Luxury overnight train journeys will soon be rolling down the track in Ireland, following the announcement of a new venture from a worldwide hotels, rail tour and river cruise company. The Belmond Grand Hibernian will be the first luxury overnight rail experience of its kind on the island, and will tour the magnificent open countryside, dramatic coastal scenery and fascinating cities of both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
The Orient Express-style sleeper train is being launched by Belmond, which owns and operates over 40 unique and distinctive luxury travel experiences in many of the world’s most celebrated destinations. It has been named after Hibernia, the classical Latin word for Ireland. The Grand Hibernian’s 10 carriages will have exclusive accommodation for just 40 guests, travelling in 20 elegant, ensuite cabins, and there will also be two restaurant cars and an observation bar car. Featuring four interconnecting suites, the Grand Hibernian will be ideal for families, multi-generational holidays or perhaps a voyage to discover Irish roots. Travellers will be able to choose from a selection of two-, four- and six-night journeys that visit unmissable destinations all over the country.
Visits to Dublin, Belfast and Cork will be on the itineraries, with riveting daily excursions into historic estates, top visitor attractions, world-class golf courses and the famous haunts of legendary writers, musicians and artists. Nightly entertainment on board with local musicians and story tellers will embrace Irish culture.
The train’s interiors are being planned by international design firm JPA Design, with inspiration from Dublin’s classic Georgian architecture, blended with elements of ancient folklore and reflecting Ireland’s cultural heritage with an indulgent, contemporary twist.
John Scott, the Belmond President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “Ireland offers today’s luxury traveller a rich and diverse cultural experience, with unrivalled scenery and warm hospitality that fit perfectly with Belmond’s offering of enriching and authentic hotel, rail and river cruise experiences.”
Services are expected to start rolling in summer 2016.