Ireland: Shamrock Adventure- The North and South of Ireland
May 13-25, 2023
It is often said that each day in Ireland is like a festival. Ireland is, after all, a country bustling with activity. Activity that ranges from cultural to traditional and from music to theatre and dance. Ireland is also a country of ancient landscapes that are ever changing. In fact, it is a country that boasts “40 shades of green”.
Join us on a delightful journey to the Emerald Isle. Your visit will take you to some of Ireland’s most treasured landmarks: You will visit Dublin; Blarney Castle, famous for its Blarney Stone; the spectacular Cliffs of Moher and Bunratty Castle. You will even visit Galway Bay!
You will also journey into Northern Ireland with visits to Belfast, famous for its Titanic museum, enjoy a drive along Northern Ireland’s famous coastal route and Giant Causeway. Your holiday will also take you to Derry, Londonderry and Donegal.
During your vacation, you will be accommodated in 3 or 4 star hotels. Irish breakfast daily and 3 dinners are included. Previous tours to Ireland sold out very quickly. Booking early therefore is your only guarantee of space on this adventure!
Ottawa to Ireland
This afternoon you will depart on your overnight flights from Ottawa to Dublin.
Dublin Airport to Belfast
Ceád Mile Fáilte – “One Hundred Thousand Welcomes” to Ireland!
Upon your arrival in Dublin you will be met by your local driver/guide and begin your journey to Belfast, Northern Ireland’s capital. Your first stop will be Titanic Belfast. This museum is the world’s largest RMS Titanic visitor attraction, comprising nine interpretive and interactive galleries focused on the short history of the famous ship. Its exhibits fill six floors and includes interactive discovery zones, full-scale reconstructions with special effects and real-life accounts from survivors of the tragic wreck. Highlights include the Ocean Exploration Centre with live links to modern underwater explorations and the luxurious Titanic Banqueting Hall. (D)
Overnight in Belfast
Costal Route & Giant’s Causeway
This morning we will follow Northern Ireland’s famous coastal route and Giant’s Causeway. Considered to be one of the top scenic drives in Great Britain, this 212-kilometer route winds along the craggy coast of Northern Ireland. Stretching from Belfast all the way to Derry, the Causeway Coastal Route leads to castles, cliff walks, beaches, waterfalls, Game of Thrones filming locations and other scenic locales. (B)
Overnight in Belfast
Londonderry & Donegal
After breakfast we will begin our journey to Sligo. Our first stop en route will be in Londonderry. This town is the only completely walled city left in Ireland. It has also played a big role in Northern Ireland’s troubled past.
Our next stop will be in Donegal. Donegal was voted the coolest place on the planet by National Geographic Traveler in 2017. This is because of its rugged interior, remote mountain passes and shimmering lakes. (B)
Overnight in Sligo
Sligo to Galway
Today we will make our way to Galway. While steeped in history, Galway has a unique energy that makes it one of Ireland’s most visited cities. Galway has a thriving and cosmopolitan city centre. It is always a joy to explore with its wonderful cobbled streets, colourful shop facades and its unusual array of coffee shops. Your tour of Galway will encompass all of its major historical sites. (B, D)
Overnight in Galway
Today you can explore some of the beautiful countryside of Connemara, with its rolling hills, flowing rivers and coastal landscapes. Connemara is a wild and beautiful region of mountains, lakes, tumbling streams, undulating bog, unspoiled beaches and panoramic views. It is a Gaelic- speaking region and has attracted many artisans, who can be visited at work in their studios. The centre of Connemara is composed of mountain peaks, the Twelve Bens or Pins, which culminate in Benbaun. The sharp grey peaks of quartzite rock which is resistant to weathering are too steep and hard to be clothed in blanket bog. The region is now largely uninhabited, although in the past the more fertile lowlands were cultivated and the uplands were used as pasture for cattle and sheep.
