MORRISTOWN, N.J., April 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Rosemarie Leone of Haddon Heights, New Jersey, has traveled the world, but the invitation to visit Ireland with her friend, Helaine Zagaro, was her first opportunity to take in the Celtic Isle's spectacular natural wonders, storied history and warm-hearted people. Little did she know that their excursion with CIE Tours International would become the trip of a lifetime, indelibly commemorated when the unsuspecting Rosemarie became the 250,000th visitor to the world-renowned House of Waterford Crystal in the ancient City of Waterford.
In planning their trip, the two friends – both professional travel agents -- chose CIE Tours, the standard-bearer for fully escorted motorcoach tours to Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales for more than 80 years. Wanting to see the best of the best in the shortest time possible, they carefully reviewed the company's more than 20 different tours throughout Ireland, and opted for the Irish Odyssey Tour, a 12-day itinerary taking in Ireland's entire coastline.
On the third day of her trip, Rosemarie found herself in medieval Waterford, Ireland's oldest city, which was founded by the Vikings in 914AD. Waterford is famous as home of the world-renowned House of Waterford Crystal, established in 1783. In addition to an array of lead crystal stemware and trophies, Waterford Crystal chandeliers hang in Westminster Abbey, Windsor Castle, and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Travelers from around the world visit Waterford's newly expanded visitor and manufacturing center to observe one of Ireland's greatest traditions of meticulous hand craftsmanship.
Entering the bespoke brand's showroom, the CIE Tours travelers were invited to fill out visitor cards, blissfully unaware of Waterford's special promotion to mark the launch of its soon-to-be-unveiled new shamrock collection. When her card was drawn, Rosemarie discovered the luck of the sacred shamrock herself, when Waterford presented her with a bowl cut in its new pattern, only the second one ever created. The first had been a gift from the Irish people to President Barack Obama on St. Patrick's Day.
Featuring an interpretive shamrock design representing the four provinces of Ireland intertwined with the Celtic knot symbol of eternity, the Waterford centerpiece is a stunning example of supreme artistry, with long and deep horizontal cuts that clearly represent the quality workmanship and innovative design that have made the Waterford brand a universal symbol of excellence.
"I was utterly flabbergasted by my experience at Waterford, which I will certainly treasure forever. But as much as I love my magnificent Waterford memento, I have to say that it was only a part of one of the best vacations I ever had. The entire trip with CIE Tours was first-rate and vastly exceeded my high expectations. Talk about the luck of the Irish!" Ms. Leone said.
According to CIE Tours International President Brian W. Stack, "Many travel agents are planning groups and traveling along with their customers. We are thrilled that this exciting and unique opportunity occurred for one of our professional travelers. The House of Waterford Crystal is a key destination on 12 of over 20 tours showcasing the very best of Ireland's most memorable experiences. We pride ourselves on offering itineraries that maximize travelers' limited time and budgets so they leave Ireland with lasting memories and a profound appreciation of all this magical land has to offer."
Hailed for providing exciting, high-value escorted tours to Britain, CIE Tours offers a wide selection of 5- to 14-day motorcoach vacations. Itineraries are comprehensive, covering hotel accommodations, airport transfers, admission fees, most meals, evening entertainment and sumptuous banquet events. Additionally, all CIE Tours itineraries feature deluxe motorcoach transportation and expert tour directors and local guides who help bring each destination to life, providing travelers aged eight and older with authentic travel experiences that stay with them long after their return home.
For more information about itineraries and travel incentives, or to reserve a tour, call CIE Tours International at 1-800-243-8687 or visit www.cietours.com.
About CIE Tours International For 80 years, CIE Tours International has set the standard for fully escorted motorcoach tours of Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales. This leading tour operator offers a broad selection of attractively priced itineraries of varying lengths to ensure unsurpassed vacation experiences with maximum value for every budget. All CIE Tours travel itineraries are protected by the company's $550+ Advantage, a no-fee benefit guaranteeing that travelers are never charged for special features considered optional extras with other tour companies. For additional information, please contact 1-800-243-8687 or visit www.cietours.com.