things I Really Enjoyed: Kathy, our tour guide (for the majority of the trip, not for the Belfast extension) was very sweet, knowledgeable and a good sense of humor. Tommy, our bus driver was very professional and did an outstanding job traveling the narrow sometimes windy roads; I never felt unsafe! Patricia, our tour guide in Belfast was so much fun and I wish I had more time with her, I consider her a new friend. She is from Ireland and shared her Irish roots which really added to our experience. Touring the National Irish Stud was something I didn't have a lot of expectations about, however is was a great experience and educational. It was a great stop on the way to County Cork. The quick trip to Cobh was full of history and really enjoyable; time there was short but ample. I think the City of Cork would have been nice to explore more, but time there was short too but enjoyed checking out the English Market and grabbing some lunch. Killarney...lovely and great little city, wish we had more time here. The weather didn't cooperate for the drive around the Ring of Kerry but what we saw was beautiful! A nice little stop along the drive to watch the sheep dogs work was a great treat...boy those dogs are well trained! The Cliff of Moher, a breathtaking site! The Bunratty Castle was my favorite of all the castle stops we made. It had a great little village to tour, a tea house for tea & scones....only thing that could have been better about this place is that we had more time to explore! On to Galway, another great city. Full of shopping, restaurants and very lively! Belfast, you have to come here to visit the Titanic Belfast (all about the building of the ship, not so much about the demise. The Giants Causeway...if you don't go, it would be a giant mistake! Hotel Review: The hotel in Dublin; Temple Bar Hotel: newly renovated and nice, the best breakfast of all the hotels. Clayton Hotel in Cork: very dingy and disappointing! The location was terrible and I couldn't wait to leave this place! The Molton in Killarney, very comfortable and beautiful just like the city. Galway: Imperial Hotel: great location, terrible stay...reminded us of an old converted hospital - again, couldn't wait to leave this hotel. 2nd stay in Dublin @ the Raddison Blu - very nice hotel and good food. Clayton Hotel in Belfast: I wasn't sure how this was going to match up with the horrible accommodations at the last Clayton, but to my surprise it was very nice! The Disappointment: We booked our airfare with Go Ahead to ensure that if problems arose with our flights Go Ahead would take care of things, just like all their paperwork states. When booking the airfare I was very specific that I didn't want to book air with them but my friend did and only did so for this service. However, when our flights were delayed and missed connections because of it - guess who took care of everything? We did!! When I called Go Ahead initially with our first delay they told me to work with the ticketing agent and get back to them!!! What? I was told that I didn't purchase the additional insurance for that service! Funny, because they never stated that I needed to purchase any other additional insurance other than the increase in the premium for the insurance I already had! Also, once we finally arrived in Dublin 26 hrs later than planned, we had to pay for our own transportation to our hotel. Even though the trip was lovely and enjoyable I will not be booking another Go Ahead Tour because of the bad hotel choices and the airfare/insurance issue!

 

Dear Jeanette, We’re so glad that overall you had a wonderful time on tour. Ireland is certainly a magical place, and we’re happy to hear you found the people warm and welcoming. We appreciate your feedback on your Tour Director, as well as the itinerary. It’s great to know that these two aspects of your experience satisfied your expectations. We’re also pleased to learn that there were some surprises along the way for you, such as enjoying the tour of the Irish National Stud farm. We’re grateful for your suggestion to add more time in Cork, and we agree that the Cliffs of Moher are absolutely breathtaking. Regarding your accommodations, we regret that some of your hotels met your expectations and others didn’t. We will be sure to share this with our Operations team for further evaluation. Regarding your air travel concerns, one of our Customer Service Managers reached out to you to discuss your experience. If you would like to do so, please give us a call back at 1-800-597-0350. We understand that the insurance options can be confusing, and we regret if they were unclear. We would be glad to explain how your insurance could impact your delayed itinerary. However, regarding delays and cancellations, this is something that needs to be directly negotiated between travelers and ticketing agents at the time of itinerary disruptions. The reason for this is Go Ahead and the airlines are completely separate entities, meaning we have no access to their flight programs, ticketing programs, etc. Therefore, the quickest and most efficient way to obtain a new itinerary is to work directly with the agent, who has the access and the capability to do so. We regret if this was unclear. The advantages to booking flights through Go Ahead are that we’re often able to secure good deals through our airlines contracts, our flights include airport transfers within your destination(s), and if the tour is unable to run for some reason, you will get your money back on your flights (this is not the case if you book independently). Again, we hope that you will give us a call back at 1-800-597-0350, so that we can explain how to proceed with your insurance. Thank you for your review, and again, we’re happy that overall your tour was enjoyable. We hope to welcome you on tour again!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | September 28, 2016

