When you think back to the Golden Age of Travel, images of fancy commuter trains, the first cruise ships and airplanes come to mind when there was an art to it all, not the hassle we have today. As more people get out to explore the world, we find there is still an art of travel that lives on in a few places such as Ireland where train travel has taken on new meaning with Railtours Ireland’s, The Emerald Express and Belmond’s latest luxury offering in Ireland, The Grand Hibernian.


Conjuring up days of old, the two trains offer both a rail and hotel package or the exclusivity of traveling and staying in your luxury suite on the rails. Being a small country, Ireland offers a wealth of experiences in short distances, giving you more time to explore each town or city you stop in and experience the local offerings that include the newly emerging food scene that offers the traveller a chance to dip into the history and lore, as well as meet some of the best artisan and craft food producers in the world.

We all know that Ireland is famous for its drink culture, but emerging in today’s Ireland we find an amazing food culture, still finding its way, but boasting 12 Michelin Starred restaurants along with the artisan and craft food producers that support them. Of course, there are great dining experiences to be had all over the Island from Belfast to Cork.

The scenery in Ireland never gets dull with rolling hills and ancient forts, castles and outstanding natural beauty, even with the rainy climate there is plenty to keep one’s interest. Stops along the routes with city tours of Dublin, Belfast, and Cork make this one of our top experiential travel recommendations for 2017.

When you travel by train in Ireland you can expect the best in hospitality and friendliness. Both trains offer luxurious surroundings that afford the passengers time to observe the countryside and converse in comfortable surroundings, getting to know other passengers or affording a family gathering a way to reconnect with each other and travel at the same time no matter what the age gap, is in itself, the new art of travel. A slowing down of our hectic lives to explore and reconnect.

The vintage train offered by Railtours Ireland is a lovingly restored steam train by the Rail Preservation Society of Ireland. Accommodating 50 passengers, they offer only one tour a year and accommodation is at some of Ireland’s best Five Star resorts, historic houses, and castles giving you the variety in each place you visit.

The Grand Hibernian joins the greats of Belmond, the company that made the Orient Express famous. The cabins are spacious and boast an observation train with interiors that reflect Dublin’s Georgian architecture, allowing for time to mingle and explore with the other guests. Accommodating only 40 guests, in a variety of twin and double rooms, it is truly an exclusive experience. Offering some of the best food Ireland has to offer, it is also available for two-day “Taste of Ireland” adventures that one could add to any tour of Ireland, or book it exclusively for your next big event.

If you’re looking for authentic experiences and want to meet the real people of Ireland, pop in and see for yourself. It’s sure to please and expand your view of what Ireland has to offer and a way to slow down the pace and discover the art of travel once again.