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Cycling Ireland’s South: Counties Waterford and Tipperary

Favorite

Ireland is a land of legend … and you’ll have a legendary time in its atmospheric south.

  • Duration: 10 Days|
  • Daily Mileage: 16 - 36|
  • Biking: 2 - 5 hr|
  • Group Size: 18
4.9 out of 5 stars.
Activity Easy/Moderate
Easy / Moderate
E-Bikes Available
E-Bikes Available
Airplane
Air Package Available
People
Guided Group Tour

Starting From

Bike Vacation + Air Package

$4,095

Bike Vacation Only

$3,395

(per person, double occupancy)

Cycling Ireland’s South: Counties Waterford and Tipperary

Ireland is a land of legend … and you’ll have a legendary time in its atmospheric south. Iconic castles, a medieval monastery and the Rock of Cashel mark your route as you roll through the countryside and into towns where a proud heritage is preserved. Magic awaits when sunset falls over an ancient fort or you view fairytale towers hidden in a forest. Prepare to be dazzled by the majesty of manicured gardens. And mingle with the spirited Irish people of today in fishing villages, pubs and a local manor home.

What to Expect

This tour offers a combination of easy terrain mixed with moderate hills, mainly on quiet country roads. Our VBT van support is always available for those who need assistance with the hills. Ideal for enthusiastic beginners to experienced cyclists.

  • Duration: 10 Days|
  • Daily Mileage: 16 - 36|
  • Biking: 2 - 5 hr|
  • Group Size: 18
Activity Easy/Moderate Easy / Moderate
Cycling
Bar Graph Beginner - Experienced
Cyclists
Bus Vehicle
Support

Tour Highlights

  • Admire stunning views of the Comeragh Mountains on a reel along the majestic Dungarvan Bay.
  • Commemorate a national tragedy at the Famine Graveyard.
  • Have lunch with a family who can trace their ancestry back 800 years in this same home. Experience true rural Ireland by talking to the locals along the way.
  • Enjoy Irish music and dance during a private rendition by 3 of Ireland's best.
  • Experience the early days of the High King's of Ireland and early Christian period.
  • Enjoy a meal in a traditional Irish pub next to the open fire, surrounded by locals.
  • Cycle along quiet country lanes, passing green fertile fields dotted with sheep and cattle.
  • Explore the manicured gardens and art gallery of Lismore's Anglo-Norman castle.
  • Hike through the woods to see the fairytale Ballysaggartmore Towers in their magical setting.
  • Take a moment for quiet reflection at Holy Cross Abbey, a restored Cistercian monastery that is a medieval landmark.
  • Behold sweeping panoramic views from the Rock of Cashel, a stone fort shrouded in legend.
  • Explore Cahir Castle, one of Ireland's largest and best-preserved castles, on a guided tour.

Climate Information

Temperatures

Average High /
Low Temperature (°F):

Apr53º/41º

May58º/45º

Jun63º/50º

Jul66º/53º

Aug65º/53º

Sep62º/50º

Oct59º/46º

Average
Precipitation:

Apr2.6 in

May2.7 in

Jun2.4 in

Jul2.7 in

Aug3.2 in

Sep3.3 in

Oct4.2 in

What's Included

Bike Vacation + Air Package

Bike Vacation Only

Roundtrip international airfare Check
Transfers to and from international airport Check
One night in Cork and one night in Dublin in conveniently located hotels with breakfasts included Check
6 nights in 3- and 4-star hotels Check Check
12 meals: 6 Irish breakfasts, 2 lunches, 4 dinners Check Check

Tour Bikes

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Step-Through Hybrid/Comfort Bicycle

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Step-Over Hybrid/Comfort Bicycle

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Biking Packages Include:

Custom VBT Bike and Helmet

Two Local, Bilingual Trip Leaders

Vehicle Support

Luggage Transfers

Ride with GPS and Daily Route Notes

Welcome Reception

Facilitated Cultural Experiences

Your Choice of VBT Branded Gear for Your Adventure

Itinerary

Sat, Jul 27 to Mon, Aug 5 - 2019

Show Itinerary:

Depart from home for Cork, Ireland. The particulars of your arrival overseas are detailed with your flight itinerary.