1 / 5

1 / 5

Tour Date: 8/14/2016

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: NY

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 3 / 5

Ireland

This was my first trip on my own and Ireland was number 1 on my bucket list. I was so excited for this trip. To start off with my flight was delayed 6 hours. By the time I arrived my first day was lost. No fault with Go Ahead. The first night was the meet and greet dinner. There were 3 couples on the tour. Initially when I signed up I had asked for a tour with all single people over the age of 50 so I would feel comfortable and have a common bond with everyone. There was a couple in their 20's. At the last minute our schedule was changed meaning we would spend more time on the road and in the bus. Moving ahead. It is now the third day and it was raining. Getting back on the bus, the driver cranked up the AC even though it was only about 66 degrees out. I asked if he could turn it off because it was cold. He did only for a few minutes then turned it back on again. Needless to say I got sick. The rest of my trip was miserable because I had such a bad cold and I had to endure the AC everyday on the bus. I enjoyed seeing Ireland, but my experience would have been better had I not been sick. I have come to the conclusion that touring a country by bus is not my cup of tea. It is hectic. Not relaxing at all. I can only speak from my one and only experience. Next time I decide to vacation it will be more relaxing. Isn't that what vacations are supposed to be? So, Go Ahead, what will you do better next time?

 

Dear Traveler, We are glad that you enjoyed seeing Ireland, but we regret that your tour did not meet your expectations. Beginning a tour with a flight delay can be challenging, and we regret that this was the case for you. As travelers ourselves, we know all too well how frustrating that can be. Regarding your group composition, we cannot control the ages of individual group members. We are happy to keep our tours available to a wide range of ages, as we and many of the members of our travel community find that a diversity of ages enriches the group experience. That said, we regret that this made you feel uncomfortable. In terms of air conditioning on the bus, we are sorry that you were cold and became sick. Temperature control in a confined space is always a challenge because what is cold for one person may be hot for another. The transfer vehicle companies we work with have their own policies regarding temperature regulation, and we will be sure to share your feedback with them. If you have any questions about your experience, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-800-597-0350. Thank you for sharing your feedback.

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | September 02, 2016

3 / 5

3 / 5

Tour Date: 8/14/2016

Number of Past Tours: 3

From: TN

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Disappointed in change in itinerary

This is my 3rd Go Ahead Tour and I have to say, I was disappointed. First of all, I had a friend who wanted to go with me and it said on the web that there was a waiting list when, in fact, there were only 14 of us. Also, our tour got changed and we were on the bus way too much. I never got a direct answer on why it got changed but one day we were on the bus for about 7 hours traveling and another day was also spent all day traveling which I didn't spend that kind of money to sit on a bus all day.......

 

Dear Dana, We are sorry to hear that this tour did not meet your expectations. In terms of group size, our group sizes are listed on our itineraries, and the majority of the time we are able to honor these cap sizes. However, occasionally we are unable to do so, due to a lack of hotel availability. This was the case with your particular departure. In terms of the tour change, your stays in County Kerry and Galway were reversed, also due to hotel availability. It looks like you had an e-mail exchange with one of our Customer Service Representatives regarding this change prior to tour. Regarding time on the bus, we regret that you were surprised by some of the transfer times. That said, many of our travelers find that their time in transit is when they are able to soak up the natural beauty and changing landscapes of their destination. We do regret that the transit time did not meet your expectations, but we hope that you found the rest of the tour to be enjoyable. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call if you have any questions about your tour. You can reach our Quality Control team at 1-800-597-0350.

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | August 29, 2016

4 / 5

4 / 5

Tour Date: 8/7/2016

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: CA

Tour Director: 2 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Beautiful tour

I just returned from this tour and had a wonderful time. We visited Dublin, Cork, Galway, Killarney, and Belfast (on the extension) Belfast was my favorite city with it being a city, but not as crowded as Dublin. The Titanic Museum was awesome.We had fantastic weather the entire tour with only a bit of misty rain. The Giants Causeway in Belfast and Cliffs of Moher in Galway were must sees and didn't disappoint. I wish that our tour director had not been as cocky and sarcastic as he was but for the most part he was knowledgable and did provide everything we needed. He just wasn't good about giving information on estimated times of arrival, time on bus, next activity to expect, etc. He wanted to keep us in the dark until the last minute it seemed. But, I am sure that if I went on another tour, I would not have a tour director like this one. He was probably one in a million. I wouldn't recommend this director though. Our bus driver, on the other hand, was excellent! He could drive that bus like a car, and he was full of information and was very willing to share. He was actually guiding the tour director at times. We enjoyed a jaunting tour in Killarney, loved the Ring Of Kerry drive, but wish the director had given more history on Ireland in general. A favorite activity was the sheep dog working exhibition. The dogs were amazing and the sheep were fun to watch. The man who was the sheep herder was very informative too. All and all I loved the tour and most everyone in Ireland was very friendly. They seem to really love and appreciate tourists. The pubs were fun and the Irish music and language were fun and interesting as well.