Stop and visit Kylemore Abbey & Gardens. Kylemore Abbey is the only home of the Benedictine nuns in Ireland. The Abbey was acquired by the nuns in 1920. Set in the heart of Connemara, this unique Abbey offers the warmth and hospitality of its peaceful environs. Its enchanting history is interpreted in detail in rooms at the Abbey. It was originally built by Mitchell Henry, M.P. for County Galway (a native of Manchester city) as a gift for his wife. The Gothic Church, set in the grounds of the Abbey, is the jewel in the crown of Kylemore. It has been lovingly restored and any visit would not be complete without seeing it. Explore the magical 6 acre Victorian walled garden, where Victorian varieties of flowers and vegetables are grown. Vegetables and herbs from the garden are used in the café where they offer traditional home cooked food made to the recipes of the Benedictine nuns. (B)
Overnight in Galway
The Burren, Cliffs of Moher, Bunratty
Travel through the Burren – The Burren takes its name from the Irish word ‘bhoireann’ meaning, ‘a stony place’ or ‘a rocky place’, which is a good description for this 350 sq. kilometres limestone plateau in North Clare. The rough, intriguing and attractive landscape was formed 320 million years ago under a tropical sea. Later it was shaped by ice, hard weather and, of course, man and his beasts. The many wedge tombs and megalithic tombs prove that people have been living in the Burren for more than 5000 years.
Then travel to the Cliffs of Moher, one of Ireland’s most spectacular sights. Standing 600ft above the ground at their highest point and 5 miles long, the Cliffs boast one of the most amazing views in Ireland. On a clear day, the Aran Islands are visible in Galway Bay as well as the valleys and hills of Connemara.
In the afternoon, visit Bunratty Castle and Folk Park. Bunratty Castle is one of Europe’s finest. Pride of more than 100 castles built by the McNamara chieftains in 15th century Clare, it is faithfully restored and refurnished. Built in 1425, it is the most complete and authentic medieval fortress in Ireland and contains furnishings, tapestries and works of art from the period. In the shadow of the castle is Bunratty Folk Park set on 26 acres, illustrating 19th century Irish life from grand manor houses to peasant dwelling and from farm activities to cobble-stone village streets. (B, D)
Overnight in Tralee (September tour overnight in Killarney)
Scenic Tour Around the Dingle Peninsula
Our first stop will be in Dingle. Dingle is a small port town on southwest Ireland’s Dingle Peninsula, known for its rugged scenery, trails and sandy beaches. It is considered to be one of the most picturesque parts of Ireland.
In the afternoon, we’ll return to Tralee and the rest of the day will be at your leisure. (B)
Overnight in Tralee (September tour overnight in Killarney)
Blarney & Cork City
This morning we depart for Blarney and the Blarney Stone, which has the traditional power on conferring eloquence on all who kiss it! The word ‘Blarney’ means pleasant talk, intended to deceive without offending. The battlements crowning the castle keep are typically Irish in form. Having climbed more than 100 steps, the famous Stone is set in the wall below the parapet, and to kiss it, one has to lean backwards from the parapet walk of the battlements. You can also visit the Blarney Woolen mills for some fine quality Irish produce.
After lunch, you will enjoy a panoramic tour of Cork and learn the history of Ireland’s third city known as the Rebel City. The city’s origins lie early in the seventh century when St. Finbarr, founder and patron saint, founded a small monastic community close to where Gilabbey Street now stands, and it grew into an extensive and wealthy establishment. It attracted the attention of the Viking sea-pirates who raided and burned the infant city, but returned in later years to settle and trade. The Anglo-Norman invasion in 1172 resulted in both the Danish lords and local MacCarthy chiefs having to submit to Henry II, but Cork has always had a reputation for independence and stubborn resistance – it came to be known as “Rebel Cork”. (B)
Overnight in Kinsale (May tour overnight in Cork)
Midleton & Waterford
This morning, visit the Jameson Experience at the Old Midleton Distillery, Co Cork. The original buildings at the Middleton Distillery date back as far as the 1800s, and were used to mature Cork Distillery Whiskey (now known as Paddy Whiskey). Visitors come face to face with original kilns and pot stills from that time and explore warehouses that have matured whiskey for more than 2 centuries. Enjoy a signature drink of Jameson at the end of the tour.
Afterwards, you will travel to Waterford with an included city tour. Waterford is one of Ireland’s oldest and most historic cities. The walled city withstood siege on several occasions in the past but fell to the Normans in 1170 AD. It prospered under the Normans and emerged as the second city of Ireland after Dublin. The city was the chief port of Ireland throughout the middle ages.