Upon arrival at Cork’s 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. Make certain that 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, who will be holding a VBT sign and will make arrangements for your transfer via taxi or van to your Cork hotel (approximately 45 minutes, depending on traffic).

VBT provides you with City Information that includes recommendations about what to see and do in Cork. Please note that hotel check-in time is 3:00 p.m., but the staff will do their best to get you to your room as soon as possible. Enjoy the rest of the day to relax or explore the town on your own. Worth seeing is the Victorian English Market, an indoor covered market on the Grand Parade, just a short walk from your hotel. There is a mile-long walk from the city center to the restored City Gaol, (prison) complete with furnished cells. Peruse the multimedia exhibit here and trace the lives of individual inmates from the 19th and 20th centuries. The adjacent Cork Heritage Center provides even more insight into life in Cork during that time period.

Hotel: The Imperial Hotel

VBT Air Package guests: You are free to relax or explore Cork after breakfast this morning. Plan to eat lunch or a snack on your own before meeting your VBT representative, as the next scheduled meal is dinner. Meet your VBT representative, who will be carrying a VBT sign, in the hotel lobby at 12:30 p.m.

Once the group has gathered, you will transfer by private motorcoach from Cork to Dungarvan in County Waterford (is approximately 1 hour). Meet your VBT Trip Leaders at the hotel, with a welcome of tea, coffee, and scones fresh out of the oven. After settling in, attend a group safety and bike-fitting session, and enjoy a warm-up ride. You will follow a disused railway line across the mouth of the Colligan River and out along the coast, admiring magnificent views everywhere you look. Later, get to know your fellow travelers at a welcome reception and dinner in historic Merry’s Gastro Pub in the center of Dungarvan, well-known in Ireland as a foodie destination.

Hotel: Park Hotel
Meals: B (for Air Package guests only), D
Daily Options: 8.6 miles (13.8 km)

After breakfast, cycle along the majestic Dungarvan Bay, with the Comeragh Mountains rising in the background. Your ride explores a region where the first language is Irish. You’ll see the road signs change as you ride.

After conquering the noteworthy hill of the tour, you explore quiet country roads in the Drum Hills. Ride along the plateau through forests and open heathland, and stop to walk around the 19th-century Famine Graveyard. A million Irish died of starvation and disease and 2 million emigrated to North America during the Great Famine, when successive blasts of potato blight and lack of governmental redress turned a natural catastrophe into a national tragedy.

Continue to the Marine Bar, a 300-year-old pub well known for its music and storytelling traditions. You will be served traditional fish pie with fish from the local fisherman of Dungarvan Bay. After lunch, your ride continues back around the bay to Dungarvan.

This afternoon, you have time to explore one of Ireland’s picturesque seaside towns. Dungarvan dates to the 7th century, and you can walk along its pretty quays, browse the quaint shops, and see its castle and abbey ruins overlooking the bay. This evening, you can select from the town’s host of eateries around the quay for dinner on your own.

Hotel: Park Hotel
Meals: B, L
Daily Options: 18.7 or 31.7miles (30 or 51 km)

Ride along quiet roads through Ireland’s lush green countryside and past old stone walls. Your destination is Dromana House. For 800 years and 21 generations, the manor house has been the seat of one of the principal families of the South of Ireland: the FitzGeralds, Lords of the Decies, later Villiers-Stuart. The family now lives in the 17th-century house, which was built on medieval foundations and enjoys sweeping views over the River Blackwater to the Knockmealdown Mountains. One of the family members greets you upon arrival and guides you around their home. What a thrill to admire the family portraits and hear about famous visitors over the centuries—including Sir Walter Raleigh, who is said to have brought the first cherry tree in Ireland to this estate.

After a home-prepared lunch, you are free to wander the 30 acres of gardens and woodlands, part of the Waterford Garden Trail.

Your cycle route continues through rolling countryside, passing over the locally celebrated Dromana Bridge. Local tradition says it was erected as a temporary structure to welcome home Henry Villiers-Stuart after his honeymoon. The couple was so impressed that they had a permanent structure installed.

Shortly after crossing the bridge, you’ll arrive at your home for the next two nights—the family-owned and -run Richmond House, built in 1704. You’ll have time to relax or stroll through the private parkland before this evening’s included dinner.