 

Dear Traveler, We’re so pleased that you had a wonderful time on tour. You certainly chose an incredible itinerary! Ireland is a country rich in history and tradition, and there is much to discover there. It sounds like you were able to see many wonderful sites and that they were all worthwhile. We regret to hear that your Tour Director did not meet your expectations. We’re glad you felt he was knowledgeable, but we regret that his personality did not make a good impression on you. We will be sure to communicate this to his supervisor and investigate further. Thank you for letting us know what a great job your bus driver did, both in ensuring your safety on the road and keeping you well-informed along the way. Again, we’re glad that overall you loved the tour and your time in Ireland. We appreciate that you took the time to share your experience, and we hope to welcome you on tour again!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | August 25, 2016

3 / 5

3 / 5

Tour Date: 8/7/2016

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: CA

Tour Director: 1 / 5

Tour Value: 3 / 5

Ireland

My tour to Ireland was a great experience because the Country is so beautiful and speaks for itself the people are friendly and love having tourist. If you go on this tour be prepared to be on the move constantly, 5 hotels in 9 days, bags have to be out by 7:15am breakfast is between 7:15am and 7:30am and you are on the bus by 8:30am to 9:00am, you normally are on the bus between 4 and 6 hours a day. The food was great and our Bus driver Steven was amazing. Our tour director Paul did not give us an Itinerary everyday of what time we would have lunch or arrive at our hotel, he gave very vague information which was challenging to know what to expect each day.

 

Hello! We couldn’t agree more that Ireland is beautiful and that the people are wonderfully warm and welcoming. We’re so glad you enjoyed your time there! You’re right that this is an active itinerary, as we understand that our travelers want to make the most of their time. We regret that you feel your Tour Director was not specific enough in his description of each day’s events, and we will be sure to share this with his supervisor. We do also hope that you felt comfortable asking your Tour Director for further clarification, as they are there to help if you would like more information. Thank you for your review, and we hope to welcome you on tour again!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | August 23, 2016

4 / 5

4 / 5

Tour Date: 7/21/2016

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: NC

Tour Director: 2 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Ireland inspired visit

This was a great trip and my wife and I had a wonderful time. On our tour we had a conflict with the Horse Races in Galway which meant we did not spend 2 nights in Galway which was a major disappointment,we had a lot planned for those 2 days. Avoid the weeks of the Galway Races. The people, the countryside, the beer was great. We loveed visiting so many beautiful churches. I highly recommend this tour the folks at Go Ahead were very helpful and knowledgeable. All accomadations were better than expected and the bus driver was great.

 

Dear Arthur, We’re so glad that you and your wife had a wonderful time in Ireland. One of our Quality Control members reached out to you to discuss your concerns regarding Galway. If you would like to review this aspect of your experience, please don’t hesitate to give us a call back at 1-800-597-0350. We regret that the necessary changes did not meet your expectations and that you wished you had had more time in Galway. We do hope that we can discuss this to learn more about your experience. We thank you for recommending this tour, and we would be glad to welcome you on tour again!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | August 25, 2016

4 / 5

4 / 5

Tour Date: 7/21/2016

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: AZ

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Improvement

The overall tour was nice and my 16 year old daughter and I really enjoyed the trip tour guide Michelle and our driver Frank made the tour exciting. They both were knowledgeable about Ireland. There's one hotel I would never visit nor should you have them on the tour. The staff was disrespectful and at dinner they ignored us for about 45 minutes. In addition there needs to be more meals paid for with our packages instead of costing us additional cost.

 

Hi Lalita! We’re glad that you enjoyed your tour, including your Tour Director and bus driver. We regret to learn that one of the hotels did not meet your expectations and will immediately communicate this to our Operations team. Regarding meal inclusions, we will be sure to pass your suggestion along to our Product Development team. Thank you for your review, and we hope to welcome you on tour again!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | September 02, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 7/14/2016

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: NC

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Amazing Ireland

From the time Martina met us at the airport until the time she said goodbye, we had a fabulous time. The country of Ireland is so wonderful. Dublin is vibrant and busy. Our free time in Dublin was spent exploring: National Art Gallery, Dublin Castle, and a walk down the Temple Bar district. One of my favorite visits was to Glendalough. This monastic settlement was so lovely in its history and pathways. The National Stud Farm was fabulous, both the gardens and the horses. Barney Castle was crowded but stroll through the gardens and time slips away. If there is time in Killarney go on a jaunty cart ride. We had a great time with our driver Mark and his trusty steed Belle. You can't beat the scenery around the Ring of Kerry. Then there are the Cliffs of Moher, and the Burren, and Bunratty Castle, and the Aran Islands, and so many other sites to see. I can't forget to mention the Irish people. They were so friendly and welcoming to us. Thank you! Tip: Save your shopping until you get out into the country and purchase from local artisans and craftsmen. Martina always knew when we should be somewhere to avoid the crowds. She was amazing. Her grasp of the history of her country and local lore and craft enhanced our travel. Our driver Tommy was amazing as he navigated the narrow roads in our big bus. We loved this trip! May just have to go back again.