Your final destination today is Kilkenny City. Located in the heart if Ireland’s Ancient East, the medieval city of Kilkenny is named after a 6th century monk called Saint Canice. His memory lives on in the beautifully preserved St. Canice’s Cathedral built overlooking the city in the 13th century. (B)
Overnight in Kilkenny
Visit Kilkenny Castle – The Normans arrived in the 12th century and their legacy remains in the superb and fully restored Kilkenny Castle and in the thriving and cosmopolitan merchant city. The 17th century was a time of great social and political turmoil for Kilkenny. It was the seat of national parliament for a six year period. The famous Oliver Cromwell invaded the city in 1650 and Kilkenny College was attended by such luminaries as Jonathan Swift and Bishop Berkeley.
This afternoon, make our way to Dublin. We will have a city tour of Dublin before being taken to our hotel. (B)
Overnight in Dublin
Free day in Dublin- Your Travac Tours Director can assist you with ideas on what to do
Dublin is a lively capital city that’s as intimate as a village and as friendly as your local Irish pub. With its seamless blend of classic visitor sights, excellent social scene and the natural playgrounds of Dublin Bay and the Dublin Mountains framing it on all sides, this laidback city is an adventure in itself. (B)
Overnight in Dublin
Ireland to Ottawa
Alas it is time to depart. The driver will transfer the group to Dublin Airport and depart for return flights to Ottawa. (B)
The Ardilaun Hotel (Galway) or similar
Hotel AddressTaylor's Hill Rd
+353 91 521 433
The Kilford Arms (Kilkenny) or similar
Hotel AddressJohn Street Upper
+353 56 776 1018
Buswells Hotel or similar
Hotel Address27 Molesworth St
+353 1 614 6500
Hampton by Hilton Belfast City Centre (Belfast) or similar
Hotel Address15 Hope St
+44 28 9031 3335
The Glasshouse Hotel (Sligo) or similar
Hotel AddressSwan Point, Abbeyquarter North
+353 71 919 4300
The Rose Hotel (Tralee) or similar
Hotel AddressDan Spring Rd, Cloon Beg
+353 66 719 9100
Maldron Hotel Shandon Cork City (or similar)
Hotel Address11 John Redmond St
+353 21 452 9200
British Columbia- The Great Canadian Train Experience: VIA The Great Western Way (East to West)
May 27 – June 3, 2023
Travac wants you to see Canada the way it was meant to be seen, travelling onboard VIA’s unforgettable rail journey.
This epic journey you will board the Corridor train in Ottawa to Toronto. You will overnight at the Royal York in Toronto. The next day you will leave the bustle of this large metropolitan city and board VIA’s The Canadian enjoying the incredible scenery of Canada’s lake country. Onward through the picturesque towns, the gentle prairies and finally through the stunning views of the Rocky Mountains.
The Journey will take you from Toronto to Sioux Lookout on to Winnipeg then Jasper and finally Kamloops to Vancouver.
This unforgettable rail experience lets you enjoy the wonderful diversity of our great nation.
Join us this May as we embark on one of the world’s most renowned rail experiences.
Canada awaits you- call us today for more information!
At Travac we strive to exceed your expectations. Our VIA Rail Great Western Way is to showcase the train experience on VIA’s The Canadian. It should not be misinterpreted as a sightseeing tour with stops along the way to visit and shop.
Due to COVID some services on the Canadian may not be available. Please ask the agent you are working with on your booking.
Today you will meet your Travac Tours Director at the Ottawa VIA Rail Station on Tremblay Rd. You will board train #53 departing Ottawa at 1145 and arriving in Toronto at 1633. It is a 3-minute walk from Union Station to the Fairmont Royal York which is your accommodation for the night. Located in the core of downtown Toronto your restaurant and shopping possibilities are extensive. The remainder of your afternoon is free time. Reminder that check-in is 4:00pm.
As per Canada Transport the entire group must travel from Ottawa to Toronto. No alternate pick-up station is permitted.
This morning you will depart the hotel and walk over to Union Station to board the Canadian. NOTE: You are only permitted to have a carry-on size bag to take to your cabin. Your larger checked bag must be checked in with VIA and it will be stored away. YOU CANNOT ACCESS YOUR CHECK BAG WHILE ON THE TRAIN.
