Below please find the day-by-day itinerary for this expedition. Unless otherwise noted, daily excursion options are included in the cost of the trip. We do our best to adhere to the scheduled itinerary, but in the spirit of our expeditionary style of travel we may deviate slightly to take full advantage of encounters with the destination and its people, culture, and wildlife.
Based on the expeditionary nature of our trips, there may be ongoing enhancements to this itinerary. Rates and dates are subject to change.
Depart USAMay 29
Board your independent overnight flight to Dublin.
Dublin, IrelandMay 30
Check in to the hotel, with the rest of the day at leisure to explore Dublin on your own. Gather at the hotel this evening for a welcome reception and dinner.
Dublin / Waterford / Cork / Embark the Greg MotimerMay 31
Take a drive through scenic countryside to Waterford for a visit to the renowned House of Waterford Crystal where you may watch master craftsmen at work. After lunch at a local restaurant, continue to Cork and embark the Greg Mortimer.
Ballinskelligs, IrelandJune 1
The Ballinskelligs Priory was founded in the 12th century by monks who moved to the mainland from Skellig Michael after numerous Viking attacks. A number of buildings still remain, including a church, tower house, parts of the cloister, a large domestic hall, and cemetery, most of which dates from the 15th century. On a clear day, views across the bay are simply spectacular.
Cliffs of MoherJune 2
The dramatic Cliffs of Moher soar to over 700 feet above the crashing Atlantic and offer some of Ireland’s most stunning scenery. These rugged cliffs are part of a UNESCO Global Geopark and serve as an important nesting site for over 20 species of seabirds, including guillemots, razorbills, kittiwakes, and Atlantic puffins. Step ashore for walks through this magical landscape, where wildflower-studded meadows give way to wind-whipped clifftops with amazing views of the surf-pounded coast.
Inishmore, Aran Islands / Killary FjordJune 3
This morning, arrive at Inishmore, largest of the three Aran Islands, and an outpost of Gaelic culture, where Irish-speaking residents live in traditional stone cottages. Tour the 5th-century Dún Aengus Fort, a prehistoric stone fort dramatically situated at the edge of 300-foot cliffs, the Heritage Museum, and several monastic sites. Permission pending, cruise through Killary Fjord, which extends 10 miles from the Atlantic to the quaint village of Leenane. Keep an eye out for resident bird species such as ringed plovers, mute and whooper swans, tufted ducks, and barnacle geese.
Clew Bay, County MayoJune 4
Today, set out to explore scenic Clew Bay, dotted with 365 low-lying islands—limestone drumlins formed during the last Ice Age. Join naturalists for a walk in Ballycory National Park, which boasts one of the largest Atlantic blanket bog systems in Europe, keeping an eye out for Greenland white-fronted geese, peregrine falcons, and corncrakes. This evening, cruise among the windswept islands along the jagged Connemara Coast, an area once described as, “a place of savage beauty” by Oscar Wilde.
County DonegalJune 5
Today, visit Malin Head, the most northerly point of the island of Ireland. Here you will find a variety of waterfowl as well as a watchtower built during the Napoleonic Wars and a signal station built in 1902. Continue to Glencolmcille to view a thatched-roof replica of a rural Irish village with cottages from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, a reconstructed school house, and a tiny pub.
Portrush, Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland / Disembark / BelfastJune 6
Disembark in Portrush and travel overland to the World Heritage Site of Giant’s Causeway. This three-mile section of coastline is a geological masterpiece—some 40,000 closely-packed hexagonal columns of varying heights line the coast and descend like a staircase into the sea. After lunch, continue to Belfast and check in to the Fitzwilliam Hotel Belfast for dinner and overnight.
Belfast / USAJune 7
Board your independent homeward flight, arriving in the USA the same day.