 

Hi Teresa! We’re thrilled you had a fabulous time, and we agree that the country of Ireland is wonderful! Between the itinerary and exploration in your free time, it sounds like you saw and experienced so much. We’re interested to learn that one of your favorite visits was to Glendalough, as we often hear that this is a highlight for travelers. You’re right that you can’t beat the scenery around the Ring of Kerry – what a sight! We’re not surprised you felt embraced by the warm and welcoming Irish culture, one of the many amazing aspects of traveling to Ireland. We appreciate your feedback on your Tour Director and bus driver, and we’re so glad that their expertise enhanced your experience. Thank you for your review, and let us know if you’d like to go back!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | October 11, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 7/14/2016

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: FL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Martina is the best!

I just returned from this trip and found it to be much more than I ever imagined. Martina was our tour guide, and she added so much value to our experience. The Royal Marine Hotel and The Malton were not your normal tour type of hotels! I would recommend this trip to anyone interested in visiting Ireland....

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 7/14/2016

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: BC

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Awesome

Awesome all the way around.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 7/10/2016

Number of Past Tours: 4

From: KY

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Carol's Group

This is a lovely itinerary and also we had the most wonderful tour director, Margarita Grillis and our transport was great too, the bus was really nice but the driver was the very best too, his name was Stephen and he and Margarita were a great team! The days were just full enough but not too full, plenty of down time if you wanted to rest some but you could go go go if you wanted to do so! The hotels, with exception of one in Cork, were exceptional and the hotel staffs were really top notch too! Our local tours were really tops too! Many very good local guides with lots of knowledge! this was a great tour!

4 / 5

4 / 5

Tour Date: 7/7/2016

Number of Past Tours: 7

From: FL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Loved everything...even the rain!

I’ve been on quite a few GoAhead tours, and I’ve enjoyed all of them; and this trip to Ireland was no exception. I initially considered the Walking Tour of Ireland, but after talking to the staff at GoAhead, I decided that it might be more hiking than I really wanted. This tour provides the chance to see several historic castles, notable landmarks, colorful gardens and lots of beautiful scenery. We did have quite a bit of grey weather and rain, but it only added to the beauty of it all. We took all the optional tours, including the extension to Belfast, which I would recommend. We loved seeing the Giant’s Causeway with its unusual basalt rock formations, and we had a good amount of time to walk down to the site and explore on our own. The ferry ride to the Aran Islands was quite rough and the winds were very gusty when we hiked up to the ruins overlooking the ocean, but it was well worth the effort. The Cliffs of Mohr were stunning as expected. Be sure to try to take in some music and dancing. Our guide helped arrange for tickets to a show while we were in Killarney, and it was a highlight. Even the food was better than expected with healthy salads and fish choices, and not just “pub” food and drink, which I also enjoyed. Our guide, Allie L., was exceptional, and told wonderful folk stories on the longer bus rides. Our bus driver, Tommy, was a pro, negotiating the narrow country lanes and one way streets in Dublin. A few of the hotels were not in the most convenient locations, but the hotel in Killarney was fantastic. Overall, I loved everything and hope to some day return to Ireland.

 

Hi Joyce! First of all, we want to thank you for consistently choosing Go Ahead. We are so glad that you have enjoyed all of your tours, including this one! It sounds like you were able to soak up the charm and wonder of Ireland and see much of the breathtaking landscapes. You offer a great suggestion to catch a music and/or dancing show, and we're so glad your Tour Director was able to help you do just that! We're pleased to learn that you feel the food was healthy and delicious, in addition to the heavier pub offerings. Thank you for your thoughtful and detailed feedback on your tour. We will be sure to share it with our teams! We look forward to welcoming you on your next tour.

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | August 19, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 6/25/2016

Number of Past Tours: 7

From: MD

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Another Excellent Adventure!

Once again, Go Ahead Tours delivers! This was a great trip, visiting so many exotic and exciting locations, like the Cliffs of Moher, Blarney Castle and Stone, Ring of Kerry, the Giants Causeway and fascinating Dublin and Belfast. Our Tour Director and Excellent Driver zig-zagged throughout the Emerald Isle and gave us a glimpse of other locations like Limerick and Bunratty. If you haven't considered Ireland, you must!!! Totally worth it!.

1 / 5
 

Hi Anthony! We’re happy to hear this tour delivered for you! You certainly chose an awesome destination. We completely agree that Ireland is a must. Thank you for your recommendation, and we hope to welcome you on tour again soon.

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | July 14, 2016

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