Today your wonderful train adventure begins aboard VIA’s The Canadian. You will be completely immersed in the single most contributing factor to what connected Canada from east to west.
Get comfortable in your “Manor Sleeping Car”. The cabins for one (with a concealed toilet) or two (with an ensuite toilet) both have vanities, and the chairs configure to make up your beds for the next four nights. The beds are made up while at dinner and put back away while at breakfast. The cabins for 2 have one upper and one lower bunk. The single cabin has one lower bed. A public shower, and 2 washrooms per car, are at your disposal. Your meals and access to the Dome Observation Car are included. Breakfast is first come, first served while lunch and dinner are set times. Times can only be reserved on the train the day before for the following day.
All 3 meals have 4 choices (one of which is vegan).
It is important to note that the train stops about every seven hours for operational reasons. The length of the stop can vary from ten minutes to two hours.
We will depart Toronto at 0945 and you will travel to Winnipeg. Enjoy all the lakes and the spectacular scenery of the Canadian Shield in Northern Ontario. Expect to arrive May 29 at 1930. You can put your watch back 1 hour to CST in Allanwater Bridge, ON.
There is a complete staff change in Winnipeg which can affect your mealtimes.
You will travel from Winnipeg to Saskatoon during the night. Expect to arrive in Saskatoon at 1050. There will be a 1 hour stop in Saskatoon where you can set your watch back 1 hour to MST then onward to Edmonton. Sit back and enjoy the spectacular scenery and perhaps enjoy time with new friends. The train will follow a beautiful stretch on the Manitoba and Saskatchewan border of the Assiniboine River. Expect to arrive in Edmonton at 2050.
Wake up and enjoy your wonderful breakfast in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Expect to arrive in Jasper at 0630 and then depart at 0930. You will enjoy full daylight for this breathtaking segment from Jasper to Kamloops. Jasper to Kamloops is likely the most stunning scenery. Enjoy the Dome Car, the Dining Car, and the Park Car to take in all the scenery. You can set your watch back 1 hour MST in Jasper.
Expect to arrive in Kamloops at 1830 and depart at 1903.
We will travel from Kamloops through the night onto our destination of The Canadian to Vancouver. You can set your watch back 1 hour PST in Vancouver. Expect to arrive at 0800. Upon arrival you will be transferred to your Vancouver hotel The Pinnacle Hotel Harbourfront. Within walking distance to Vancouver Harbour and Canada Place with wonderful views of Stanley Park you are very well situated. After arriving at your hotel, the rest of the day is free to enjoy the surrounding area. Your Travac Tours Director will have ideas of things to do. Reminder that check-in time is 3:00pm.
This morning at 9:00am you will depart the hotel on a private coach for a 4-hour guided city tour. Your afternoon is at your leisure. You may wish to visit Gastown, a lovely walk in Stanley Park or make your way to Granville Island. This beautiful city has so much to offer.
Today you will meet your Travac Tours Director in the lobby of the hotel to get your transfer to the Vancouver International Airport and board your flight to Ottawa. Your tour guide will update you on the time.
We hope you’ve had a memorable trip.
Itinerary subject to change.
Fairmont Royal York
Hotel Address100 Front St W
Pinnacle Hotel Harbourfront
Hotel Address1133 W Hastings St
Memphis & Nashville
Memphis & Nashville: December 8- 14, 2022
Memphis is so much more than a city on the banks of the Mississippi River. It is in many ways the home of the blues, soul and Rock and Roll music. The blues continue to resonate through the streets and clubs surrounding Beale Street.
Nashville on the other hand is famous for its honky tonks with live music from a variety of talented acts. It is also home to some of the best country music museums in the United States.
Today you meet your Travac Tour Director at the Ottawa International Airport for your flights to Memphis. Upon your arrival in Memphis you will be transferred to your hotel. The balance of your day will be free.
Your tour of Memphis will focus on Beale Street and the historic district of this town. You will learn about many of the personalities that left their imprint on Memphis from Danny Thomas to Elvis Presley and B.B. King. We will end the tour with a visit to Sun Studio before returning to our hotel.
Today we will visit Graceland to explore the Elvis connection to Memphis. Learn how his revolutionary style and unique sound changed the face of popular music and culture forever. The balance of your day will be free.