Hotel: Richmond House
Meals: B, L, D
Daily Options: 16.1 or 36.3 miles (25.9 or 58.4 km)

Today leads you to Cappoquin, a renowned center for rowing and coarse angling, before arriving in Lismore.

Lismore’s Anglo-Norman castle is the town’s landmark. The 12th-century edifice, perched atop the hillside overlooking the Blackwater River was home for both Sir Walter Raleigh and Robert Boyle (the Father of Modern Chemistry). Currently, it’s the Irish home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. Though it is closed to visitors, the public can view the manicured gardens and art gallery.

Your route rolls gently along the Blackwater River valley. Shortly after leaving Lismore, you can stop for a short 1.5-mile walk through the woods to see the fairytale Ballysaggartmore Towers in their magical setting. These imposing gothic-style “follies” were considered too extravagant during the 19th century, while much of Ireland was starving.

Continue riding along the river valley to the fishing village of Ballyduff, crossing the valley by the red iron bridge (1887) and passing the former Garda Station (1869), a fine example of Scottish Baronial-style.

Back in Lismore, enjoy a free afternoon to explore the friendly town. Try one of the small cafés for lunch on your own before visiting the old court house, home to the Lismore Heritage Centre. Here, the Lismore Experience, an audio-visual program, charts the history of Lismore and highlights the town’s interesting sites. If open, the gardens of Lismore Castle are worth exploring. There are several short marked walking trails around the town. Return to the hotel this evening for an included dinner. After dinner enjoy an evening of traditional Irish music and dance with 3 of the best student musicians and dancers in all of Ireland.

Hotel: Richmond House
Meals: B, D
Daily Options: 16.8, 22.2 or 34.1 miles (27, 35.7 or 54.9 km)

It’s not “a long way to Tipperary” with an 80-minute shuttle to Thurles in County Tipperary. Surrounded by the Silvermine Mountains and the Slieveardagh Hills, you will ride from here to Holy Cross Abbey, one of Ireland’s National Monuments. This restored Cistercian monastery is a medieval landmark on the River Suir that drew pilgrims during its heyday. Today, it is the perfect spot for quiet reflection. The ride continues through Tipperary’s green agricultural plain, following farm roads.

Later, you arrive at the 9th-century Rock of Cashel, also known as St. Patrick’s Rock, built atop a limestone outcropping with panoramic views. This Caiseal, or stone fort, is shrouded in legends and is the original residence of the Kings of Munster. The Rock of Cashel is one of Ireland’s most spectacular archaeological sites. Within its sturdy walls, explore the round tower, a 13th-century Gothic cathedral and Cormac’s Chapel, the finest 12th-century Romanesque chapel in Ireland and home to some of the Emerald Isle’s oldest frescoes. These frescoes were whitewashed during the Reformation and remained hidden until the 1980s! The Queen of England visited this sacred site during her historic Ireland tour in 2011. Your hotel is a short walk from the Rock of Cashel, so you can return and visit at your leisure. Tip: A sunrise or sunset visit is truly magical.

After check–in, the day is yours. Walking is the best way to discover Cashel. Visit the Georgian St. John’s Cathedral and the Bolton Library, view the impressive city walls, and stop at the former Deanery (Archbishop’s Palace). The Cashel Folk Village is an open-air museum featuring replicas of early Irish life including the old public house, butcher’s shop, farmhouse, travelers’ caravan, and chapel.

This evening, enjoy dinner in one of the local pubs or restaurants where Guinness is always on tap.

Hotel: Baileys Hotel
Meals: B
Daily Options: 21.3 miles (34 km)

Cycle Tipperary’s quiet backroads and along a part of the Tipperary Heritage Way. Green fields and stone walls lead to colorful Cahir, with its imposing medieval castle on the River Suir. This is one of Ireland’s largest and best-preserved castles, once the stronghold of the powerful Butler family. The local guided tour is a definitive history lesson. Enjoy free time in town for lunch on your own.

After, you pedal back to the hotel at your own pace before a festive farewell dinner in Chez Hans, one of Tipperary’s best restaurants for more than 50 years.

