COVID-19 Update (Tues. 5th May 2020):

 

Notice: As per advice issued by the Irish Government, all tours are now suspended until further notice. We will monitor the situation and update this information regularly as the situation evolves.

 

Update: Due to a nationwide lockdown which came into effect on Friday 27 March there has been drastic reduction in the number of colleagues available to deal with enquiries. All enquiries will be dealt with, but under the circumstances our normally excellent response time may be delayed somewhat. We will be unable to deal with telephone enquiries until further notice. Please send all enquiries to info@railtoursireland.com. Stay Safe during this time, the Railtours Ireland Team.

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Opening Hours:
Monday 8:00 am- 6:30 pm GMT
Tuesday 8:00 am- 6:30 pm GMT
Wednesday 8:00 am- 6:30 pm GMT
Thursday 8:00 am- 6:30 pm GMT
Friday 8:00 am- 6:30 pm GMT
Saturday 8:00 am- 2:00 pm GMT
Sunday 9:30 am- 6:30 pm GMT

Exclusive five-star rail cruise with one annual departure.

The Emerald Isle Express Tour 2020

  • The Original Rail Cruise & Manor House Tour

Departs Sunday, 20th September 2020

 

Railtours Ireland First Class offers an exclusive rail cruise and manor house tour through Ireland on your own exclusive, private heritage train, delivering Pullman style comfort. Overnight in luxury five-star Irish manor houses, as well as city and country hotels. This all-inclusive tour is limited to 50 guests! We don’t sleep on the train – We sleep in Manor Houses, Country Estates and Luxury City Hotels!

 

Experience Dublin's Fair City before travelling by rail along the stunning East Coast to Waterford, Cork, Cóbh and the Ring of Kerry. Enjoy an Irish night in Killarney before continuing on through the savagely beautiful countryside of Connemara in Co. Galway.

 

A unique Ireland vacation not to be missed!

 

For more information on this tour please see our Emerald Isle Express Website.

 

 

Stay in luxurious 5 Star Irish Manor Houses, City and Country Hotels:

  • 1 Night Merrion Hotel
  • 1 Night Mount Juliet Hotel

  • 1 Night Fota Island Resort

  • 1 Night Europe Hotel and Resort

  • 2 Nights Adare Manor

  • 1 Night Merrion Hotel

 

 

WHAT'S INCLUDED?
  • Personal meet and greet at Dublin Airport or Ferry Port.
  • Transfers to and from Dublin Airport or Ferry Port to your fivestar Merrion Hotel.
  • Exclusive Dublin city tour.
  • All meals included.
  • Morning coffee and afternoon tea each day.
  • All drinks on the train (Our train is the only train in the world that does draft Guinness!).
  • Side tours to Waterford Crystal, Blarney Castle, Cobh Heritage Centre, the Ring of Kerry, Foynes Flying Boat & Maritime Museum, the Cliffs of Moher and Galway Bay.
  • Medieval Banquet at Bunratty Castle.
  • Renowned Railtours Ireland host throughout.
  • All luggage taken care of from start to finish.
  • Two 48hour Hop On/Off Dublin City Sightseeing Tour Tickets pp.
  • Dinner in Mount Juliet's Michelin Star Restaurant - The Lady Helen Restaurant.
  • All taxes and service charges.
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The Emerald Isle Express Tour 2020 - TOUR CODE:DCST20
8 Days
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$6,719pps

From price is based on 1 adult sharing.
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"Everything I expected "

Nov 2017 by Rachel Nolan

Just a short note to thank you for everything, the tour was everything I expected and more, a lot of great memories.


"Travel on a proper heritage train"

Nov 2016 by Ian G

Had a really special experience on the Emerald Isle Express week long tour. Saw so much of this lovely country with the pleasure of travel on a proper heritage train and luxury overnight stays. All staff on the tour were fantastic and gave us a real Irish welcome. The added value of Jonathan and Norman's knowledge of railway and general Irish history was unexpected and helped to make the holiday. Quite a hectic schedule at times but the only way to pack everything in to the week. Thoroughly recommended!

Visited September 2016


"So many wonderful sights and superb hospitality"

Nov 2016 by The Emerald Isle Express 2016

We were attracted to the Tour by the prospect of seeing some of the main attractions of Ireland in a different way, having driven to most of them in the past. We were certainly not disappointed in any way.


You and your colleagues did so much to make the holiday special for us, particularly highlighting the rail aspects for me and giving us so much insight into Irish history and culture. A country we already loved was really brought into focus for us.


So many wonderful sights and superb hospitality. Lots of ideas for things to do when we return to Ireland. Cycling the Westway will certainly be on the list as well as another stay at Dromoland Castle. I would also like to do more travel on Irish Rail, having been favourably impressed with all I saw of it.


