MORRISTOWN, N.J., March 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- With March 17th fast approaching, people around the world are preparing to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, the annual holiday honoring the patron saint of Ireland. Millions more are taking their passion for Ireland and Celtic culture one step further by making plans to visit the Emerald Isle.
Celebrating its 80th year as the industry's standard-bearer for fully escorted motorcoach tours of Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales, CIE Tours International has long been the tour operator of choice for travelers seeking to experience the wealth of exciting sites and events in Ireland.
"Ireland continues to be a huge draw for North American vacationers, who recently gave Ireland its highest rating in 12 years for value for the money," said CIE Tours International President Brian W. Stack. "With a host of vacation options to choose from, CIE Tours makes visiting Ireland accessible to every travel budget, vacation calendar and individual preference," he added.
Like all CIE Tours vacations, the company's 2012 Ireland and Ireland/Britain travel packages are all-inclusive, encompassing airport transfers, deluxe motorcoach transportation, quality hotel accommodations and all admission fees, as well as most meals, special attractions and evening entertainment. Additionally, CIE Tours' expert tour directors and local guides help bring each destination to life, providing travelers aged eight to 88 with authentic travel experiences that continue to resonate long after their return home.
St. Patrick's Day has been observed by the Irish as a religious holiday for over 1,000 years, marking the anniversary of his death in the fifth century. On St. Patrick's Day, which falls during the Christian season of Lent, Irish families traditionally attended church in the morning and celebrated in the afternoon. Lenten prohibitions against the consumption of meat were waived, and people danced, drank and feasted -- on the traditional meal of Irish bacon and cabbage. Today, parades and festivals are held on St. Patrick's Day by people of all backgrounds, especially throughout the United States, Canada and Australia. [Source: www.history.com]
Despite the festivities, however, there is simply no substitute for the millions of Americans who celebrate Irish culture than a firsthand trip to the Emerald Isle, to personally experience the magic of Ireland's breathtaking natural landscapes, rich history, and warm, friendly people. Ireland is now among the world's most desirable and intriguing travel destinations, drawing more than one million visitors from North America in 2011 alone. From the spectacular Northern Lights illuminating Donegal to the opening this spring of the fascinating new Titanic Belfast Museum, Ireland's appeal has never been more compelling.
Among the many CIE Tours itineraries to Ireland, three of the most popular are these:
- Original Irish Pub & Folk Tour – An 8- or 9-day coach tour featuring a brilliant selection of first class hotels in Dublin, Kilkenny, Killarney and Westport, with exceptional experiences including dinner in the famed 12th Century Brazen Head Pub; kissing the Blarney Stone; visits and tastings at the Guinness Storehouse; a cottage dinner at the legendary Kate Kearney's; sheepdog trials on the Ring of Kerry; and outstanding pub experiences along the way, featuring live music. Especially attractive to young, active travelers, land-only rates for the Irish Pub & Folk Tour begin at $1,248 per person. (Book by March 31 using code 033112PU5 and save up to $170 per couple!)
- Irish Explorer Tour – This 10-day escorted coach tour features a splendid selection of superior first class hotels in Dublin, Donegal, Galway and Killarney, with remarkable experiences such as a dinner with traditional entertainment at the famed Merry Ploughboy Pub; visits to the 5,000-year-old Boyne Valley Neolithic Tombs and the Slieve League Sea Cliffs, a catamaran cruise of Killary Fjord, sheepdog trials on a Ring of Kerry Tour, a wonderful Clontarf Castle stay and so much more. Land-only rates for the Irish Explorer Tour begin at $1,698 per person. (Book by March 31, 2012 and use code 033112EX10 to save up to $400 per couple!)
- The Irish Classic – This 12- or 13-day escorted tour begins and ends in Dublin, and visits the scenic western regions of Belfast, Derry, Mayo, Clare, Kerry, Waterford and Meath. In addition to the Titanic Belfast Museum, travelers will enjoy a dinner and show at Taylor's Three Rock; a medieval banquet and show at Bunratty Castle; Giant's Causeway; Achill Island, historic Derry and Waterford walks, the Lakes of Killarney and more. Land-only rates, featuring superior first class hotels, begin at $1,898 per person. (Book by March 31, 2012 and use code 033112CL10 to save up to $500 per couple!)
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.
SOURCE CIE Tours International