Hotel: Baileys Hotel
Meals: B, D
Daily Options: 16.8 or 31.4 miles (27 or 50.5 km)

VBT Air Package guests: Say farewell to your Trip Leaders and depart by coach at 9:00 a.m. for Dublin and the Schoolhouse Hotel (approximately 2 hours). There is no VBT representative on the coach ride. Important: Before departing, your Trip Leaders will provide you with your departure transfer reminder for your return flight home. Upon arrival in Dublin, you have the remainder of the day to take in its historic atmosphere and seek out one of the many restaurants, pubs or outdoor cafés for lunch and dinner on your own.

VBT provides you with City Information, which includes helpful tips and recommendations on what to see and do in Dublin.

Hotel: The Schoolhouse Hotel
Meals: B

After breakfast*, transfer to the Dublin airport for your return flight**.

* Please note: For guests with early-morning departures, breakfast at the hotel may not be available. Please check with the front desk to verify the times that breakfast is served.

** Please note: VBT recommends that you check your transfer time in your “Transfer Reminder.” VBT transfer times and departure points are finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. If you extend your stay beyond the scheduled program dates, return transportation to the airport is at your own expense.

Meals: B

Mon, Jul 29 to Sun, Aug 4 - 2019

Show Itinerary:

VBT-Bicycle-Vacation-only guests: Plan to meet a VBT representative, who will be carrying a VBT sign, at the Imperial Hotel, Cork at 12:30 p.m. (address: South Mall Street, Cork, County Cork, Republic of Ireland; Tel: +353 21 427 4040). Please note: Plan to eat lunch or a snack on your own beforehand, as the next scheduled meal is dinner.

To reach the hotel, you can take a taxi from Cork airport into the city (approximately 20 euros), or travel on Bus Eireann, which provides frequent and direct coach service between Cork Airport, Cork City Center and Cork Bus Station (approximately 5 euros; travel time is approximately 25 minutes, depending on traffic; for more details go to www.buseireann.ie). Please note: If your arrival at the Imperial Hotel is scheduled for later than 12:30 p.m. or if you are delayed, you must transfer at your own expense to Dungarvan (approximately 15 euros for the Bus Eireann from Cork Bus Station – Parnell Place; travel time is approximately 90 minutes, depending on traffic). Please contact the Park Hotel, Dungarvan to advise them of any delays or changes, and the hotel staff will pass the message along to your VBT Trip Leaders.

Hotel: Park Hotel
Meals: B (for Air Package guests only), D
Daily Options: 8.6 miles (13.8 km)

After breakfast, cycle along the majestic Dungarvan Bay, with the Comeragh Mountains rising in the background. Your ride explores a region where the first language is Irish. You’ll see the road signs change as you ride.

After conquering the noteworthy hill of the tour, you explore quiet country roads in the Drum Hills. Ride along the plateau through forests and open heathland, and stop to walk around the 19th-century Famine Graveyard. A million Irish died of starvation and disease and 2 million emigrated to North America during the Great Famine, when successive blasts of potato blight and lack of governmental redress turned a natural catastrophe into a national tragedy.

Continue to the Marine Bar, a 300-year-old pub well known for its music and storytelling traditions. You will be served traditional fish pie with fish from the local fisherman of Dungarvan Bay. After lunch, your ride continues back around the bay to Dungarvan.

This afternoon, you have time to explore one of Ireland’s picturesque seaside towns. Dungarvan dates to the 7th century, and you can walk along its pretty quays, browse the quaint shops, and see its castle and abbey ruins overlooking the bay. This evening, you can select from the town’s host of eateries around the quay for dinner on your own.

Hotel: Park Hotel
Meals: B, L
Daily Options: 18.7 or 31.7miles (30 or 51 km)

Ride along quiet roads through Ireland’s lush green countryside and past old stone walls. Your destination is Dromana House. For 800 years and 21 generations, the manor house has been the seat of one of the principal families of the South of Ireland: the FitzGeralds, Lords of the Decies, later Villiers-Stuart. The family now lives in the 17th-century house, which was built on medieval foundations and enjoys sweeping views over the River Blackwater to the Knockmealdown Mountains. One of the family members greets you upon arrival and guides you around their home. What a thrill to admire the family portraits and hear about famous visitors over the centuries—including Sir Walter Raleigh, who is said to have brought the first cherry tree in Ireland to this estate.