We will be heading to Nashville later this morning.
After arriving in Nashville, the balance of your day will be free. If you wish to go to a performance of the Grand Ole Opry at the Ryman during your stay, your Tour Director will be happy to arrange tickets.
This morning we’ll be touring Nashville. Besides its musical heritage, Nashville is the state capital and home to Vanderbilt University. It truly is one of the most vibrant cities in the US. Our tour will follow the music scene and will show you some of the famous and not so famous honky-tonks and saloons. The tour will culminate with a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame and RCA Studio B.
Today is at your leisure. There are plenty of museums in Nashville that you might consider visiting including the Johnny Cash Museum.
Today you will be transferred to the airport for your return flights back to Ottawa.
Itinerary subject to change.
Hilton Garden Inn Memphis Downtown
Hotel Address201 Union Ave
Drury Plaza Hotel Nashville Downtown
Hotel Address300 Korean Veterans Blvd
Coming Fall 2023!
Come and enjoy America’s capital at arguably the best time of year to visit the city. There are no school groups visiting, and the normal bustle of the city slows down during the Labour Day weekend. This simply means that you will see a considerable number of sights and attractions in less time and appreciate your experience all the more.
While in Washington, you’ll enjoy a four hour city tour with a local guide with stops at many of the Memorials that Washington is known for and, of course, Capitol Hill. We will drive through neighbourhoods, past Embassy Row, the Washington National Cathedral, as well as the famous National Mall (encompasses 11 of the Smithsonian Museums and Galleries). This tour will give you great ideas of what you can explore in your free time.
In your spare time visit any of the 17 FREE Smithsonian Institutes like the National Air and Space Museum, the American Art Museum, and the National Museum of Natural History, just to name a few. Your Travac Tours Director will offer optional tours ($) to see the Washington Monuments by night, The Jefferson Library or a visit to the Arlington Cemetery.
Your home in Washington is downtown at the Hamilton Hotel. This hotel offers a truly unmatched location offering you easy walking access to the National Mall, the Smithsonian Museums and many of the city’s monuments. The hotel is also located close to a Metro Subway line giving you affordable travel to other destinations in the DC area.
Travac’s leisurely-paced 5-day getaway includes private transportation aboard a comfortable chartered coach, four nights’ accommodation, a city tour conducted by licensed Washington specialist and the services a Travac Tours Director. No other tour gives such exceptional value in a prime downtown location!
This morning you will depart Westgate Shopping Centre for Washington. Two washroom stops and one lunch stop will be made en route. At approximately 6:00pm you will arrive at your hotel in downtown Washington. You will have the evening free to enjoy dinner and relax.
This morning we will meet our local guide and motorcoach for a half-day tour of the city. You will have a chance to see all the capital’s famous attractions, including Capitol Hill, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, FDR Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Embassy Row and Canadian Embassy. This tour will also familiarize you with the city and its neighbourhoods to make your stay more enjoyable. After the city tour, you will have time to explore and enjoy Washington on your own. (B)
Today is a free day. You will have the opportunity to visit the prestigious Smithsonian Institution. This collection of museums and galleries, scattered along the beautiful National Mall, is home to some of the world’s most intriguing exhibits and impressive collections. You can explore the American History Museum, the National Air and Space Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, and many more institutions along the one mile stretch of the Mall. Best of all, admission to the Smithsonian’s museums is free! (B)
At 9:30am we offer a free shuttle service to the Smithsonian-drop off at Smithsonian Castle. Please note that most museums open at 10:00am. We will offer a drop off and pick up to the Smithsonian Museums.
Today you will have a free day to explore Washington on your own. You may wish to return to the Smithsonian, visit some of the various monuments or explore some of Washington’s neighborhoods. (B)
At 9:30am we offer a free shuttle service to the Smithsonian-drop off at Smithsonian Castle. Please note that most museums open at 10:00am. At 4:00pm we offer a free shuttle from the Smithsonian Castle back to the hotel.
At 7:30am the bus departs Washington for Ottawa. A lunch stop and 2 washroom stops will be made enroute. Expect to arrive at the Westgate Shopping Centre at 7:00pm. (B)
Itinerary subject to change.
The Hamilton Hotel
Hotel Address1001 14th St NW