No visit to Ireland is complete without a visit to Cork, the second-largest city in the country and a unique cultural hub. Set between two channels of the River Lee, Cork is a city made for walking—and our 4-star hotel puts you in the heart of it. Visit the City Gaol, explore Elizabeth Fort, admire the exhibits of the Crawford Art Gallery, or learn about an important industry at the Cork Butter Museum. Or venture to nearby Cobh, the Titanic’s last port of call, or enjoy a tour to Blarney Castle to kiss the fabled Blarney Stone. It’s an opportunity not to be missed!
Available only with the Air Inclusive Package.
DAY 1: Depart the U.S. and begin your flight across the Atlantic Ocean
Depart the U.S. for Ireland. The particulars of your arrival overseas are detailed with your flight itinerary.
DAY 2: Arrive in Cork
Upon arrival at the Cork airport, claim your luggage and clear customs. If your luggage is lost, fill in a PIR form before leaving the customs area—VBT representatives are not allowed into the customs area. (Please note: Also make certain your VBT luggage tags are affixed to your bag so your VBT representative can identify you.) After exiting customs, enter the arrival hall and look for your VBT representative or driver, who will be holding a VBT sign and who will make arrangements for your transfer via taxi or van to your Cork hotel (transfer time is approximately 20 minutes depending upon traffic). Your VBT representative will also confirm your transfer time to Ennis at the conclusion of your Cork extension.
VBT provides you with City Information in your Final Travel Booklet that includes information and recommendations on what to see and do in Cork during your stay. You have the rest of the day to relax or to begin your exploration of the city.
DAY 3: Independent exploration of Cork
Enjoy your first day of independent exploration in the Republic of Ireland's second-largest city. The bustle of the Victorian English Market is probably the best place to experience the essence of the city. It's an indoor covered market owned by the Cork City Council and situated on the Grand Parade, a very short walk from the hotel. After exploring the rest of the downtown area you may wish to take a short walk (just over a mile) from the city center up to the restored and atmospheric City Gaol, complete with furnished cells. Both the exhibition and multimedia display trace the lives of individual inmates imprisoned here during the 19th and 20th centuries. At the same location is the Cork Heritage Centre, depicting life in Cork during the 19th and early 20th centuries.
You may wish to head farther afield and visit one of several attractions in the close vicinity. Blarney Castle, about 5 miles from Cork city center, was built nearly 600 years ago by one of Ireland's greatest chieftains, Cormac McCarthy. Over the last few hundred years, millions have flocked to Blarney, including a host of American Presidents, making it a world landmark and one of Ireland's greatest treasures. Here you will find the Blarney Stone, the legendary Stone of Eloquence, found at the top of our Tower. Kiss it and you'll never again be at a loss for words.
About 14 miles away is Cobh, the last port of call for the Titanic on her maiden voyage. Here you can visit the Queenstown Story Heritage Centre, which tells the story of emigration from Cobh from the 1845 famine to the great transatlantic ocean liners that docked here in the 1950s, as well as the historical role that Cobh harbor has played as a port.
The day is yours to enjoy!
DAY 4: Transfer to Ennis / Join VBT Air Package guests
We check out of our hotel mid-morning and transfer by coach to Ennis (about 2 ½ hours).
After checking into our Ennis hotel, the remainder of the day is yours to enjoy. You may wish to wander around the narrow streets of this small market town or even arrange a round of golf at the Ennis Golf Club (an immaculately manicured 18-hole, par 70, parkland course. Golf clubs, cart, and buggy can be rented—we recommend you contact the club in advance http://www.ennisgolfclub.com/index.html).
VBT Air Package guests will arrive throughout the day.