Many thanks again to all involved and our best wishes for continued success with your tours.


"The vintage train was a delight. It was particularly nice to sit comfortably at a dinning table as the countryside rolled by "

Dec 2015 by Larry and Terri Clevenger

We truly enjoyed the Emerald Isle Express tour. It was a wonderful way to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary and my 70th birthday. We have recommended it to friends and family. No doubt we will return to Ireland in the future and book another tour with Railtours Ireland. Our knowledgeable and entertaining tour guides, Jonathan and Norman helped make the trip especially memorable. The volunteer train crew were delightful, as were the new friends we met as fellow tour participants. The many sights were wonderful. Looking back through our pictures, Waterford Crystal, Waterford Castle, Tipperary, Blarney Castle, the Ring of Kerry, the Lady’s View at the Lakes of Killarney, the Cliffs of Moher, Adare Manor, the traditional pub in Killarney, Ballinahinch Castle, and Kylemore Castle all stand out. However, the country side and the wonderful people were even more memorable.


"A journey on board the Emerald Isle Express train"

Jan 2015 by Myles Buchanan

"Wicklow town's Linda Saunders was able to experience the first departure from Dublin Connolly of a sparkling new 5 star tourism venture." Read more here


"The service and Rail Tours of Ireland guides, and meals on the train were outstanding"

Oct 2014


"This is a very special tour . The quality of the service, the meals and accommodation is impeccable""

Sep 2014 by Emerald Isle Guest


"This is a very special tour, which includes travel in 1960s heritage train carriages, meals and various castles. The quality of the service, the meals and accommodation is impeccable."

by Emerald Isle Guest

This is a very special tour, which includes travel in 1960s heritage train carriages, meals and various castles. The quality of the service, the meals and accommodation is impeccable.
The tour includes all the highlights of the Republic of Ireland, with private tours, sometimes outside opening hours, of museums and places of interest. All meals, including on occasions afternoon teas, are included in the tour and these were all of an exceptional standard.During the time the tour had exclusive use of both the train and a luxury tour coach. This meant that on occasions we travelled by train while our luggage was completely taken care of in the coach. All the Staff we encountered could not have done more to ensure all our needs were met. My husband organised this tour as a celebration of a milestone birthday for me. I couldn't have wished for anything more as I thoroughly enjoyed everything about it while feeling special and privileged. The tour we were on was the first one of this type run by Railtours. Following the success of our tour these are set to have permanent availability. I wish our guides Jonathan, Shane and Jim plus all the staff at Railtours, the Railway Preservation Society and Tom and Ray our drivers, all the best for the future and well deserved success.


"See Ireland on a Heritage Train and Coach Combo"

by Emerald Isle Guest

We just completed an 8 Day Rail Tour of Ireland on a Heritage, 1960s train with lounge, dining, and bar cars and an electro-diesel engine. The train is owned and operated by the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland (RPSI) and implemented by Rail Tours of Ireland. The service, by RPSI volunteers and Rail Tours of Ireland guides, and meals on the train were outstanding. Once the train reached a destination, all Five-Star Hotels, several of which were Castles, we and our luggage were transferred to a coach. Additionally, to tour things like the Ring of Kerry or Cliffs of Mohr, we again transferred to a touring coach, whose driver was able to "thread a needle" with the huge coach several times. The coach also took us to several pubs for lunch and tours of Connemara and Waterford Crystal factory. Dinner and breakfast were usually at the hotel except for dinner on the trip back to Dublin from Westport on the last day of the tour, which also included live entertainment of Irish folk songs. We also had a Medieval Banquet one evening in Bunratty Castle. It's easy to see why Ireland is tagged as the Emerald Isle as we saw something green on just about every square foot of soil. The guides were Irish and very knowledgeable of not only the history of things we saw but of the spirit of the Irish people.


"The Vintage train experience was unique"

by MandD11, California

We thoroughly enjoyed this experience. Our guides Jonathan and Norman were THE BEST.....so attentive, personable, and knowledgeable! A big thank you to them for taking such great care of us and for being so much fun to hang out with. The vintage train experience was unique for us and we really liked it. Excellent staff on the train. The hotels were so lovely and well chosen. We had a very congenial group of travelers which added to the overall positive experience. In our opinion Railtours Ireland did a great job in planning and conduction this trip. Perfect weather too.....we were fortunate in all regards!