After a home-prepared lunch, you are free to wander the 30 acres of gardens and woodlands, part of the Waterford Garden Trail.

Your cycle route continues through rolling countryside, passing over the locally celebrated Dromana Bridge. Local tradition says it was erected as a temporary structure to welcome home Henry Villiers-Stuart after his honeymoon. The couple was so impressed that they had a permanent structure installed.

Shortly after crossing the bridge, you’ll arrive at your home for the next two nights—the family-owned and -run Richmond House, built in 1704. You’ll have time to relax or stroll through the private parkland before this evening’s included dinner.

Hotel: Richmond House
Meals: B, L, D
Daily Options: 16.1 or 36.3 miles (25.9 or 58.4 km)

Today leads you to Cappoquin, a renowned center for rowing and coarse angling, before arriving in Lismore.

Lismore’s Anglo-Norman castle is the town’s landmark. The 12th-century edifice, perched atop the hillside overlooking the Blackwater River was home for both Sir Walter Raleigh and Robert Boyle (the Father of Modern Chemistry). Currently, it’s the Irish home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. Though it is closed to visitors, the public can view the manicured gardens and art gallery.

Your route rolls gently along the Blackwater River valley. Shortly after leaving Lismore, you can stop for a short 1.5-mile walk through the woods to see the fairytale Ballysaggartmore Towers in their magical setting. These imposing gothic-style “follies” were considered too extravagant during the 19th century, while much of Ireland was starving.

Continue riding along the river valley to the fishing village of Ballyduff, crossing the valley by the red iron bridge (1887) and passing the former Garda Station (1869), a fine example of Scottish Baronial-style.

Back in Lismore, enjoy a free afternoon to explore the friendly town. Try one of the small cafés for lunch on your own before visiting the old court house, home to the Lismore Heritage Centre. Here, the Lismore Experience, an audio-visual program, charts the history of Lismore and highlights the town’s interesting sites. If open, the gardens of Lismore Castle are worth exploring. There are several short marked walking trails around the town. Return to the hotel this evening for an included dinner. After dinner enjoy an evening of traditional Irish music and dance with 3 of the best student musicians and dancers in all of Ireland.

Hotel: Richmond House
Meals: B, D
Daily Options: 16.8, 22.2 or 34.1 miles (27, 35.7 or 54.9 km)

It’s not “a long way to Tipperary” with an 80-minute shuttle to Thurles in County Tipperary. Surrounded by the Silvermine Mountains and the Slieveardagh Hills, you will ride from here to Holy Cross Abbey, one of Ireland’s National Monuments. This restored Cistercian monastery is a medieval landmark on the River Suir that drew pilgrims during its heyday. Today, it is the perfect spot for quiet reflection. The ride continues through Tipperary’s green agricultural plain, following farm roads.

Later, you arrive at the 9th-century Rock of Cashel, also known as St. Patrick’s Rock, built atop a limestone outcropping with panoramic views. This Caiseal, or stone fort, is shrouded in legends and is the original residence of the Kings of Munster. The Rock of Cashel is one of Ireland’s most spectacular archaeological sites. Within its sturdy walls, explore the round tower, a 13th-century Gothic cathedral and Cormac’s Chapel, the finest 12th-century Romanesque chapel in Ireland and home to some of the Emerald Isle’s oldest frescoes. These frescoes were whitewashed during the Reformation and remained hidden until the 1980s! The Queen of England visited this sacred site during her historic Ireland tour in 2011. Your hotel is a short walk from the Rock of Cashel, so you can return and visit at your leisure. Tip: A sunrise or sunset visit is truly magical.

After check–in, the day is yours. Walking is the best way to discover Cashel. Visit the Georgian St. John’s Cathedral and the Bolton Library, view the impressive city walls, and stop at the former Deanery (Archbishop’s Palace). The Cashel Folk Village is an open-air museum featuring replicas of early Irish life including the old public house, butcher’s shop, farmhouse, travelers’ caravan, and chapel.

This evening, enjoy dinner in one of the local pubs or restaurants where Guinness is always on tap.