Link to Reviews Section
  • Personal meet and greet at Dublin Airport or Ferry Port.
  • Transfers to and from Dublin Airport or Ferry Port to your fivestar Merrion Hotel.
  • Exclusive Dublin city tour.
  • All meals included.
  • Morning coffee and afternoon tea each day.
  • All drinks on the train (Our train is the only train in the world that does draft Guinness!).
  • Side tours to Waterford Crystal, Blarney Castle, Cobh Heritage Centre, the Ring of Kerry, Foynes Flying Boat & Maritime Museum, the Cliffs of Moher and Galway Bay.
  • Medieval Banquet at Bunratty Castle.
  • Renowned Railtours Ireland host throughout.
  • All luggage taken care of from start to finish.
  • Two 48hour Hop On/Off Dublin City Sightseeing Tour Tickets pp.
  • Dinner in Mount Juliet's Michelin Star Restaurant - The Lady Helen Restaurant.
  • All taxes and service charges.

Exclusive five-star rail cruise with one annual departure.

DAY
1

Gathering Day - Dublin

The Merrion Hotel, Dublin City.


Gathering Day in Dublin. Transfers from the airport or Dublin Port to your hotel.

 

Gathering day in Dublin. Individual transfers from the airport (or ferry port) to your hotel. Welcome reception, dinner and overnight stay in the five-star Merrion Hotel, in the heart of Dublin city.

 

18:30 Welcome Pre-Dinner Drinks Reception at the Merrion Hotel

 

19:00 Dinner at The Merrion Hotel

Day 1
DAY
2

Dublin to Waterford

Mount Juliet Estate, Kilkenny.


We enjoy a short tour of Dublin, en route to our champagne reception at Connolly station before boarding our private Emerald Isle Express train. Cruise by rail along Ireland’s scenic east coast through counties Wicklow, Wexford and on to Waterford city. Private visit to Waterford Crystal, dinner and overnight stay in the stunning five-star Mount Juliet Estate, dating back to the mid-1700s, set on 500 acres of parkland, meadow and forest in County Kilkenny. Dine in The Lady Helen Restaurant - Mount Juliet's very own Michelin Star Restaurant.

Day 2
DAY
3

Waterford to Cork

Fota Island Resort, Cork.


Cruise by rail from Waterford through the beautiful Suir Valley in county Tipperary while en route to Cork where we will enjoy a visit to Blarney Castle and Gardens. Dinner and overnight stay in the five-star Fota Island Resort, on Cork Harbour.

Day 3
DAY
4

Cork to Kerry

Europe Hotel and Resort, Killarney, Kerry.


We visit Cóbh, the Titanic’s last port of call, and travel by rail to Killarney while enjoying lunch on the train. Delight in the spectacular beauty of the Ring of Kerry, a photographer’s paradise, before overnighting in the five-star Europe Hotel and Resort, with traditional evening entertainment after dinner in one of Killarney’s famous pubs!

Day 4
DAY
5

Killarney to Limerick

Adare Manor, Limerick.


Once again, enjoy lunch on the train as you travel through counties Kerry, Cork, Tipperary and Limerick, a landscape littered with ruined castles. Overnight stay in the fabulous Adare Manor, dating back to the 1720s. Adare Manor, recently announced as the 2026 Ryder Cup Host, is set on an estate of 840 acres of sweeping parklands, cultivated gardens and formal French gardens, including its championship parkland golf course. Evening transfer to the Medieval Bunratty Castle to sample the famous banquet, and perhaps a pint afterwards at adjacent in Durty Nelly’s pub!

Day 5
DAY
6

Free Day in Adare Manor

Adare Manor, Limerick.


Free day of leisure in Adare Manor with an optional tour to the Cliffs of Moher. Perhaps enjoy a round of golf, or some of the many activities available at this five-star resort, including falconry, whiskey tasting, clay pigeon shooting and horse riding, among others (https://www.adaremanor.com/activities/). Enjoy dinner and a second overnight stay in this stunning five-star luxury hotel.

Day 6
DAY
7

Limerick to Galway, through Connemara, to Dublin

The Merrion Hotel, Dublin City.


From Limerick, we venture on to Galway aboard our Emerald Isle Express train with light lunch on board. Our trip today highlights the savage beauty of Connemara and will include the Quiet Man Bridge and afternoon tea in Ballinahinch Castle. Afterwards, we make our way back to Galway City centre. There, we board the Emerald Isle Express which will bring us back to Dublin. Entertainment and dinner on board. Overnight stay in the Merrion Hotel, Dublin.

Day 7
DAY
8

Scattering Day


Scattering Day. Individual transfers from your hotel to Dublin airport. We strongly advise, however, that for your own relaxation and comfort, you spend another night in Dublin to rest, after the week of touring, and enjoy some free time in Ireland’s bustling capital. We would be delighted to arrange these extra nights for you in our partner 4* or 5* hotels (your hotel-airport transfer will be available on the day of your departure, should you choose this option).

Day 8
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