Hotel: Baileys Hotel
Meals: B
Daily Options: 21.3 miles (34 km)

Cycle Tipperary’s quiet backroads and along a part of the Tipperary Heritage Way. Green fields and stone walls lead to colorful Cahir, with its imposing medieval castle on the River Suir. This is one of Ireland’s largest and best-preserved castles, once the stronghold of the powerful Butler family. The local guided tour is a definitive history lesson. Enjoy free time in town for lunch on your own.

After, you pedal back to the hotel at your own pace before a festive farewell dinner in Chez Hans, one of Tipperary’s best restaurants for more than 50 years.

Hotel: Baileys Hotel
Meals: B, D
Daily Options: 16.8 or 31.4 miles (27 or 50.5 km)

VBT-Bicycle-Vacation-only guests: Say farewell to your Trip Leaders and depart by coach at 9:00 a.m. for Dublin and the Schoolhouse Hotel (approximately 2 hours). The tour ends here. Or you may wish to make your own departure arrangements from Cashel.

Meals: B

Enjoy Your Vacation Longer With Low-Cost Trip Extensions

Airplane

Air Package Only

Post-Trip Extension - Dublin

1 Nights From $195 per person, double occupancy

  • 1 night at the Schoolhouse Hotel
  • Daily Irish breakfast
  • City Information
  • Airport transfers

One of the oldest cities in Europe, Dublin overflows with cultural riches, from the ancient to the avant-garde. Medieval, Georgian and modern architecture provide a backdrop to a friendly, bustling capital that claims literary giants such as Wilde, Shaw, Joyce, Yeats, Beckett and O’Casey as native sons. Whatever your interests—history, architecture, literature, art, archaeology or the performing arts—you’ll find something here to delight you. Throughout the city, monuments commemorate the writers, poets, statesmen, soldiers and colorful people who have made Dublin a place like no other.

Hotel: The Schoolhouse Hotel
Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast*, transfer to the Dublin airport for your flight home**.

* Please note: For guests with early-morning departures, breakfast at the hotel may not be available. Please check with the front desk to verify the times that breakfast is served.

** Please note: VBT recommends that you check your transfer time in your “Transfer Reminder.” VBT transfer times and departure points are finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. If you extend your stay beyond the scheduled program dates, return transportation to the airport is at your own expense.

Meals: Breakfast

Reviews

Guest Reviews 7 out of 7 (100%) of reviewers recommend this tour

4.9 out of 5 stars.

Dates & Prices

Bike Vacation + Air Package

10 days, includes round-trip international airfare, airport shuttle, and additional hotel nights with included breakfast.

Single Supplement: $345

Departing From New York, NY (JFK)

Bike Vacation Only

7 Days. Includes bike vacation only.

Single Supplement: $195

Limited Availability

Sat, Jul 27 - Mon, Aug 5

From
$4,195

Reserve Online
Limited Availability

Mon, Jul 29 - Sun, Aug 4

From
$3,395

Reserve Online
Limited Availability

Sat, Aug 3 - Mon, Aug 12

From
$4,195

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Limited Availability

Mon, Aug 5 - Sun, Aug 11

From
$3,395

Reserve Online

Sat, Aug 17 - Mon, Aug 26

From
$4,195

Reserve Online

Mon, Aug 19 - Sun, Aug 25

From
$3,395

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Limited Availability

Sat, Aug 24 - Mon, Sep 2

From
$4,195

Reserve Online
Limited Availability

Mon, Aug 26 - Sun, Sep 1

From
$3,395

Reserve Online

Sat, Sep 7 - Mon, Sep 16

From
$4,095

Reserve Online

Mon, Sep 9 - Sun, Sep 15

From
$3,395

Reserve Online

For more information, call: 800-245-3868

Please note: Special savings cannot be combined with any other offer. Standard Terms & Conditions apply when purchasing this trip. Prices include all airline surcharges and Government taxes and fees. Ask our Tour Consultants for details. Every effort has been made to produce this information accurately. We reserve the right to correct errors. Prices are based on preferences selected above, including meals and sightseeing as specified in What’s Included. All prices are subject to change. Departure dates and prices shown may be updated several times daily, and apply to new bookings only.

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